MELBOURNE, Australia Maria Sharapova won the Australian Open without losing a set, wrapping up her third Grand Slam title with a 7-5, 6-3 victory over Ana Ivanovic today.
The fifth-seeded Sharapova was back in a final at a major for the first time since her 6-1, 6-2 loss to Serena Williams last year at Melbourne Park and determined to make amends for that against a fellow 20-year-old.
The Russian star was aggressive from the start and, apart from one bad service game in the first set that allowed Ivanovic back to 4-4, controlled the important points against a Serbian player for the second consecutive match.
Sharapova beat No. 3 Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals after ending top-ranked Justine Henins 32-match winning streak in the quarterfinals.
Ivanovic is 0-2 in Grand Slam finals she lost the French Open championship match to Henin last year.
Ivanovic, seeded fourth, saved two match points but sprayed a forehand wide to give Sharapova the title, to go with her wins at Wimbledon in 2004 and the 2006 U.S. Open.
On a hot, sunny day with temperatures reaching 93 degrees, people in the crowd were fanning themselves, and Sharapova retreated to the shade behind the baselines to gather herself between points.
Both players showed some nerves in the first set, with Ivanovic particularly shaky, committing 19 unforced errors to just six winners.
Serving at 2-2, Ivanovic set up double break point with a double fault, then sent a forehand long.
After holding serve the first three times at love, Sharapova returned the favor, committing three double faults while serving at 4-3, the last two at deuce to hand the game to Ivanovic.
But she shrugged off the setback, running off the last three games, breaking to go ahead 6-5. Taking every second possible between points, Sharapova then held at love.
From 3-3 in the second set, Sharapova ran off the last three games, breaking Ivanovic twice