At the latest WTA tour event, in Rome Italy, Maria Sharapova appeared in the finals against a Chinese opponent ranked well below her. The “Russian” player who has lived all her life in the USA saw her opponent win more points over the course of the match, and served a whopping 10 double faults (twice as many as her opponent). She also had a first serve percentage nearly 10 points lower. Sharapova’s serve was broken six times by her diminutive adversary, and she lost the first set and the first four games of the second set. Yet despite her unspeakably woeful play she still won the match, in a third-set tiebreaker, because her opponent spontaneously imploded, suddenly and for no reason playing even worse than Sharapova.
Sharapova’s crazy dumb luck didn’t start in the finals. Before that point, Sharapova was never asked to defeat a single one of the tournament’s top seeds. Based on the draw, it should have been necessary for Sharapova to defeat both the tournament’s #4 and #5 seeds in order to reach the finals, however not one but both of those top players lost before the round in which they would have faced the Russian. And if not those players, then Sharapova should have seen the #7 and #10, including Italy’s top player on her home court. But again, both of those players lost before they could down Sharapova, too.