With both players looking for a first major title it was understandable that they began in nervous fashion, but it was Ivanovic who looked the calmer as she soon moved a double-break clear.
The fear for Ivanovic supporters before the match had been whether her nerve would hold, and when she let a 40-0 lead slip in game eight to be pegged back to 4-4, it looked a reasonable question.
However, just when Safina needed to heap on the pressure she faltered and a series of errors handed the break straight back, and then helped Ivanovic come through an edgy service game to take the set.
The new world number one - who replaces Sharapova at the top of the rankings on Monday - needed no further encouragement and broke again in game three of the second set with a thumping forehand winner down the line.
And despite lengthy scraps in games six and seven, Safina could not get back on terms before, at 4-3 down, her resolve finally broke.
The Russian had saved match points on her way to beating Sharapova and Elena Dementieva in earlier rounds but there was to be no miracle comeback this time.
"I didn't have any more the fire that I had those matches," said Safina afterwards. "I was tired."
Three unforced errors put Ivanovic 5-3 ahead and Safina then failed to put the second seed under any pressure as she served for the title.
Victory was wrapped up in one hour 38 minutes and Ivanovic immediately headed into the stands to celebrate with her supporters.
"This was amazing," she said. "I still don't realise what happened. As a kid, when I used to go by bike to practice, I used to dream of this."
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