2005 Birmingham WTA Singles Results     Maria Sharapova, Champion


WTA: June 6-13 2005

DFS Classic Tier III
Edgbaston Priory Club,
Birmingham, GBR
$200,000 - 56 players - outdoor: grass

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# 2 Maria Sharapova
# 8 Alicia Molik
# 18 Jelena Jankovic
# 20 Tatiana Golovin

Tourney pages: Birmingham: 2006 - 2004 - 2003
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#2 Maria Sharapova, 6' 0", 130 lbs, RH, 2H-BH
    19 down, 7 to go: On Sunday, in the final of the DFS Classic at the Edgbaston Priory Club in Birmingham, England, the 2004 champ, 18-year-old top-seeded # 2 Maria Sharapova of Russia, became the 2005 champ by defeating 20-year-old 3rd-seeded # 18 Jelena Jankovic of Serbia & Montenegro, 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 (Maria is shown with the hardware after the match).
    Maria has now won 19 consecutive matches on chlorophyll courts, including all of her matches last year at Birmingham and Wimbledon; she must win 7 more (starting June 20) to retain her Wimbledon title.

    Maria won the tourney despite having a strained right thigh muscle and a cold. Maria said: "I've played five tough matches with opponents pushing me and I came through, so I'm going to take a lot of confidence from that... I played a really good first set. After that [Jelena] raised her game and played a few really aggressive games in the second set and there was not much I could have done... the final set, I played my game and went for my shots and it all came off.
    "It's a great feeling to win here again, I've not felt my best but I've battled through." Reuters story - LTA story

    Jelena was limited by a strained left thigh muscle, which required treatment at the end of the 2nd set. Jelena said: "It was just a question of whether I could continue, and that's why [the 3rd set] was 6-1. If I play my best I can beat her, but today I wasn't even close to the level I can compete at... I didn't play as well as the last few days. I didn't serve that well, which was probably the key, so that gave me a hard time today. I have to congratulate Maria though, she was just too good." AP story - WTA story

    18-year-old Maria Sharapova has now won 10 WTA singles titles in 12 finals, including last year's Wimbledon and WTA Championships. Maria serves very well (with an unusually strong 2nd serve), hits the ball great on the run (including an occasional left-handed forehand), and she can topspin lob. One thing Maria does not do is make very many trips to the net, although she is working on it.
    Maria wears Nike and chops with a Prince axe. Maria is currently using the Prince "Turbo Shark MP", a mid-size (100 sq." head) mid-weight (11.1 oz strung) evenly-balanced bat.
    Born in Nyagan, in the Siberian region of Russia, Maria started at the Bollettieri Academy in Bradenton, Florida at age 7, and still has a residence in Bradenton and receives coaching from Nick Bollettieri and staff. Maria spends time in California also, where she is coached by Robert Lansdorp, who helped Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Pete Sampras perfect their strokes. And Maria gets clay court training at the Equélite-Juan Carlos Ferrero Tennis Academy, near Villena, Spain.
Sharapova career record - Maria Sharapova Wallpaper - MariaWorld (many photos)

    20-year-old Jelena Jankovic was born in Belgrade, Yugoslavia, but now picks up her mail at Bradenton, Florida, home of the IMG Bollettieri Academy. Jelena is 1-3 in WTA singles finals, winning her title in her first final last year in Budapest. She also has 1 ITF singles title. Jelena, who did not start playing tennis until the relatively late age of 9½, prefers hardcourts and her backhand. Until recently, Jelena swung a Yonex MP-2i (Ultimum Ti Muscle Power 2i) axe, which was also fellow Bollettierian Anna Kournikova's weapon of choice until she was forced to leave the Tour in 2003 (now you can pick one up for only $99). Now Jelena appears to be using the Yonex NanoSpeed RQ-5, a 10.3-oz. (strung) 27.5" racket, 2 points head-light, with a stiffness of 68, and a 105 sq." head (they run about $170). Jelena wore adidas in her younger days, then switched to Lacoste togs, and just recently began sporting the Ralph Lauren Polo logo. At last report Jelena is still coached by Nick Bollettieri & Co.
Jankovic career record - JelenaJankovic.net

    Birmingham is the tourney that may have the lowest total prize $ to # of players ratio of the WTA Tour. The 56 players in the main draw (and 24 more who lost in qualifying) are there to get some time in playing on grass to prepare for Wimbledon, more than for the $200,000 prize money. Next week at Eastbourne, the last week before Wimbledon, there will be about half as many players, and over 3 times as much prize money.
    The main draw for Birmingham has 16 seeds, with 8 1st-round byes. There are 8 qualifiers, 1 Lucky Loser, and 4 wild cards in the main draw. Qualifying finals were on Sunday.
    Birmingham (daylight savings) time is GMT (UCT, ZULU) + 1 hour (US Pacific Daylight Time +8, EDT +5). Early round play begins at 11am local time, SFs Saturday at 1pm, and the Final at 2pm on Sunday June 13th.

The Wimbledon Centre Court scoreboard at match point during the 1977 ladies singles semifinal as Virginia Wade defeated Chris Evert, and advanced to defeat Betty Stove in the final, becoming the last British woman to win the singles title at Wimbledon-- a portion of a photo from Virginia's book Courting Triumph, click for book excerpts
s=seed, #=rank, *=upset, LL=lucky loser
ranks are for the previous week
How do players get into the "draw"?

click for Golovin news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search   click for Sharapova news photo search
right: Maria Sharapova practiced at the Edgbaston Priory Club on Monday; center: Motorola rep Yuri Sharapov
explains to his daughter how the new Racketphone™ will help her avoid that problem she had after the Wimbledon final last year;
left: Tatiana Golovin wants to know why everybody didn't get a Racketphone

Birmingham, 1st Round, Mon-Tues 11am
loser's prize: $580 US; points: 1
#35 s10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE d #101 q Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA 6-3, 6-2 Tue

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Nicole Vaidisova

#39 s11 Virginie Razzano FRA d #208 Carly Gullickson USA 6-4, 7-6(4) Mon
#41 s12 Evgenia Linetskaya RUS d #68 Abigail Spears USA 6-2, 7-6(4) Mon
*#103 Stephanie Foretz FRA d #44 s13 Anna-Lena Groenefeld GER 6-4, 6-3 Mon
*#123 q Milagros Sequera VEN d #47 s14 Lisa Raymond USA 6-1, 6-0 Tue
#50 s15 Maria Kirilenko RUS d #76 Yuliana Fedak UKR 6-3, 6-2 Tue
#53 s16 Samantha Stosur AUS d #86 An Serra Zanetti ITA 6-7, 6-2, 6-2 Mon
#54 s17 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN d #136 q Saori Obata JPN 7-5, 3-6, 7-5 Tue
#56 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #109 Maria Sanchez Lorenzo ESP 6-4, 6-3 Mon
*#111 q Evie Dominikovic AUS d #58 Meghann Shaughnessy USA 6-4, 7-6(5) Tue
*#69 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP d #63 M E Camerin ITA 7-6(4), 6-4 Mon
#64 Mashona Washington USA d #91 Tatiana Panova RUS 6-3, 6-3 Mon
#67 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA d #88 Roberta Vinci ITA 6-1, 6-2 Tue
#70 Sania Mirza IND d #166 Claudine Schaul LUX 6-2, 6-0 Mon
*#112 q Rika Fujiwara JPN d #71 Alina Jidkova RUS 4-6, 6-3, 6-3 Tue
#72 Akiko Morigami JPN d #227 wc Amanda Janes GBR 3-6, 6-1, 7-6(5) Mon
*#179 q Meilen Tu USA d #77 Marlene Weingartner GER 7-6(5), 6-2 Tue
#93 Anne Kremer LUX d #79 Tatiana Perebiynis UKR 7-5, 6-2 Mon
*#126 q Jamea Jackson USA d #80 Kristina Brandi PUR 3-6, 7-5, 6-0 Tue
*#87 Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #82 Yoon Jeong Cho KOR 6-1, 1-6, 6-4 Tue
*#120 wc Elena Baltacha GBR d #90 Alyona Bondarenko UKR 7-6(3), 6-1 Mon

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Elena Baltacha

    Alyona had defeated Elena easily in straight sets twice recently, in Fed Cup play and in the qualifying rounds in Rome, both times on clay. Elena said: "I was so nervous when I first got out there. But once I settled down, I started to serve really well and played much better. Once I got through the first set, I thought I raised my game and dominated [Alyona]. It wasn't my best performance, but it's a great sign when you can win when you don't play your best... I really wanted to get revenge today after losing to her twice on clay, so I was really pumped up to do well here. It's great to get my first win at Edgbaston, but I don't want to stop here, as I think if I play well I have a chance to go deep into the draw." LTA story

*#198 q Natalie Grandin RSA d #96 Ludmila Cervanova SVK 6-1, 6-4 Tue
#97 Laura Granville USA d #239 wc Anne Keothavong GBR 6-2, 6-0 Tue
#108 wc Nicole Pratt AUS d #81 LL Catalina Castano COL 7-5, 7-5 Tue

Birmingham, 2nd Round, Tues-Weds 11am Tue WTA story - Wed WTA story
loser's prize: $1,125 US; points: 9
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #93 Anne Kremer LUX 6-3, 6-0 Tue

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Maria Sharapova

    2004 Birmingham champ Maria said: "I had very good memories of the court as soon as I stepped back on it. I was a little bit nervous as it was my first match on grass, but as soon as I settled down, I felt really comfortable out there...
    "I'm trying to improve my game and experiment. I feel more confident when I am attacking and coming forward to the net. I can play really well at the net. It's just a matter of going there and putting my mind to it. I am not so one-dimensional anymore, so I know I have improved as a player since I was here last year." LTA story
    It was Maria's 14th straight win on grass courts, the other 13 coming last year at Birmingham and Wimbledon. Maria said: "I like the pace of the ball. I get a good advantage, especially with my height and serve. It's a very different game from last week [on red clay] and I like it."

*#97 Laura Granville USA d #8 s2 Alicia Molik AUS 6-4, 6-2 Wed

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Laura Granville

    Laura, who won the NCAA singles individual championship in 2000 and 2001 (her freshman & sophomore years at Stanford), then turned pro, has been playing mostly in ITF events this year. It was Laura's 1st win over a top-10 player; her previous highest-ranked conquest was over then # 12 Chanda Rubin at Scottsdale, Arizona in March, 2003.
    Laura did have a little help: Alicia is just returning from over 2 months off the tour due to an inner-ear infection which affects her balance. Alicia has not completely recovered, and her vision was impaired throughout the match. Alicia said: "It was by no means enjoyable. It was a very difficult task, but I'm remaining pretty positive. It's a very slow healing process. I've made a huge recovery over the last two months but [the illness] is still there. I struggle a bit with my vision. I guess the positive is that I got through the match. A couple of months ago I didn't think I would be back on court...
    "It's very frustrating; it's one of those things that you've got to work through. It's come at a time when I would have loved to have been able to go full bore... It would be great to get through a few rounds. I just have to take it step by step, as you can't predict the future. I have to work through it and can't get too caught up over it."
    "All credit to Laura, she played really well."
Sydney Morning Herald story - AP story - LTA story

#18 s3 Jelena Jankovic SCG d #70 Sania Mirza IND 6-1, 7-5 Tue

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Jelena Jankovic

#20 s5 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #198 q Natalie Grandin RSA 6-4, 7-5 Wed

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Tatiana Golovin

    Tatiana said: "I like the grass very much-- if you give the ball a good hit, it doesn't come back. I just need a little more time to get used to it, and then I will be perfect for Wimbledon... Today was a tough match. [Natalie] knew how to play on grass, so I'm really glad to get through."

#21 s6 Shinobu Asagoe JPN d #179 q Meilen Tu USA 6-1, 4-6, 6-1 Wed
*#69 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP d #22 s7 D Hantuchova SVK 6-4, 6(3)-7, 7-6(5) Wed

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Arantxa Parra Santonja

#26 s8 Ai Sugiyama JPN d #108 wc Nicole Pratt AUS 7-5, 6-4 Wed

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Ai Sugiyama

*#67 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA d #33 s9 Marion Bartoli FRA 6-3, 6-0 Wed
*#87 Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #35 s10 Nicole Vaidisova CZE 6-4, 6-2 Wed
*#64 Mashona Washington USA d #39 s11 Virginie Razzano FRA 6-4, 3-6, 6-1 Wed
*#56 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #41 s12 Evgenia Linetskaya RUS 4-6, 6-4, 6-4 Tue
*#126 q Jamea Jackson USA d #50 s15 Maria Kirilenko RUS 6-2, 6-3 Wed
#53 s16 Samantha Stosur AUS d #111 q Evie Dominikovic AUS 6-1, 1-6, 7-6(2) Wed
*#112 q Rika Fujiwara JPN d #54 s17 Maria Vento-Kabchi VEN 6-2, 6-2 Wed
*#103 Stephanie Foretz FRA d #72 Akiko Morigami JPN 7-5, 6-3 Wed c3 11am
*#123 q Milagros Sequera VEN d #120 wc Elena Baltacha GBR 6-4, 6-2 Wed

    Elena said: "It was a very difficult match. I served pretty well in the first set and had quite a few break points... Maybe things would have changed if I had won the first set, but [Milagros] read everything that I tried to do and she was so quick... My serve percentage went down in the second set and she got on top of me." BBC story

Birmingham, 3rd Round, Thurs 11am Thu WTA story
loser's prize: $2,180 US; points: 16
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #53 s16 Samantha Stosur AUS 6-3, 3-6, 6-1

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Right-handed Maria's toolkit includes
her standard 2-handed topspin backhand (shown above left), a 1-handed slice backhand,
and a left-handed forehand, which she uses occasionally when reaching for shots (shown above right)

    Maria is now 4-0 against Samantha, but does not take her lightly. Maria said: "[Samantha is] a much better player than when I played her last time. She served and volleyed today which she didn't do the last time I played her. She really pushed me in the third set but I think it's really good to push me... I enjoy the challenge of being pushed [because that's] when I have to figure out a way to win." Reuters story
    Samantha said: "I knew I had to be aggressive and dictate to [Maria] and, for the most part, I was able to do that. It was definitely the right way to play. The last two games against her have been tight and I've played pretty well both times, so that is something to be happy about, even though it's disappointing to have lost...
    "Everyone knows what a great hitter of the ball Maria is from the baseline. But on these courts you have to rush her and not let her get set for a shot, and I did that. But you have to do it for three sets and keep everything going 100 percent." story - AP story

#18 s3 Jelena Jankovic SCG d #123 q Milagros Sequera VEN 6-1, 6-4
#20 s5 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #112 q Rika Fujiwara JPN 6-4, 6-4

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Tatiana Golovin

*#56 Anna Chakvetadze RUS d #21 s6 Shinobu Asagoe JPN 6-4, 6-4
*#87 Eleni Daniilidou GRE d #26 s8 Ai Sugiyama JPN 6-3, 6-3

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Eleni Daniilidou

#64 Mashona Washington USA d #69 Arantxa Parra Santonja ESP 6-2, 6-4
#67 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA d #103 Stephanie Foretz FRA 2-6, 6-3, 6-3

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Tamarine Tanasugarn

#97 Laura Granville USA d #126 q Jamea Jackson USA 7-6(5), 6-4

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Laura Granville

Birmingham, QFs, Fri 11am WTA story
loser's prize: $4,230 US; points: 30
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #87 Eleni Daniilidou GRE 7-5, 2-6, 6-1

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Maria wasn't looking too happy while being treated for a thigh strain during the 2nd set,
but she came out strong in the 3rd

    In the 2nd set Maria took a medical time out for a right thigh injury. Although her leg seemed OK after treatment, Maria lost 4 of the next 5 games, giving Eleni the 2nd set. Maria then won the 3rd set easily, 6-1, the same score by which she had won the 3rd set of her 3rd round match against Samantha Stosur on Thursday. AP story
    Maria said: "All credit to [Eleni], as she played well... I fought really hard out there... From the beginning of the match, I wasn't playing well, had no timing, and wasn't serving well... It was one of those days, when you feel like everything is hurting and you have no energy. I just went out there and did the best I could." LTA story

#18 s3 Jelena Jankovic SCG d #64 Mashona Washington USA 6-2, 6-4

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Jelena is shown testing the grass to see what it might feel like if she fell on it...
...all right, she did fall on it, but was unharmed--
Jelena, who had a 4-4 record on grass coming in to this tourney, now has won 3 straight on chlorophyll

#20 s5 Tatiana Golovin FRA d #56 Anna Chakvetadze RUS 6-4, 7-6(3)

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Tatiana Golovin

    Tatiana will play Maria Sharapova in a semi that is a rematch of last year's Birmingham final, in which then # 20 Maria defeated then # 65 Tatiana 4-6, 6-2, 6-1. Tatiana said: "I'm looking forward to a good match. We haven't played each other since here last year, but we played so many times when we were younger [at the Bollettieri Academy] that we know each others games well."

*#97 Laura Granville USA d #67 Tamarine Tanasugarn THA 6-4, 6-3

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Laura Granville

Birmingham, SFs, Sat 1pm WTA story - LTA story
loser's prize: $8,220 US; points: 55
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #20 s5 Tatiana Golovin FRA 7-5, 6-1

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Maria serving, Tatiana's backhand, Maria's backhand, and Maria after match point

    Maria said: "I was relaxed today but made a few sloppy errors. I wasn't serving great, but this match was much better than the others."
    Maria has been winning despite a right thigh strain and a cold. Maria said: "I don't feel 100%. I don't have much energy and have a sore throat. I'll take a couple of days off after this week and hope for better weather. My thigh strain is okay, it's from bending and stretching, which is normal on grass... I have plenty of time to be ready for Wimbledon. As far as the pressure [of defending my title], I just cope with it, just go about my business and don't think about it too much. It's normal for people to expect me to do well."

    Tatiana was troubled by a twisted ankle, and by an infected cut in her right foot. Tatiana said: "My foot held up well in the first set but then I slipped on the grass and the bandage came loose. At the beginning of the second set it could have gone either way. I definitely have to rest my foot. To play against top players you have to be 100%. If you get to a Grand Slam quarterfinal, you have to have some matches against these girls. It's been good preparation for Wimbledon. I feel comfortable on grass and I mentally got through a couple of tough matches here."

    About playing Jelena Jankovic in the final on Sunday, Maria said: "I will just go out and play my game. I've never played [Jelena] on grass, so it's going to be different than our other matches. Our first match went to three sets at the US Open, so I can't expect an easy match."

#18 s3 Jelena Jankovic SCG d #97 Laura Granville USA 6-2, 6-2

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Laura's slice backhand, Jelena's topspin forehand

    Jelena said: "I started the match well, and broke in the first game, which gave me an advantage throughout the match. My serve was going so well that [Laura] never had the chance to break me, and that was the key... I didn't expect to be in the final. I didn't know how to play very well on this surface. I practiced twice before the tournament... Before, when I was learning to play, I was a bit lost. The balls were too low."

Birmingham, Final, Sun 2pm
loser's prize: $16,000 US; points: 85
winner's prize: $31,000 US; points: 120
#2 s1 Maria Sharapova RUS d #18 s3 Jelena Jankovic SCG 6-2, 4-6, 6-1
Birmingham, Doubles Final, Sun
loser's prize: $4,760
winner's prize: $9,250
cdr39 s2 Ai Sugiyama & Daniela Hantuchova d cdr115 Eleni Daniilidou & Jennifer Russell 6-2, 6-3

Birmingham, Qualifying Finals, Sun Jun 5
loser's prize: $300
*#123 Milagros Sequera VEN d #81 Catalina Castano COL 6-3, 6-3
*#126 Jamea Jackson USA d #95 Aiko Nakamura JPN 6-4, 6-0
#101 Stephanie Cohen-Aloro FRA d #187 Els Callens BEL 6-2, 7-6
*#198 Natalie Grandin RSA d #102 Shenay Perry USA 6-4, 6-3
#111 Evie Dominikovic AUS d #158 Vilmarie Castellvi PUR 6-3, 6-2
#112 Rika Fujiwara JPN d #333 Sarah Borwell GBR 6-2, 6-4
#136 Saori Obata JPN d #176 Sofia Arvidsson SWE 4-6, 6-3, 6-3
*#179 Meilen Tu USA d #148 Jennifer Hopkins USA 7-6(5), 3-6, 6-2

Birmingham, Withdrawals
#19 s4 Elena Likhovtseva RUS left thigh
#29 Magdalena Maleeva BUL shoulder & rest
#36 Flavia Pennetta ITA
#125 Chanda Rubin USA chronic left knee

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