(CNN) -- New world number one Ana Ivanovic made up for last year's disappointment by claiming her first Grand Slam title with a 6-4 6-3 victory over Dinara Safina in the French Open women's final on Saturday.
The second seed became the first Serbian female to win a major crown as she bounced back from her 2007 final drubbing by the now-retired Justine Henin on the red clay at Roland Garros.
"Last year was a great learning experience for me," said Ivanovic after clinching the title.
"I am just so thrilled."
Henin, who announced her sudden retirement just ahead of the championship, fitttingly was on Philippe Chatrier court to hand over the Suzanne Lenglen trophy to her successor.
Safina, the younger sister of two-time Grand Slam winner Marat Safin, was unable to repeat her previous heroics in the Paris tournament.
The 22-year-old had reached the final of a major event for the first time after defeating previous top-ranked player Maria Sharapova, former U.S. Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and a third Russian compatriot in Elena Dementieva.
Ivanovic, two years younger, broke her her 13th-seeded opponent's serve in the opening game and did it again to love to take a commanding 4-1 lead.
However, Safina showed the determination which saw her save match points against both Sharapova and Kuznetsova and broke back twice to level at 4-4.
Ivanovic broke back immediately and managed to serve out for the first set despite being taken to deuce by the battling Safina.
The Russian then won her next service game to love, but lost the initiative again in the third game when Ivanovic won an epic 26-shot rally to take it to deuce and then broke Safina.
She held serve to go 3-1 ahead and Ivanovic again had the edge in another hard-fought game to make it 4-2.
Safina bravely held to cut the lead to 4-3 but Ivanovic was not to be denied and after winning her own service game gained three match points against the tiring Russian.
One proved enough as an Ivanonic return found it mark to clinch her fourth successive career victory against Safina, having won their only previous Grand Slam encounter at Wimbledon in 2006.
Ivanovic, beaten by Sharapova in the Australian Open final in January, was winning her second title this season.
|Most Viewed||Most Emailed|