Seventh seed and twice champion in Rome Jelena Jankovic eliminated both the Williams sisters in two days en route to the final of the Internazionali BNL d’Italia, but that meant nothing to Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez. The unseeded Spaniard defeated Jankovic 7-6(5) 7-5 after 2 hours and 20 minutes to win the biggest title of her career.
The 27-year-old Martinez Sanchez, ranked 26th, is a tricky opponent because of her numerous drop shots, serves and volleys, and because of her left-handedness.
The final started with Martinez Sanchez racing into a 5-2 lead, before Jankovic fought back with four successive games to serve for the set. The world No.7 Jankovic didn’t close it out and then Martinez Sanchez edged the tiebreaker. The Spaniard was a break up twice in the second set and served for the match at 5-4, but Jankovic broke back. However, the former world No.1 dropped serve once again and then Martinez Sanchez served out victory.
All the opponents Martinez Sanchez sent packing in Rome: Alla Kudryavtseva, seed No.13 Francesca Schiavone, seed No.2 Caroline Wozniacki, Lucie Safarova, Ana Ivanovic and finally Jelena Jankovic.