Jankovic beats Sharapova for first time in four attempts

Updated: June 17, 2007, 3:15 PM ET
ESPN.com news services

BIRMINGHAM, England -- Jelena Jankovic won her fourth title of the year Sunday, beating Maria Sharapova 4-6, 6-3, 7-5 to capture the final of the grass-court DFS Classic.

Jelena Jankovic
AP Photo/Simon DawsonJelena Jankovic finally ended her frustration against Maria Sharapova, beating her for the first time.

Both players had to win semifinal matches earlier in the day at the rain-affected tournament. Sharapova also had two matches Saturday.

But despite falling behind after the first set, Jankovic came back to win her first title on grass.

"I felt a little bit flat some of the time to be honest," said Jankovic, a French Open semifinalist who has won on three different surfaces this season. "But I always fight, no matter what the score and in the final set I became more like the player I am."

Sharapova was two points away from a 4-2 lead in the second set. She also had a chance to break early in the third.

Before Sunday, Jankovic had lost all three of her meetings against Sharapova.

Jankovic will leave for the Netherlands on Monday morning to play in the Ordina Open.

"It's been like that all year," Jankovic said. "I just keeping pushing whatever the situation, and I feel mentally strong."

Tennis scores

Need the scores from any match played in this or any other tournament? Results

Earlier, Sharapova beat Marion Bartoli of France 7-5, 6-0 in the semifinals, and Jankovic defeated Mara Santangelo of Italy 6-1, 7-5.

Bartoli, who completed her suspended quarterfinal match early Sunday, beat third-seeded Daniela Hantuchova of Slovakia 5-7, 6-4, 7-5.

Sharapova's match against Bartoli was temporarily delayed when two spectators needed medical assistance in separate incidents. A woman and a child fell down a staircase, knocking the woman unconscious. In another part of the stadium, a man fainted.

A helicopter then landed on a nearby court at the Edgbaston Priory Club to assist. The woman was flown to a nearby hospital.

The helicopter seemed to distract Sharapova, who dropped her serve and trailed 5-4 in the first set before winning the next nine games.

The Associated Press and Reuters contributed to this report.

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