A fascinating final between two former world No. 1 competitors Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic is scheduled to take place Sunday afternoon in the final of the 2014 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix Tournament in Stuttgart. Both reached the final with dominant straight sets victories and will be looking to put on a show for the German fans in attendance in Stuttgart. Check out the Sharapova vs Ivanovic Head to Head.
World No. 9 Maria Sharapova secured her place in the WTA Top 10 rankings with stunning straight sets victory over top seed and world No. 3 Agnieszka Radwanska, and later in the semi-final against Italian No. 1 Sara Errani. Her Friday performance was particularly dominant, as she stormed past Errani 6-1, 6-2 in under an hour. She is now just a win away from defending her first title of the season.
“The further you go in the tournament, the harder it gets, and I really wanted to step up today and produce a good performance,” Sharapova said. “The first tournament on clay is always tough – it’s important to improve with each match and I think I’ve done that this week.
“I know how good Sara is on the surface and I was extra ready to perform against her. She has a lot of experience and really knows how to play, so I had to take care of things on my side of the net.”
Ivanovic worked her way past the higher-ranked Serbian counterpart Jelena Jankovic on Friday with a straight sets victory to set up her third final of the season.
“I’m definitely relieved,” Ivanovic said. “The last game was a little bit of a drama. When she saved that match point when my ball hit the net cord, that was just an amazing point. But it was a great way to finish the match. I really tried to step in on the tight situations at the end – that’s my game.”
This is the second time that Sharapova and Ivanovic will meet in Stuttgart. They met at this event last year in the quarter-final round, which was a match that Sharapova won in straight sets en route to her title win a few days later. Not only does the top ranked Russian hold a 7-2 head-to-head record against Ivanovic, she has won their last six consecutive meetings – three of which took place on clay. Sharapova is also dominant on this surface, as she 3-1 against the Serb on the red dust, only losing in the quarter-finals of the 2007 French Open.
Ivanovic looked particularly strong in her semi-final match-up against Jankovic and is more than capable of pulling off the upset tomorrow afternoon, yet it is her inconsistency that makes her a difficult pick on this occasion. She does hold two title so far this season, while Sharapova is yet to defend any of her titles in 2014, but the former world No. 1 is in the best position she has been in all season and is playing on the surface she finds most comfortable, which is why she will ultimately win the match in three sets.
Prediction: Maria Sharapova in Three Sets