Martinez Sanchez downs Jankovic, claims biggest career title with Italian Open

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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.

Martinez Sanchez now has three WTA singles titles, having won Bogota and Bastad in 2009.


  1. Congrats Maria!

    I really don’t know what is better…to beat both Serbs at a tournament of to beat the Williams sisters? Hehe, I do admit I am kind of sad JJ was not able to win a third time, but am happy that Maria mad her ultimate breakthrough!

    I did not watch the match, but I am sure JJ was outplayed due to the abundant drop shots and classical way of playing tennis–serve/volley game. Maria’s game is really weird, unorthodox and unique…that is why she is a really tricky opponent. However, I think she will not pass the Serbs (or anyone else she played in the past) at RG as they got her game down, and the surface at RG is much slower than in Rome. I don’t see any fatal weapon in her game aside from the drop shots. Ana has got the power, JJ the precision and agility…Maria? I really do not know.

    Another factor for Maria’s win could be that JJ was exhausted from the Serena match. There is no doubt that Maria had the easy part of the draw, but she deservedly won against JJ.

    I still think JJ is a big contender for RG this year as she is more mature and a fighter for A ! I think Anci will also make a nice run at RG. I really hope JJ can pull of a victory of Justine if she encounters her that would be amazing!

    Does anyone know how Maria Sharapova is doing? Is she ever coming back? lol…I kind of miss her.

    I was thinking of tennis, and came up with a great question you (Marija) should ask the readers. The question is as follows: If you had the opportunity to be trained by one of the top WTA Tour players, who would it be?

    I would actually like Venus or Serena to coach me. Petrova, Clijsters and JJ would work too! I must say… I would not like Viki or Wozniaki to train me! I feel as though we would not click.

    Hope everything is going well Marija! Is there any contests coming up?

    Cheers to you and all the readers!

    –PS: Sorry for this comment’s length…I cannot stop procrastinating! 😉

  2. BTW…just checked out draw for Madrid! ANA VS. JJ in the second round! I think it’s not fair that they play each other so soon do to their achievements in Rome, but nevertheless it will be an intriguing match to watch!

    I give the edge to JJ as it is played on clay, but Ana’s form can prove to be superior over JJ’s game.

    Also, I’ve answered my own question on Maria Sharapova! She is playing in Madrid. It is her first tournament in a long time!–GOO SHARAPOVA!

    I think many top seeds will fall out soon in order to start preparations for RG. I think that the Madrid tournament is not set at the right time as it is too close to a Grand Slam and players won’t play their best in order to save their best game for the major!

    So excited for RG…it will be a spectacle!

    hope everything is going well in Novi Sad Marija!

    PS–are you going to EXIT Festival this year?

  3. bb, I saw the match and I think first set could be Jelena´s. In the tiebreak, at 6-5 for MJMS( she was on the serve) she served 2nd serve JJ returned nice backhand “almost” winner which was on the line, noone called out and suddenly Asderaki said ,,correction the ball was good”! JJ shouted “how could u do that to me?!” It was really JJ´s point. It was awful mistake by the umpire. MJMS got 1st serve again and JJ was unable to return into court. So the match should end completely different.

    I would like to have as my coach Serena or MaSha cos they are very funny. Even though I like Vika, she wouldn´t be good coach cos she is soooooo hot-headed.

    About MaSha, she will play in Madrid and Strassbourg before RG. I miss her, too! And her beauty dresses 😛

  4. this is sooo typical of the serb players! i think jankovic went into the finals thinking she was going to win without trouble and of course her already massive head grew even more. she really needs to step up more on the bigger occasions- this is why she hasnt been able to win a grand slam

    btw bb… i think ana versing jelena is totally fair as ana has been playing totally s*** and quite rightly deserves her ranking. hopfully jankovic will win though

  5. Jelena isn´t proud anyway… and about Ana, everybody makes mistakes, u can´t be the best all the time. once u are up and once u are down.
    I don´t think u have a right to write this stuff about them. It´s not nice.

  6. I’ve never really liked maria since the serena match in roland garros. even though i’ve met and chatted with her photo and signature, i just dont like her.. not sure why really. i suppose cause she cheated

  7. Bb, in Rome it’s a bigger achievement to beat both the Serbs. 🙂

    Sharapova, she’s just lost to Safarova in Madrid. 😛

    That’s a great question for my readers, Bb. I will include it next month, I put it in my calendar and to-do list. 😉 I would like to be coached by Kuznetsova. She seems relaxed and cool, and is a very good player of course.

    Yes, I have a contest already prepared, but am waiting for a workload around my work to decrease and launch it. It will be next month.

    I know about Ana and JJ, hm, both of them could win, don’t know… Depends on their mental state.

    Yes, I’m going to the EXIT festival, I will even have two guests – one from Portugal and one from the Netherlands.

  8. I certainly hope so. It’s a pity that I’m really impatient though 😛 Are you willing to reveal anything about the upcoming contest? 🙂

  9. Bróna, sure, why not. It will be a very simple contest, simple to enter I mean, and there will be two winners. The prizes will be DVDs with yoga for tennis exercises. Haha I’m not mysterious person. 😀

  10. That’s a nice, interesting contest. And no, you’re not mysterious 😛 I’m not depressed anymore, Henin lost 🙂 (Sorry Henin fans)

  11. Well done to Martinez Sanches, who showed that tennis is not just about power. Her variety of shot won her this match. Way to go :-).


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