Sharapova erases painful memories
Originally published on: 20/12/11 10:21
A year after holding three match points before losing to Kim Clijsters in the final of the 2010 Western & Southern Open, Maria Sharapova reversed her fortunes and came from behind to triumph in Cincinnati.
In the longest final the WTA calendar had seen in 2011 at two hours and 49 minutes, Sharapova rallied back from 6-4 2-0 down against Jelena Jankovic to snap up her 24th career title and firmly erase any memories of her agonising loss 12 months ago.
“I was so close last year, so it’s nice to have that feeling of being the champion,” said Sharapova.
“It wasn’t really something I thought about coming in this week. I just knew I played some good tennis here last year, and I hoped I could take it a step further. It was a really tough one out there, it was so physical, which is something to expect when you’re playing Jelena. In the end it could have gone either way.”
As it was, seventh seed Jankovic was the one left to rue a loss after holding a winning advantage as she missed out on claiming her first title since lifting the Indian Wells crown in March 2010.
“I think my biggest mistake was I didn’t serve well today,” conceded the Serb. “I’d break her many times and would serve to go two games ahead, but it didn’t happen. It shows the match isn’t over until you shake hands.”