After being humiliated by Serena Williams at the 2007 Australian Open women's final and failing to win more than a single title all year (Acura Classic) Maria Sharapova clearly showed up in Melbourne with a mission to win her first Australian Open title. Despite having a relatively difficult draw (dangerous floater Lindsay Davenport in round 2, No. 11 seed Elena Dementieva, No. 3 seed Jelena Jankovic and No. 1 seed Justine Henin) Sharapova has reached the final for the second consecutive year without losing a set.
Ana Ivanovic confirmed her status as the (higher ranked and) superior of the "Serbian sisters" by achieving her second Grand Slam final before her compatriot Jankovic has been in a single one. Even in their interesting quarterfinal match-ups of the Williams sisters versus Serbia, Ivanovic won her match more convincingly over much stiffer resistance. And then came Ivanovic's disastrous start of her semifinal match against Daniela Hantuchova where she lost the first 8 games in 45 minutes but somehow managed to reverse the momentum and win the match 0-6 6-3 6-4.
However, Ivanovic will need to not only be better than Jankovic, she will need to be playing at the level to beat a Williams sister in order to deny Maria Sharapova's her 3rd major title. It's unlikely, but not unthinkable that this coulld happen, but at least it would make for some delightful tennis to watch, which is what I really expect to see happen.
PREDICTION: Sharapova, in 3 sets.