Chances pay off for third Slam win
Then the 20-year-old Russian star dropped her racket in her chair before heading to shake hands and exchange high-fives with her father and supporters.
She clasped her hands and swayed as she stood, waiting to receive the Daphne Akhurst Trophy, then told the Rod Laver Arena crowd that she had received a text message from tennis great Billie Jean King telling her that “Champions take chances and pressure is a privilege.”
The Russian, seeded fifth, 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.
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.
It was Australia Day, so organizers put small national flags at each seat. But there were plenty of Serbian and Russian flags, too.
Most of the signs scattered around packed Rod Laver Arena were pretty clear, including one that said “Quiet please Maria,” referring to Sharapova’s high-pitched grunts that get louder and louder as pressure rises.
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.