WTA Stuttgart, Final Recap: Sharapova d. Ivanovic, 3-6 6-4 6-1


Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova came from a set and a break down to defeat Ana Ivanovic and claim her third consecutive title in Stuttgart with a 3-6 6-4 6-1 victory.  This was a huge, huge win for Maria who has been struggling to find her best form after a long lay-off at the back end of 2013 with her shoulder.  Ivanovic was in tremendous form for the first set and a half, but just couldn’t get the job done.  She was ultra-aggressive on the return and absolutely creamed the Sharapova second serve in the first two sets,  standing well inside the baseline.  Sharapova won  just 7 out of 25 points on her second serve through the first two sets.  Ivanovic went up 5-0 in the first set.  The scoreline didn’t portray how close the set was as four of the five games went to deuce.  It looked to be getting a little dicey for Ivanovic as 5-0 quickly became 5-3, but she reined it back in with some sensational shotmaking and few fist pumping ajdes to win the opener, 6-3.

The turning point in the match appeared to come when Ivanovic had a break point at 6-3 3-2 in the second set.  Ivanovic produced another terrific return, but Sharapova pulled out the shot of the match, an absolutely nailed backhand down-the-line.  Sharapova is well known for her mentality on court and this match displayed it in it’s full glory.  As the rallies began to lengthen, Sharapova dug in DEEP in that second set.  She started to gain control of the rallies and once she took the second set, 6-4, she never let the match escape her grasp as she powered through the decider for the loss of just one game.

Ivanovic has been brilliant this week, but this was a tough loss.  She played some of her best tennis, had some great opportunities, but still could not get a first win over Sharapova since 2007.  Sharapova loves Stuttgart and this was her best performance of the year by a country mile. This has been one of my favourite tennis weeks of 2014 and I cannot wait for Stuttgart 2015…


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