Former world number one Maria Sharapova of Russia wasn’t as perfect as against top seed Justine Henin, but she defeated Serbia’s Jelena Jankovic 6-3 6-1 without much struggle.
From the start of the match up until the very end third-seeded Jankovic was weak and without solution to Sharapova’s aggressive play. Injured and with tears in her eyes Jankovic wasn’t happy even when she made a perfect shot. She was disappointed and in the last game of the match she evidently gave up as she didn’t fight as in the matches that brought her to the semifinal.
We can say that tiredness and countless injuries have finally caught up with Jankovic, who took four pain killers to be able to play the match. I hope Jankovic will now take a long break and come back fresh and in top form.
Fifth seed Sharapova was not 100% a player who defeated the world number one in the quarterfinals, but still she was playing too good for Jankovic. Sharapova made quite a few unforced errors, but the problem for Jankovic was that those were practically her only sources of points. Jankovic made no aces and only eight winners, while Sharapova made eight aces and 30 winners! So, even though Sharapova was making mistakes, she was mainly dominant, precise, and aggressive.
In the first set Sharapova took a 5-0 lead before you knew it, but then Jankovic came back and won three consecutive games. However, that was where her strength ended. In the second set Jankovic was slowly fading away. She left the court for treatment after losing her serve in the opening game.
“I wanted to withdraw, but it was not fair for the crowd,” the 22-year-old Serb said.
“It’s a semifinal, so I played how much I could to finish the match”
In Saturday’s final, Maria Sharapova will play her second consecutive Australian Open final in hopes of winning her third Grand Slam title. Her opponent will be fourth seed Ana Ivanovic who came from a set behind to beat ninth seed Daniela Hantuchova in the semifinals. (photo via Maria Sharapova’s website)