Sharapova triumphs in Memphis
MEMPHIS: Maria Sharapova put her disappointing Australian Open performance behind her Saturday, as she beat Sofia Arvidsson 6-2, 6-1 to win the WTA Tour's Memphis title.
The top-seeded Russian, playing in her first tournament since she crashed out of the first round of the year's first Grand Slam, didn't drop a set all week and capped her campaign with a victory over Swedish qualifier Arvidsson in 66 minutes.
"Coming in here, I asked for matches and I got five of them and I got the win, so I'm certainly happy," said Sharapova, who was expected to rise from 16th in the world to 13th on Monday.
"I felt like I played consistent tennis throughout the week and did the right things against all my opponents," said Sharapova, who spent almost a year out of the game with a shoulder injury in 2008-09. "I guess that's a good week.
"Little by little I'm getting there," she said. "The more matches I play, the more confident I get. From there, things will start to fall into place and the instinct will come back a little more."
She overpowered Arvidsson, ranked 102nd in the world, winning one stretch of nine straight games and winning 15 of the last 18 points in the first set.
"She was just too good," Arvidsson said.
Sharapova fended off three break points in the second set and served out the match with a love game.
"For me, it was about playing my game and being aggressive," Sharapova said. "I wanted to take the ball and try to do something with it instead of just letting her play her own game."
The men's event here will conclude on Sunday, when Sam Querrey and John Isner, newly named to the US Davis Cup team to take on Serbia next month, will battle for the title.
Sixth-seeded Isner beat Philipp Petzschner of Germany 7-5, 4-6, 6-3 in the semi-finals before eighth-seeded Querrey downed Ernests Gulbis of Latvia 6-3, 6-4.
"It's awesome," Querrey said of the pair reaching Sunday's final after making the Davis Cup team on Wednesday. "Kind of a confidence booster for us."
For the first time since 2000, neither Andy Roddick nor James Blake will be in the US Davis Cup squad.
Querrey will be making his second appearance for America while Isner will be making his Davis Cup debut.
Querrey ousted top-seeded Roddick in three sets in Friday's quarter-finals here.
Isner and Querrey are good friends and practice partners, but have never faced each other in an ATP match.