Tennis / womens tennis
Maria Sharapova Beats Wozniacki with Authority. Is She Ready to Win Titles Again?
Lately, a lot of dramas and misfortunes surrounded Maria Sharapova's career and it looked like former no.1 would never play her best tennis again. However, it looks like Sharapova has left all the injuries and doping issues behind her and is ready to prove her authority at the courts again. Today, at times Sharapova looked as good as ever and that is why she found a way to prevail against last year's champion Caroline Wozniacki. Img Source First Set Wozniacki saved 3 break points in the first game of the first set and that boosted her enough to win 3 out of 4 upcoming games. It sure looked like Sharapova was not playing on the same level with Wozniacki who consistently put the ball back to the court and provoked Sharapova to take bad shots. However, things totally changed after 5 games, when Sharapova started hitting the line and making her shots. Maria Sharapova is not the most consistent player in the world because she relies on heavy hitting and taking risks. That is why she might lose to the no.100 player one day and beat anyone inside of the top 5 the next day. You never know what to expect from Sharapova as she is capable of hitting winners just as much as making frustrating double faults. Today, we saw the good part of Sharapova for most of the match, and she deserved to win. Anyway, Sharapova won the upcoming 5 games and prevailed in the first set 6-4. Even though Wozniacki was not playing bad, she just couldn't do anything against Sharapova's heavy hits and balls which hit the line. Wozniacki showed a lot of frustration as the ball kept landing on the line and Sharapova kept increasing the number of winners. Second Set I like Caroline Wozniacki because she never backs down. Last year, when she won AO, Wozniacki put quite a show against Halep and won only because she was determined and never stopped fighting. That is what we saw in the second set which was decided in the 10th game when Wozniacki converted her first set point and broke Sharapova's serve. Sharapova started hitting the ball a little tight and made 4 double faults in the second set. It was obvious that she felt a lot of pressure and knew that Wozniacki would not give up after the first set. As for Wozniacki, she kept playing her consistent game and used every single opportunity that Sharapova presented. Third Set Many viewers, including myself, thought that Wozniacki would break Sharapova early in the third set and would go on to win the match as she had the momentum on her side. However, Sharapova had some other ideas in her mind as she started serving much better and defended her serves throughout the third set. So did Wozniacki up until the 7th game. I do believe that the crucial point of the match was the 6th game of the third set when Wozniacki put some pressure on Sharapova's serve and went to 40:40. However, the Russian put some big serves, found a line a couple of times and managed to defend her serve. Do you know what usually happens when a player feels that he had a chance to break his opponent but doesn't do it? Well, usually that player feels a little disappointed and cannot concentrate in the upcoming game which leads to many breaks. That happened to Wozniacki as well as she lost the upcoming 3 games and let Sharapova win 6:3. Of course, Sharapova was brilliant in the last 3 games as she hit some huge winners and returned the ball perfectly. To be honest, I think Sharapova did not play this well for the last 3 years. It really looks like she can finally forget all the drama and concentrate on her game which is a good thing. My Thoughts Women's tennis is evolving at a very fast pace, and I do believe that in 10 years most of the women who play today would not even make to the top 10 in their primes. We already see what girls like Sabalenka are capable to do. And now, she was destroyed by the 17-year-old prodigy Anisimova. That girl is crazy. Anyway, today's women tennis is all about heavy hitting and ladies that find a way to over-hit their opponents usually win. Shot selection is not that important in women tennis compared to men tennis, where shot selection is probably what makes you the best. As for Sharapova, she showed today that she is ready to get back to the top at the age of 31. That is good for her. I do have a feeling that she might go deep into the AO this year and might even win if she continues to play like today. And from her previous matches, it looks like her good form is not going anyway. Talking about Sharapova's personality, I understand that there is a lot of controversy around her, especially because she is coming from Russia, a country which is facing a huge doping crisis lately in most of the sports. However, I must stand with Sharapova on this topic as I want to give her the benefit of the doubt. I don't think that Sharapova was trying to cheat on purpose and I am pretty sure that she will be clean for the rest of her career. She might not be the most favorite players on tour lately, but I do wish her good luck for some reason. I guess I just enjoy watching her play as she is very aggressive and risk-taking on the court. A couple of upcoming years will be the last chance for Sharapova to win a few more major titles in her career so she should focus on tennis now and leave everything else behind. In a couple of years, I am pretty sure that young girls like Osaka and Sabalenka will be dominating the tour. Sharapova should make the best out of the upcoming few years if she wants to finish her career with more than 5 Grand Slams.