Sharapova in Paris

He's not going to help you, dear.

He’s not going to help you, dear.

If you were to learn that in a semi-final match at the French Open this year one of the players served a ghastly 11 double faults, had her serve broken five times in three sets (nearly twice per set) and tossed in a stunning 39 unforced errors, you’d probably speculate we were speaking about the loser of the match.

But no, it’s the “winner” of the match we were referring to.  Despite this horrific level of play Maria Sharapova, perhaps the luckiest human ever born to live, still managed to defeat her opponent Victoria Azarenka and reach the finals of this grand-slam event.

But maybe you think play this shoddy had to have been a freak occurrence? Hardly. In the match before it, Sharapova “defeated” Jelena Jancovic despite making even more unforced errors than she had against Azarenka, a whopping 45 of them, 15 more than she hit winners.  This time, her serve was broken “only” four times rather than five, so slight improvement there to make up for it.  But that didn’t prevent Sharapova from losing every single game in the first set against an opponent not even ranked in the world’s top 15 players.

In case you are keeping count, that’s EIGHTY-FOUR UNFORCED ERRORS in just two matches prior to the finals. Yet she still won.  For contrast, in her two matches before the finals Serena Williams had less than half as many unforced errors.

Sharapova ‘s luck didn’t stop there, though.

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Shame and Disgrace for Sharapova at London 2012

In order to make it to the gold-medal game at the London 2012 Olympics, American superstar Serena Williams needed to defeat Jelena Jankovic in the opening ground.  Jankovic is a former world #1, currently ranked #18. She has appeared in three grand-slam semifinals matches.

In that same round, so-called “Russian” Maria Sharapova only needed to defeat Shahar Peer.  Peer is currently ranked #58 in the world and has never ranked higher than #13 in her career. Peer has never once in her life been in a grand-slam semi.

This pattern continued throughout the tournament.  Williams then had to defeat current #13 and former world #2 Vera Zvonareva, who has appeared in two grand-slam finals.  Next was former world #1 Caroline Wozniaki, followed by current world #1 Victoria Azarenka, both current top-10 players.

And Sharapova?

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Sharapova Collapses at the All-England Club

On Day 7 at the All-England club, tournament organizers had a choice:  Who to put on Centre Court, the #1 woman in the world, and the reigning French Open champion, playing the #15, or the #2 playing the #14.

Apparently, it was a no-brainer.  The club thought that Victoria Azarenka, #2, would play a far better match than the #1, so-called “Russian” Maria Sharapova, so Sharapova was relegated to Court 1. It was a painful public humiliation for Russia’s “best” player.

But Wimbledon was wrong.  Azarenka blew her opponent off the court in straight sets, with her #14-ranked rival taking just one game.  The match involving Sharapova was a bit more competitive, with the straight-set loser claiming seven games instead of just one.

And Sharapova’s match was more dramatic for another reason:  The so-called “best” player in the women’s game was the loser. In a match that lasted just 84 minutes, Sharapova saw her serve broken four different times by a player not even ranked in the world’s top 10, and she won barely half of the points on which she got her first serve into play.

And Sharapova didn’t just lose the match and the chance at a grand slam title. She also lost her #1 ranking, after holding it for just one month, the same situation that prevailed the last time she held the top spot. She won’t even hold #2, which will be taken over by the current #3 who reached the Wimbledon finals. Ouch.

Sharapova’s brutal triple humiliation at Wimbledon proves how right we were when we reported that her ascending to the #1 ranking due to recent tournament wins in  Rome and Paris was nothing more than the same dumb luck that has characterized her entire career. Sharapova coasted through both of those tournaments never having to face a serious match from a top-ranked opponent.  As soon as she faced tough opposition at Wimbledon, she folded up like a house of cards.