John Wertheim - Sharapova Done?
A busted serve is often a pretext for a busted psyche. (See Anna Kournikova, Elena Dementieva, Wee Willie Coria et al.) And once the serve goes, the rest of your game can crumble in a hurry. It changes your whole outlook. Michael Richardson of Europe notes that, "on points won on second serve Sharapova has dropped to a low percentage, which now places her 83rd among the top 100 players. Compared to other top 30 players it puts her in last position, tied with Dementieva, who also scores 40 percent points on her [killer of a] second serve."
I spoke with a Hall of Fame player who thinks this is really serious business for Sharapova: "I worry she's done." I don't agree with that. How many times have we seen players (Andy Roddick comes immediately to mind) go through a rough patch, play their way out of it and resume their careers just fine. Give Sharapova a few months to iron out her motion and clear her head and she'll be fine.