Join Date: Dec 2003
Location: Among The Greats
Actually that match is only one win away....when Venus beats Ivanovic, she'll face Sharapova in the quarterfinals. (Oh by the way the 6th - 8th qualifiers for the YEC are Masha, Serena, and Venus!)
I think that if Venus plays the way she played against Sprem (a top 20 player), she will beat Sharapova no matter what Masha does. That's not so likely so in all honesty, if Richard, or Oracene did a good job of scouting out Masha and looking at the patterns she found herself in during her first match, Venus should have a pretty good idea of what kept that Hantuchova match so close. If Venus can keep her forehand side clean and hit lots of those beautiful down the line backhands, she should win, regardless of her serve.
Sharapova should win if she plays energetically (a la Serena match) and goes for everything, and it goes in....she kinda plays like Sprem with a lot more court sense (thanks to Bolliteri). If she serves bigger than Venus, and gets a HUGE 1st serve %, she might keep it close.
I think that Venus will win because she has more experience playing against players with lots of variety. Sharapova has not played players like Seles and Graf or developed career rivalries with Serena, Davenport, Dementieva, and other top players, so I think that Venus' experience should pull her through unless she has a dismal performance not unlike the 3rd round of the Oz Open, the quarters of the French, the 2nd round of Wimbledon, the finals of Bank of the West, and the quarters of Moscow.
This will be a good match of Wimbledon Champs, but I pick Venus to win in three tough sets.
Career Grand Slam in your 20s? Been there done that. Career golden slam your 30s?
There's only 1. Been around the world, copped all 4 thrice.