In an age where baseline tennis dominates the game, few expect old-fashioned serve-and-volleyers to have much success, but Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez defied the odds in Rome this week, taking out Caroline Wozniacki, Ana Ivanovic and Jelena Jankovic, in the final, to win the prestigious title. After the Spaniard's 7-6 (5), 7-5 victory, which included a stunning display of drop-shots and picture-perfect volleys, she told the press, "It was really an unbelievable tournament for me. What can I say? It’s incredible."
The 26th-ranked Martinez Sanchez blew a 5-2 lead in the first set, but was able to pull herself together when Jankovic took a 6-5 lead, snatching the first set from the Serb.
“She played so well,” said Jankovic, who also had a stellar week, defeating both Williams sisters to reach the final. “She really killed me with all those drop shots, and I killed myself falling all over the place.”