Ana Ivanovic wins French Open
The newly installed world No.1 has her first Grand Slam title, beating Dinara Safina in the final
New world No.1 Ana Ivanovic has won her first Grand Slam title after defeating Dinara Safina 6-4 6-3 in the French Open final.
The 20-year-old Serbian banished the demons of her capitulation against Justine Henin at the same stage last year to dominate from the offset against the Russian, who was playing in her first Grand Slam final.
In a first set which included five breaks of serve, Ivanovic raced to a 4-1 lead before Safina, the No.13 seed, found her feet and began making her shots to fight back to 4-4. But the Serbian broke decisively to lead 5-4 and, despite facing break-back points as Safina rallied, eventually served out to take the first set.
A more purposeful Safina emerged at the start of of the second set holding to love in one of the few straightforward service games of the match for either player. But Ivanovic, hitting some great winners and drawing comparisons with Steffi Graf for her footwork and defensive play at times, was determined not to let another major final slip away.
The Serbian broke in the third game and never looked back. Safina, increasingly frustrated and indicating that a fiery temperament runs in the family once more, had no answer to Ivanovic’s forehand and superb defensive performance in the late stages.
The Russian, serving to stay in the match – a position from which she had won twice previously in the tournament – could not produce a third miracle, and was broken in the ninth game as Ivanovic sealed the title.