In the final tuneup before the US Open, Maria Sharapova topped Jelena Jankovic, both IMG Academy Bollettieri tennis program alums, in the championship match of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.
For Sharapova, it marks the second WTA title of the year and 24th overall in her distinguished career.
"It was a really tough one out there," Sharapova, who has won two Tour events in 2011 and is now ranked four in the world, told the WTA's official web site. "It was so physical, which is something to expect when you're playing Jelena.
"We kept breaking each other. It felt like one of us played a few good points then the other one, and the levels were up and down throughout the match. I'm just fortunate that at the end of the day, I'm the winner."
In last year's final against world number three Kim Clijsters, Sharapova squandered three match points to hand victory to the Belgian.
"I was so close last year, so it's nice to have that feeling of being the champion," the 24-year-old said.
"It wasn't really something I thought about coming in this week. I just knew I played some good tennis here last year, and I hoped I could take it a step further."