Russian Maria Sharapova has breezed past Anna Ivanovic of Serbia 7-5, 6-3 to win the women's singles title at the Australian Open in Melbourne, the first Grand Slam tournament of the 2008 season.
The 20-year-old Sharapova defeated the No. 4 seed Ivanovic Saturday in a match that lasted just 91 minutes on a hot day with temperatures reaching 35 degrees Celsius.
The victory gave Sharapova her first Australian Open championship, and is the third Grand Slam title of her career. She won at Wimbledon in 2004 and the U.S. Open in 2006. It also erases the bitter taste of her upset loss in last year's Australian Open final to American Serena Williams.
For Ivanovic, Saturday's loss was her second in a major tournament final - she lost last year's French Open to world No. 1 Justine Henin of Belgium.
The men's singles title match on Sunday will pit Novak Djokovic of Serbia against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Djokovic beat world No. 1 Roger Federer of Switzerland Friday while Tsonga downed No. 2 Rafael Nadal of Spain on Thursday.
Some information for this report was provided by AFP, AP and Reuters.