What do you guys think? Is Maria'game starting to finally somewhat resemble her past game?
No. She was very reactive out there, and in the past, she really painted the lines.
However, there is one aspect of her game I never really appreciated before today's match. The first four games were horrible for her. Henin was doing whatever she wanted, Sharapova couldn't serve, Henin's dropshot was exposing her footspeed, and it was windy and raining. 99% of the tour takes their check and goes away in that situation, and it's a 2 set win for Henin.
Sharapova didn't really start playing that
much better. She started playing smarter. She stopped putting Henin in positions where Henin could expose her footspeed, she got her own dropshot working, and she actually played defense, not one of her strengths.
And Henin's level actually dropped a bit. If that match had concluded today, I think Sharapova would have won, because she was showing herself as mentally stronger. Not that Henin is metally weak, but that was quite a display of detemination and competitveness by Sharapova. On that
level, she really impressed me today.