Maria Sharapova, fourth-seeded Russian, survived an erratic performance to win the Cincinnati WTA title, succeeding with 4-6, 7-6 (7/3), 6-3 over Jelena Jankovic of Serbia.
Sharapova, 24 years old, achieved her second title of the season after a success in Rome. She enhanced on her runner-up finish to Kim Clijsters here last year and gave herself a momentum increase before the US Open, the final Grand Slam of the season that begins on August 29 in New York.
After an aggressive start saw Sharapova get a 4-1 lead, Jankovic went on a roll, breaking the Russian three times in a row and getting the opening set when Sharapova double-faulted.
The shift recalled last year’s final, when Sharapova failed to convert three match points against Clijsters and ended up losing 2-6, 7-6 (7/4), 6-2.
In spite of a brook of voluntary mistakes, counting a total of 11 double errors, Sharapova finally got the second set, winning the last five points of the tiebreaker.
The third set begun with six straight breaks of serve before Sharapova held for a 4-3 lead.
Jankovic double-faulted twice to give up the following game, leaving Sharapova to serve out the competition after two hours and 49 minutes.
Jankovic, who has fought back, wrist and ankle injuries, was playing in just her second final of the season, after her runner-up finish in Monterrey.
This week came out to give her a golden chance, thanks to wealth of injury absences, with her game in shape.
Clijesters pulled out with the abdominal strain that will keep her from attempting for a third straight US Open title.
Venus Williams has sidelined by a virus, Serena Williams pulled out early with a toe injury and a hand injury urged third-seeded Victoria Azarenka.
Jankovic achieved the semi-finals on a walkover when Peng Shuai of China withdrew with a hip injury.