Maria Sharapova has started her new 2015 season on a high, winning the Brisbane Tennis International by edging out Ana Ivanovic in a thrilling final.
The first duel between the Russian and the Serbian crowd favorites in 2015 was every bit as intense as experts & fans had hoped for, providing more than two and a half hours of exciting tennis that kept the fans on on the edge of their seats as Sharapova took the match 6-7(4) 6-3 6-3.
After Sharapova edged out a lead early into the first set, Ivanovic came rallying back, deciding the first set tiebreak in her favor. The Russian successfully regrouped in the second set despite Ivanovic’s very solid serving performance, forcing a third-set decider, much to the delight of the 12,315 fans in Brisbane’s Pat Rafter Arena.
Ivanovic left the court after the second set for a medical timeout to have a stomach taping redone. The Serbian was unable to swing the momentum back in her favour in the third set, as Sharapova successfully took her match point after more than 2 1/2 hours of exciting tennis.
Aside from securing her 34th career title and becoming one of the betting favorites for the upcoming Australian Open, Sharapova’s successful championship run also brings her in sight of taking over the #1 ranking, since the points gap to long-term rival Serena Williams is now down to less than 600 points ahead of the first slam of the year.
While both Sharapova & Ivanovic will now enjoy an off-week in their preparation for the Australian Open, Women’s Tennis Blog won’t slow down as we will bring you live coverage from the Hobart International starting next week.