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Thursday, January 24, 2008

Maria Sharapova vs Ana Ivanovic: Who will Win?

Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic are the two finalists of Australian Open 2008. Sharapova confirmed a place in the final with a smashing straight-sets victory against Jelena Jankovic, while Ivanovic had to put on every bit of her effort to get over the semi final against Daniela Hantuchova, after a poor start in the three-set victory. Both Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic are in their prime form now.

Maria Sharapova has come back strongly after an injury-pronged last year. The Russian was handled a tough draw in the competition with the second round meeting with Lindsay Davenport, and world no. 1 Justine Henin in the quarter final, both of them are former champion of Australian Open. To be honest, I had never seen anyone before to dominate over Henin in such a way as Sharapova did with taking a bagel 6-0 in the second set of the two-set victory.

Boston.com reported:

"You have your bad moments in your career and you have your good moments, and it's been a good ride so far," she said. "But it's not over yet.

"In a Grand Slam where I've had good success but some tough endings, I still believe at the end I'll always have more opportunities."

On the other hand, Ana Ivanovic has also been at her great form with improved physical fitness. The Serbian, though, had a successful last year; she was not in such a dominating form. Having defeated Venus Williams in the quarter final, Ana Ivanovic posed a threat for the tournament favorites. Now, she has made it to the final of the tournament getting only Maria Sharapova as her last hurdle to win her first grand slam title.

Ahead of the match, Ivanovic has been full of praise about Maria Sharapova. Referring her success in the tournament, Ivanovic has termed her as a big fighter. However, she has also indicated that she will fight for each point.

Canadian Press reported:

"Maria has had a good tournament ... beating Justine in two sets," said Ivanovic. "It's going to be definitely a very, very tough match."

"It's just the way these courts play," she said. "I just tried to move my feet, to return the ball, so it really was not intentional."

"She's definitely a big fighter and she never gives up," Ivanovic said. "That's also something I feel like we have a little bit in common - I also try to fight for each point.

Regarding the final match, Maria Sharapova has commented that whoever it is, she just want to play great tennis as she is looking forward to play in the final again.

Canada.com reported:

"I really hope I take advantage of having the experience behind my back," Sharapova said. "I'm looking forward to being in the final again, and whoever it is, I just hope I can produce some great tennis."

Well, considering recent form of Sharapova and Ivanovic, it seems that Maria Sharapova is favorite in the match. She also has more experience than the Serbian. However, what is the advantage of Ana Ivanovic is that she seems to be fit both physically and mentally and has huge confidence in her. Pointing out today’s semi final, I would like to mention that Ivanovic could manage to win over Daniela Hantuchova not only with her tennis skill; rather it was embedded on her mental strength, because it is very difficult to win a match after losing first eight sets of the match. It needs lots of confidence. This confidence and mental strength along with her improved physical fitness will help her when she takes on Maria Sharapova in the final of Australian Open 2008 tournament.

That is why, I will not go for any prediction regarding the result of match as it would have no meaning. What I would like to say is that the player who will be able to hold her composure and play according to her merit will have better chance, because if you go back to the performance of them, you can see that both of them are full of potential and it is very difficult to say either of them is favorite for the final of Australian Open 2008 tournament. I hope that Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic will come up with their best from in the final and present a classic match for the fans of tennis world.

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