Williams beats Sharapova decisively in straight setsVenus Williams came out on top once more in a match against Maria Sharapova played in Seoul’s Olympic Gymnastics Hall yesterday. Williams was also victorious the last time the two met, defeating the world's number one ranked Russian in the Wimbledon semifinals in July.
This time around, the seventh-ranked American won two sets to love (6-4, 6-4) at the Hyundai Card Super Match. The two have played each other four times, splitting the matches two apiece.
Most recently Williams won the Wimbledon championship this year and made the quarterfinal of the U.S. Open, where she lost to Kim Clijsters of Belgium, who went on to win the title last week.
The two played a heated match from the opening game of the first set ― spectators held their breath when the two played to a third deuce. Nearly 90 percent of the 15,000 seats available for the match were filled with cheering fans of the two players.
In the ninth game of the first set with four games won by each player, Williams broke Sharapova's service game and took the first set.
Sharapova led 2-0 initially in the second set, but the score reversed on unforced errors and soon Williams led 3-2. Sharapova levelled to 4-4, but a calm Williams finished the set and match off easily.
Sharapova wore a blue and yellow outfit, while Williams sported a purple creation of her own design.
Williams received $20,000 in prize money and Sharapova won half that amount, but the two donated the money to a childcare facility. They left this morning for China to play in the Chinese Open starting next week.
Sharapova said that the court was bouncy and she felt that her serves were poor and too fast allowing Williams to return them effectively.
The two players took part in a number of events over the last five days including autograph sessions at a department store in southern Seoul on Saturday.
Sharapova said she had a good time last year when she won the Hansol Korea Open and was glad that she was invited to Korea again.
Sharapova and Williams appeared on an MBC TV show on Sunday and gave tips on playing tennis to young Korean players attending the Seoul Junior Tennis Academy.
When Sharapova appeared at the Seoul Olympic Gymnastics Hall before the young players, they greeted her with huge applause.
Sharapova has a huge following in Korea after winning the open in Korea last year, but changes in WTA regulations did not allow her to defend her Hansol title this year.
by Hur Jin-seok, Limb Jae-un