Another Spectacular Sharapova Implosion

They say she's one of the most beautiful women in the world but . . .

They say she’s one of the most beautiful women in the world but . . .

What happens when the world’s best American female tennis player meets the world’s best Russian? It’s not pretty, we can tell you that.

In the semi-finals of the WTA tour event in Miami, Florida last week, so-called “Russian” tennis player Maria Sharapova, the #3 seed, should have had to face the #6 seed, Angelique Kerber. But not only did Kerber get eliminated from Sharapova’s half of the draw before Sharapova could face her, so did the #11 and the #15 seeds, meaning that in her semi-finals match Sharapova only needed to beat the lowly #22 seed, journeywoman Jelena Jankovic, which she easily did. To reach the semis, Sharapova only needed to beat the #8 seed.

By contrast, American Serena Williams needed to beat the #4 seed, Agnieszka Radwanskaya in her semi-finals contest, and she had to beat the #5 seeded player to reach the semis.

After lucking into the finals with Williams, Sharapova’s dumb luck continued as she raced out to an amazing lead against the American.  In the middle of the second set, she was up set and a break and then . . . she spectacularly and completely fell apart. She lost every single game after that, dropping the second set 3-6 and getting bageled in the third 0-6.  By the time the smoke had cleared, Sharapova had lost a stunning ten games in a row.

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The Decline and Fall of Russian Women’s Tennis

At the U.S. Open this year, Russia started out with ten women in the singles draw and just a puny four of them seeded.    The draw sheet symbolized the virtual disappearance of Russian players, who some not long ago were claiming would “dominate” the sport, from the top ranks of the women’s game; Russia has only one player, Maria Sharapova, ranked in the top 10 in the world, and Sharapova lives and learned to play tennis in the USA.

By the time play had concluded, Russia’s decimated ranks had done nothing to salvage Russian honor.

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Another Spectacular Implosion by Maria Shamapova

How much luckier could so-called “Russian” tennis player Maria Sharapova possibly have hoped to be?

She made it to the finals of the gigantic WTA tour event in Miami, Florida, and looked across the net to see that Polish world #4 Agnieszka Radwanska was her opponent.  Radwanska had only beaten Sharapova once in eight prior meetings, and that was four years ago.  Since January 1, 2008, Sharapova is 6-0 against Radwanska, and in those six meetings Radwanska had taken a set off of Sharapova only twice.

Sharapova stands a full six inches taller than Radwanska, and outweighs her by at least ten pounds.  Radwanska had never won a tournament of Miami’s magnitude in her entire career, while Sharapova has won multiple grand slam titles. Sharapova was ranked and seeded higher in the tournament.

Yet when the dust settled after the match, Sharapova had lost to her diminutive Polish opponent in straight sets.  She had reached the finals in three of the four tournaments she had entered this year, and lost every single one of them.  Not only did she not even manage to win a single set in any of her three finals appearances this year, collapsing spectacularly 0-6 then 3-6 and now 4-6 to Radwanska, but she was not even vaguely competitive in any of them.  She had three break-point chances and did not convert a single one against Radwanska, while the the tiny Polish woman broke Sharapova twice with four chances.

Sharapova is supposedly the “best” female tennis player Russia has, yet she’s hardly Russian. She has lived most of her life in the United States and learned her game entirely there, and spends almost no time at all in Russia.  But Russia has only two other players in the world’s top twenty, and they are woeful non-entities at best.

Those who said Russian women were taking over the women’s game have been proven absolutely wrong. Instead of taking over they have disappeared, leaving only a quasi-Russian to lose spectacularly over and over again in finals appearances in their wake.

Once Again, Maria Sharapova Crashes and Burns

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.

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