In a battle of former World No. 1s players, current World No. 7 Maria Sharapova of Russia will take on World No. 14 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia, who is chasing her first title of 2011, in the final of the 2011 Cincinnati Open. Sharapova has had got the better off the Serbian in their past meetings and we can expect something of that sort in this final too, until Jankovic produces something sparkling.
Besides adding substantial points to their Rankings, a title win here will certainly come as a momentum-booster for former World No. 1s, Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic – they will square off in the final of the 2011 Cincinnati Open, a WTA Premier Event, being played here at Cincinnati, Ohio.
Maria Sharapova, who has 23 titles to her name, rallied past her fellow Russian Vera Zvonareva, 2-6 6-3 6-3. The Russian bounced back brilliantly after losing the first set and did not allow Zvonareva to settle down after that in her semi-final duel on Saturday. On the other hand, Jankovic did not have to work that much hard like Sharapova, as she edged past Andrea Petkovic 7-6(4) 6-1 to reach the final here.
Three Major champion Maria Sharapova started off very well in the American summer hard-court season with some consistent wins under her belt. Despite an amazing European spring with a title in Rome and a runner up finish at Wimbledon, Sharapova seems to have taken a backseat in the crucial summer hard-court season as with early exits from both Stanford and Toronto most recently to little known opponent Galiina Voskoboeva, the Russian has lost confidence in her new improved game plan. But, she has been making great improvements here and looking good to clinch another title. Sharapova has a good 35-10 win-loss record this year and has a WTA title to her name.
Sharapova’s opponent Jankovic has a good 31-15 win-loss record this year, but she has not won any title yet in 2011. Jankovic who reached the 2008 US Open final has 12 titles to her name so far in her career. This year, the Serbian did not even make it to the third-round of the three Majors this year.
In head-to-head, Sharapova leads with a 5-1 against Jankovic. Last time they met in Tokyo in 2009, where Sharapova was leading with a set when Jankovic decided to retire. Obviously, Sharapova looks in a far better position to win this clash.