It seems like only yesterday that so-called “Russian” tennis player Maria Sharapova was crashing and burning in the All-England club in the Wimbledon final. Playing a lower-seeded opponent, Sharapova was blown off the court in straight sets after just 85 minutes on the court. She struck a hideous total of just ten winning shots, saw her serve broken five times, tossed in six double faults and won just seven of nineteen games played.
But it wasn’t Wimbledon, that was last year, it was the Australian Open that took place yesterday, and saw Sharapova once again reaching the finals and collapsing just as spectacularly. The match lasted just 82 minutes this time, even shorter than the last one, and Sharapova made a ghastly 30 unforced errors compared to just 12 by her opponent. She failed to win a single game in the second set and again saw her vaunted serve broken five times. Her second serve, supposedly one of the best in the game, totally failed, resulting in just three total points won in the entire match. After reaching 3-3 in the first set, breaking her opponent’s opening service game, Sharapova did not win a single game the rest of the way through the match, losing nine straight.
By the numbers, here is now Sharapova’s Aussie Open performance stacks up against what she did at last year’s Wimbledon:
Time of match: three minutes shorter.
Games won: Four fewer.
First serve percentage: 14 points lower.
Aces: two fewer.
Winning percentage on first serve: five points lower.
In other words, she’s clearly getting worse, not better.
Though claimed as Russia’s top-ranked player, Sharapova hasn’t lived in Russia since she was a child and speaks English without an accent. She learned how to play tennis in Florida, where she owns her own home. She’s about as Russian as apple pie. But thank goodness Russia claims her, since every time she steps on the court she humiliates the country she plays for with banshee-like screaming as she strikes the ball followed by total, non-competitive failure.