Sharapova Makes Statement With Wimbledon Win - TennisForum.com
 
LinkBack Thread Tools
post #1 of 4 (permalink) Old Jun 26th, 2004, 07:32 AM Thread Starter
Senior Member
 
tennisIlove09's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2002
Posts: 44,073
                     
Sharapova Makes Statement With Wimbledon Win

Sharapova Makes Statement With Wimbledon Win

Photo By Art Seitz By Richard Pagliaro
06/26/2004

The streaming series of shots came from close range, wide angles and virtually every area of the Centre Court. Maria Sharapova seldom seemed to notice any of them.
As photographers and fans snapped away at two of tennis most photogenic players, a fiercely focused Sharapova was so riveted on the ball throughout today's third-round showdown with Daniela Hantuchova it looked like she was searching for stray strands of felt as each shot approached. Playing picture-perfect tennis for much of the match, the 13th-seeded Russian ripped 25 winners and won six consecutive games to close out an impressive 6-3, 6-1 conquest of Hantuchova.

It was a win worth framing.

In producing perhaps the best performance by any woman in the field during this Wimbledon fortnight, Sharapova surged into the fourth round for the second straight year and made a strong statement that she is a championship contender.

The final score doesn't accurately reflect the finality with which Sharapova dominated this match.

The 17-year-old Sharapova was always several steps faster and typically a shot better than the 2002 Wimbledon quarterfinalist. Movement has never been Hantuchova's best asset, but Sharapova not only beat Hantuchova to the ball, she beat her in all phases of the game.

The Sharapova serve set the tone for the match. Launching her lean frame up and out into the court, Sharapova slammed five aces, won 27 of her 29 first-serve points and did not face a break point in the match. Sharapova, who dropped just eight points on serve in the match, consistently caught the corners of the service box with deep deliveries that handcuffed Hantuchova.

Clad in similar sheer white Nike dresses that clung to their frames, the long-legged duo both came to court dressed for success and it didn't take long for Sharapova to separate herself from the woman who beat her in their lone prior meeting.

Pace is a preferred ingredient for both players, but Sharapova's power and speed provided her with a decided advantage and her ability to hit on the run resulted in several stunning winners. Even when she was stretched out wide, Sharapova still came up with strong shots.

Serving to stay in the opening set at 2-5, Hantuchova drilled a deep drive into the corner and was beginning to walk away in anticipation of the next point when a streaking Sharapova sprinted to her her left, swiftly switched her racquet to her left hand and whacked a left-handed forehand winner crosscourt that landed inside the sideline. A surprised Hantuchova shook her head and smiled at the spectacular shot, but by then it was clear the Slovak couldn't shake Sharapova.

In the next game, Sharapova showed off her agility while dancing backward to retrieve a deep Hantuchova return she flicked a forehand winner down the line off her back foot to reach set point at 40-0. Stepping up to the baseline, Sharapova smacked a second serve that rattled the racquet in Hantuchova's hand and bounced harmlessly to the side of the court as Sharapova walked to her court-side seat with a one-set lead.

The 21-year-old Hantuchova held to open the second set, but it proved to be the last lead she would hold as Sharapova simply overwhelmed her the rest of the way. An ace down the middle gave the blonde baseliner a match point and she closed out the one hour, one-minute triumph when Hantuchova netted a backhand.

Sharapova's success on grass and her model good looks have provoked comparisons to another striking Russian "ova", 1997 Wimbledon semifinalist Anna Kournikova. But while tennis is just a photo-op for Kournikova now, Sharapova competes like a player who sees the big picture and envisions herself maintaining a prominent place in it.

Today's third-round exit of second-seeded Anastasia Myskina means 31st-seeded Amy Frazier stands between Sharapova and her first major quarterfinal. Should she win that match, Sharapova would play either 11th-seeded Ai Sugiyama or Tamarine Tanasugarn for a spot in the semifinals.

Earlier this week, former Wimbledon winner Lindsay Davenport, who could face Sharapova in the semifinals, helped the young Russian locate the locker room for the high seeds. Based on the way she played today, Sharapova may not need much help to find her way to the final four.

"I really want to win the tournament. If it's not this year, I want to win next year," Sharapova said. "I just want to win it. It's my goal. And I'm here, I'm here to win it."
tennisIlove09 is offline  
Sponsored Links
Advertisement
 
post #2 of 4 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 2004, 06:39 AM
Senior Member
 
VeraNuVirgosFan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2003
Location: Southeast Asia
Posts: 5,728
 
Thank you very much for the article!


YVera Brezhneva
of Nu Virgos * ВИА-Гра
Vera – You are my #1!! Я тебя так благодарна!!


* Maша Sharapova * Nicole V * Venus * Лена Dementieva * K-Lina Šprem *
VeraNuVirgosFan is offline  
post #3 of 4 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 2004, 07:15 AM
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Jul 2002
Location: Palo Alto, CA
Posts: 394
                     
"I really want to win the tournament. If it's not this year, I want to win next year," Sharapova said. "I just want to win it. It's my goal. And I'm here, I'm here to win it."

Maria just summed up the feeling of everyone remaining in the draw.

Current Tennis Era: Serenaissance (since 2007)
Nobody's Perfecc is offline  
 
post #4 of 4 (permalink) Old Jun 27th, 2004, 09:50 AM
Senior Member
 
Edward.'s Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 12,473
                     
It was such a good article....

...Then they brought up the Anna comparison....again.

Edward. is offline  
Reply

Quick Reply
Message:
Options

Register Now



In order to be able to post messages on the TennisForum.com forums, you must first register.
Please enter your desired user name, your email address and other required details in the form below.

User Name:
Password
Please enter a password for your user account. Note that passwords are case-sensitive.

Password:


Confirm Password:
Email Address
Please enter a valid email address for yourself.

Email Address:
OR

Log-in









Human Verification

In order to verify that you are a human and not a spam bot, please enter the answer into the following box below based on the instructions contained in the graphic.



Thread Tools
Show Printable Version Show Printable Version
Email this Page Email this Page



Posting Rules  
You may not post new threads
You may post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Trackbacks are On
Pingbacks are On
Refbacks are On

 
For the best viewing experience please update your browser to Google Chrome