Ivanovic, Henin reach Roland Garros final

Wilson Blade 9

Ana Ivanovic of Serbia made it to the final of a grand slam tournament for the first time with a 6-2 6-1 demolition of world number two Maria Sharapova at the French Open on Thursday.

The 19-year-old Ivanovic, seeded seventh, performed close to perfection beating second-seeded Sharapova in just 65 minutes. At the end of the match, she had three match points, but sealed the victory on the first one with an ace.

“I knew I had to be aggressive from the beginning and that’s what I tried to do,” said Ivanovic. “I knew she was not a great mover on clay and I tried to play deep balls to put her under pressure.”

Russia’s Sharapova, who said last week that she felt like a “cow on ice” on clay, made too many unforced errors and looked helpless at times.

In the second semifinal of the day, the defending champion Justine Henin was yet again too good for Jelena Jankovic. Belgian Henin overcame Jankovic 6-2 6-2, and is seeking to become the first woman to win three consecutive French Open titles since Monica Seles in 1990-92.

“I expected a tough battle against Jankovic,” said Henin.

“All our previous games have been that way so I tried to take command right from the start.

“I think she took a heavy blow to her morale by losing her serve so easily at the end of the first set and that allowed me to open strongly in the second set.

“It will be a very hard match against Ivanovic.”

The 2007 Roland Garros finalists met only once, two years ago – they played on clay, in Warsaw, and Justine won 6-4, 7-5.

(sources: Reuters, BBC Sport)


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