Maria Sharapova might decline the given Wimbledon wildcard. -
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post #1 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 02:51 AM Thread Starter
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Maria Sharapova might decline the given Wimbledon wildcard.

Sharapova reigns in silence
By Phil Shaw, at Edgbaston
13 June 2003

"Buena! Buena!" exulted Maria Sharapova's father, slipping into Spanish as the 16-year-old Russian disposed of another seed in the DFS Classic yesterday. Given the way his daughter had complemented her natural power with poise on the key points in her 6-0, 7-5 defeat of Switzerland's Marie-Gaianeh Mikaelian, perhaps he was calling "Bueno, Bueno".

In the four decades since Maria Bueno was a Wimbledon favourite, the women's game has been transformed almost beyond recognition. The Williams sisters are living proof of that. Yet the rise of Sharapova, who has soared from No 532 in the world rankings to the outskirts of the top 100 in just 15 months, highlights the relentless pace of change.

In the quarter-finals here today, Sharapova faces the toughest test of her fledgling career. She meets another Russian, Elena Dementieva, who is not only the No 1 seed and ranked 13th in the world but stands, like herself, a fraction under 6ft and shares her tendency to grunt on virtually every shot.

Or at least Sharapova did. After complaints from her previous victim, Nathalie Dechy, the only racket she employed against Mikaelian, the 11th seed and world No 39, was the one she held in her right hand. Her concentration or performance were unimpaired. "My dad [Yuri] said I played much better [without the noises]," she said.

The backhand was like a sword. The ground strokes, such as she needed in a match dominated by baseline rallies, were crisply timed. And the second serve was long, strong and confident, much like herself. She was last night given a wild card entry to Wimbledon, but had earlier suggested she might decline it because qualifying would offer extra experience on grass.

"I played really well and felt relaxed," Sharapova said, as if stating a fact rather than crowing. "The first set was easy. I just played like I've been doing and [Mikaelian] wasn't ready for that. She got it together more in the second set, but I raised the level of my game. That's telling me that I can compete with the top girls."

The extent to which that is true she will learn in her first tussle with Dementieva. The 21-year-old Russian No 2 won 4-6, 6-3, 6-4 in a fractious encounter with Marion Bartoli, of France, which came to the boil in a final set that featured five breaks of serve.

Bartoli appeared to be going quietly when she trailed 5-2. In the previous game, she had left Centre Court for five minutes to change a troublesome shoe. She then admonished Dementieva, shouting: "Don't keep calling the ball out when it's good. You're not putting me off." If anyone was distracted it was Dementieva, who found herself only 5-4 ahead and 15-40 down on her own service before recovering to win.

Dementieva later bemoaned the surfaces on which England's main summer tournaments are played. "It's impossible to play tennis here," she said. "You never know where the ball is going to bounce."

Sharapova is not the only qualifier still in the tournament. Maria Vento-Kabchi, of Venezuela, advanced by beating another French player, Virginie Razzano, 6-3, 6-3.

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post #2 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 02:54 AM Thread Starter
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I think the case is if Eastbourne gives a wildcard to Maria Sharapova per her request, she will accept the given Wimbledon wildcard. If not, she will decline and play in the Wimbledon qualies for extra practices....

We will find out the verdict tomorrow.... I am ok with both cases.

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post #3 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 02:58 AM
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well, she'll be seeded for the TOP seed
in her section in the qualies anyways....
just hope she wont meet people like
Janet Lee etc who likes grass too
in her section, or it's not a bad thing
to actually decline the WC entry
with such a confidence like hers..
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post #4 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 03:17 AM
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i think she should take the wildcard, but it's admirable that she's considering qualifying anyway. that tells me that she loves to just play tennis, no matter what the outcome. perhaps she'd like to play a good few matches and gain more and more confidence with each, but i don't want her to get tired. either way, i'll be rooting for her.
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post #5 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 03:20 AM
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Thanks for another good article, Sharky! I don't know what we would do without you!

But what's with Maria possibly turning down her Wimbledon maindraw wildcard? That would be insane! Qualifying matches aren't practice. Maria could have a bad day and lose or suffer an injury. I hope she takes the Wimbledon maindraw wildcard and takes a wildcard into Eastbourne's maindraw. I prefer that scenerio. But turning down a wildcard from Wimbledon is playing Russian Roulette! And it would embarrass The All England Club. And I don't think Maria wants to do that.

Now I'm worried, Sharky! Maria can't turn down the Wimbledon maindraw wildcard. Can she?

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post #6 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 04:48 AM
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I agree with the cat...Maria should take the Wimbledon wild card. If she's able to score wins over two Top 50 players, then she could definitely win a match or two once at Wimbledon.

Will her performance at Birmingham get her into the Top 100?
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post #7 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 04:55 AM
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i 4got injuries and stuff like that, thanks cat. rep is down, but ill get ya.
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post #8 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 05:18 AM
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She sounds so courageous! What a great attitude she has! She should take the wildcard tho...
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post #9 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 05:39 AM
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post #10 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 06:01 AM
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although playing qualies would be good for experience i would be worried about fatigue. if she plays like she is now then she could go a fair way into the tournament and she could get a bit tired if she plays qualies.

Go the aussies! stosur!!!
and good luck russians: dementieva, safina, kirilenko, sharapova, kuznetsova, bovina, zvonareva, dushevina.

also good luck to: azarenka, lucic, sprem, vakulenko, vaidisova, safarova, ivanovic, groenefeld, mirza, krajicek, kvitkova, larcher de brito, lisicki.
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post #11 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 06:08 AM
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Probably a stupid q but aren't they Russian? So why's her Dad "slipping into Spanish"?

Anyway, the sentiment is admirable but a wildcard into the main draw is not something to give away, especially since she's already played some good WTA matches.
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post #12 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 06:30 AM
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I agree with y'all. I think that Maria should take the Wimby wildcard! I hope that she gets a WC to Eastbourne and goes deep (maybe even get her first title!).

She sounds cool. I don't know that much of her but I like what I'm finding out!!

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post #13 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 07:14 AM
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Nice article!
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post #14 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 07:27 AM
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She'd get more points qualifying than if she took the WC. Also she'd get more practice like she said, and if she cant get through qualifying then it just means she wasnt meant to be in the main draw. Its better than if she took the WC and lost first round, like what happened in most other tounraments where she got a WC.
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post #15 of 37 (permalink) Old Jun 13th, 2003, 09:03 AM
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I hope she will turn it down. I love that attitude!

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