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Ivanovic squeaks through to final
World number four will meet Russia's Maria Sharapova in the Australian Open decider.
Last Modified: 24 Jan 2008 09:46 GMT

Ana Ivanovic was pushed to the limit as she fought back from 0-6, 0-2 down to win her semi-final [AFP]

Ana Ivanovic is through to her second Grand Slam final after a stunning comeback in her 0-6, 6-3, 6-4 win over Slovakian Daniela Hantuchova in the Australian Open semi-finals in Melbourne.
The 20-year-old Serb will play Maria Sharapova in the final after the Russian fifth seed easily defeated Jelena Jankovic 6-3, 6-1, after the third seed received treatment for a back injury during the match on Rod Laver Arena.
Ivanovic, who was a French Open finalist in 2007, later had to defend herself from accusations of gamesmanship directed at her from a disappointed Hantuchova who let a 6-0, 2-0 lead slip away.
 
Hantuchova criticised the fourth seed, saying the way she shuffled her feet before the server hits the ball, which results in loud squeaking, was off-putting and unfair.
 

"I was really surprised with that. I think it's unfair. It's a distraction to the server."

Daniela Hantuchova

"That was ridiculous, I think," Hantuchova told reporters.
 
"I was really surprised with that. I think it's unfair. It's a distraction to the server. We played before and she never did it."
 
Hantuchova said she had complained to umpire Alison Lang to no avail.
 
"In the first or second service game (she told the umpire), but she didn't do anything about it. I don't think that (the squeaking) was very nice."
 
Non-intentional squeaking
 
But Ivanovic said she did not deliberately make a squeaking noise.
 
"I just tried to move my feet, to return the ball, so it really was not intentional," Ivanovic said.
 
"If you see other matches I was doing exactly the same thing. It's just the way these courts play. And if you listen to the guys I think they're doing the same thing.
 
"And also, during the point, if I want to run with small steps around the ball, it was exactly the same thing. So maybe she was just trying to pick on something, to get upset."
 
Hantuchova gave Ivanovic little more than a cursory handshake at the end, having thought the Serbian had not got to the ball on the first bounce on the point that gave the fourth seed the vital break in the final set.
 
Sharapova to atone in final
 

Maria Sharapova is through to her second
successive Australian Open final [AFP]

Earlier, Sharapova blasted through to her second successive Melbourne Park final with a comprehensive drubbing Jankovic.
 
"I think that I've been able to execute the things that I've been wanting to do... and I've been able to do it consistently, not just for three, four games and then have a major letdown," Sharapova said.
 
"You have to be realistic, because you know that... you're never going to hit a winner on every single ball. It's just simply impossible.
 
"But you also have to try to maintain that level and really play your game and believe in yourself."
 
The tall Russian, who said before the tournament she felt she had been injured for 80 per cent of last season, has dominated her side of the draw and not dropped a set.
 
The 20-year-old Sharapova, a former Wimbledon and US Open champion, will be hoping to atone for her embarrassing 6-1, 6-2 loss to Serena Williams in last year's final.
Source:
Agencies
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