And the winner by knockout…(Hint: She practiced in an empty swimming pool)…

…Ana Ivanovic won her semifinal match against Maria Sharapova in convincing fashion (6-2 6-1). When it comes to the participants this is the most beautiful tennis match that I've ever seen. Sharapova and Ivanovic both look like models! But more importantly they're both great tennis players! What I anticipated to be a much closer affair turned into a one sided smack down. Speaking of beauty, Ivanovic played beautiful tennis and was never threatened throughout the match. Sharapova never looked comfortable out there on the clay today and managed to only hold her serve once in the match. It's well known that clay is Sharapova's worst surface and she admits to that. The 6 foot 2 Russian has never been one with great footwork and Ivanovic exploited that to perfection. Ivanovic is also tall at 6 feet but is much more comfortable on the red dirt. While Sharapova's power game got her to this point, farther than she's ever been at Roland Garros it was Ivanovic who seemed to hold the power game today. Watching this match it started to look like a tennis clinic. Ivanovic floated on the court with smooth strokes and she made it shockingly look too easy. Especially when considering her opponent across the net. Sharapova holds 15 titles including 2 Grand Slams (Wimbledon & the U.S. Open) but has been shut out so far this year. She did make the Final at the Australian Open earlier this year where Serena Williams simply destroyed her in straight sets. Sharapova is currently ranked 2nd in the world and today really was an off day for her. I feel that at times she was going for too much too soon without trying to work the points more. The thing about playing on clay is that you need to be willing to rally long exchanges and tough it out. On a faster court (any other surface) Sharapova's game works perfectly as her laser shots have her opponents scrambling from side to side. Clay just negates that power slowing down the ball and Sharapova needs to learn to be more patient on the red stuff. She did make it to the semifinals! So I'm not looking at this as a negative result no not one bit. The next Grand Slam is Wimbledon and I'm sure that Sharapova will shine there!

Ana Ivanovic holds 3 titles with 2 of them coming this year! At about 6 feet tall it was awesome seeing her power through the match today. Ivanovic is currently ranked 7th in the world and that ranking will go higher after the French Open. It's this 19 year old's first trip to a Grand Slam final where she will meet the most dominate woman on clay right now, Justine Henin. Henin has won 3 out of the 4 last French Opens and has done it in impressive fashion! All hopes of an all Serbian final were crushed when Henin demolished Jelena Jankovic 6-2 6-2 in the other semifinal. Ivanovic was an incredible vision of power and grace and she'll need all of that and more if she has any hope of defeating Henin in the final. I'll be rooting for Ivanovic to win her 1st Grand Slam but Henin is such an incredible clay court player and actually great on all surfaces and the odds are really stacked up against her for this final. To win at Roland Garros would really be something special for Ivanovic. Just think of all the greats that never won here: Connors, McEnroe, and Sampras just to name a few.

Ivanovic when just 5 years old saw Monica Seles and immediately knew what she wanted to do. At about the age of 11 her dreams of tennis hit a wall when NATO warplanes began bombing sites in an attempt to oust the Serbian president. The sites were isolated though and she did manage to continue playing and used tennis to relax amongst the chaos. The most interesting thing about Ivanovic's rise to tennis greatness is perhaps where she practiced the game. An unused Olympic swimming pool in Belgrade. They drained the water out and laid down carpets making 2 "tennis courts." She says that the area was so small that you couldn't play crosscourt and had to play down the line all the time. :O And you thought you had it tough!

An edit to the previous related post: Ivanovic and Sharapova's head to head record was 1-1 before this match today. While Sharapova struggled with her serve throughout this tournament Ivanovic's serve kept gaining strength as she went on. Sharapova's serves were around the 95 mph mark for most of the tournament although she did step that up today reaching 114 on the radar. Ivanovic served very consistently and many were around the 113 mph range and she even delivered an ace which reached 117 mph! 117 mph! That's really awesome! When it came to nerves this being Ivanovic's biggest match of her career up to this point, there simply were none. She looked incredibly relaxed and comfortable throughout the entire match. Some players get tight when trying to close out a match but Ivanovic showed no signs of that at all. She was so poised out there. I'm really looking forward to the final! Henin the #1 ranked player in the world vs. Ivanovic. Henin is an unstoppable force on clay so I'm not getting my hopes up too high but I'm still hoping for a competitive match and if things go well maybe just maybe Ivanovic will raise the trophy when the dust has settled.

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About MorningBerryz

Lover and free spirit who's interests in Japanese culture and the like are insatiable. I am of pure Japanese/Okinawan descent, love my cats, sleep and am a bit naughty at times :).
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4 Responses to And the winner by knockout…(Hint: She practiced in an empty swimming pool)…

  1. You're obviously knowledgeable about tennis too!
    -Wow! racing, tennis, japanese music, collections…. -What else are you in to?

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  2. Dark Knightingale I used to like to play guitar and basketball but I injured my pinky on my left hand playing basketball and since then I've stopped playing guitar. Funny how that worked out. 4 of the guitars that I still have are collecting dust bunnies in the closet or at least their cases are. I'll put up pics of them soon. Other than that not too much. I'm a real homebody nowadays. My pinky is perfectly normal and straight it's just that it doesn't straighten up all the way but it closes all the way fine. Doctor said that he could break it to fix it and I said I'll come back and never went back. Heheheh.

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  3. Can't say I blame you for not going back…! -I don't think I would have either!!!
    I've never broken a finger (knock on wood…) but I don't use my pinkie much when I play. (Gee, if I did, would I play better??? he he he)
    I never really cared much for sports. -Wasn't ever really good at it, wasn't ever really interested in it, and I am still not in to it. My interests are pretty simple… I like music, movies (collecting them too!), I collect some coins, and I like to drive.
    However, I DO like the pics you post of a lot of these things you're in to… (-keep 'em coming!!!)
    -I like lots of things, but I don't get in to too much. -It gets too distracting and expensive, so I try to keep it simple.
    I pretty much go just to work, and stay home. -I could go off on a whole post about why, but I probably won't.
    You're very good at what you do, and I'd say keep it up!
    -No rush or nothing, but I look forward to those pics of your guitars!!!

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  4. Yes when he said "break it" that didn't sound like a good idea! I just kept picturing a needle and then a big hammer. :O Thanks Dark Knightingale I try to do the best with my limited computer power. lol. Besides music I like to collect movies too. I watch something every weekend and when there are no new releases that interests me I pick something from my collection to watch. It's a great way to laugh, cry, or be scared. I've seen some really bad movies that made me want to cry since I'd already bought them. LOL. I've gone into the storage and taken out the 4 guitars that I stilll have. They need to be polished!

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