Tokyo was no match for an all-business Blondzilla.
Maria Sharapova earned the first title since her return from shoulder surgery and 20th of her career by capturing the Toray Pan Pacific over an injured Jelena Jankovic. After losing the first two games the Russian broke out to a 5-2 lead in the opening set and won the first two points in the next game before JJ called the trainer. The Serb was forced to retire with a right wrist injury.
Shrieka, who also launched her Cole Haan Collection earlier in the week, was understandably thrilled to win her first trophy since her comeback and was appreciative of all the support this week:
I want to thank all of the fans for coming out here and supporting me, it meant a lot to me. To go from not knowing whether you'll ever play the sport again to holding a trophy, it's an unbelievable feeling. You realize what a gift it is to hit a tennis ball. I've put in so much work and this is just exciting.The 3-time Grand Slammer will move up to No. 15 in next week's WTA rankings.
I'm sure Shrieka is happy to get THAT monkey off her back. She went back to her old service motion this week and it seemed to be the right decision. Clearly her shoulder is feeling great which most likely gave her the confidence to let her game fly. Great news.
I'd say the Russian is setting herself up nicely for a strong start to 2010.