Women's Tennis Blog has been having a great week since our photographer Omar Boraby is in Cincinnati, but not that much of a great week technically, since some WordPress problems and other work obligations have prevented both Omar and me from bringing you more timely photos and reports.
What is important is that our WTA stars created the perfect showdown for us in the semifinals, most notably Ana Ivanovic, who did allow her opponent Maria Sharapova to come back and even serve for the match in the decider, but the Serb miraculously didn't melt away and saved two match points to beat the Russian in one of the most exciting WTA matches this year. Ivanovic earned a 6-2 4-0 lead, but Sharapova worked her way to a 7-5 win in the second set and even served for the match at 5-4 in the third. Then Ivanovic saved the two match points and double faults by Sharapova gave her a break back, the result was 5-5. In the next game Ivanovic crucially saved a break point and broke Sharapova yet again to win the rollercoaster 6-2 5-7 7-5.
This was not only one of the most exciting matches this season, but it is also notable because it rarely happens that Ivanovic claws back from wasting a huge lead, while it equally rarely happens that Sharapova doesn't capitalize when she recovers from deficits and earns match points.
Ivanovic's opponent in the final will be Serena Williams, who rallied past Caroline Wozniacki in the first semifinal. Having overcome a sluggish start, the top seed beat Wozniacki 2-6 6-2 6-4. Serena is the favorite against every player, including Ivanovic, but even though her head-to-head record against the Serb is 6-1, it's 2-1 this season, and all those three 2014 encounters were three-setters, so we can't disregard Ivanovic's chances.
More photos of Ivanovic and Williams you can see in our Wednesday's gallery from the Western & Southern Open!