PDA

View Full Version : Andrew's Australian Open reports


andrewbroad
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:12 AM
My analysis of the draw

Maria's eighth:

81. SILVIA FARINA ELIA [15] v Julia Schruff
83. Marta Domachowska v qualifier
85. qualifier v Katarina Srebotnik
87. Stéphanie Cohen Aloro v MARY PIERCE [24]

89. SHINOBU ASAGOE [28] v Anca Barna
91. Na Li v Laura Granville
93. qualifier v Lindsay Lee-Waters
95. qualifier v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]

Qualifiers can be tough opponents, as they have by definition already won three matches to reach the main draw. But the rankings of qualifiers at Grand Slams are much lower than at WTA tournaments, and I think the only one who could hurt Maria at all is Sesil Karatantcheva (1 in 12 chance, assuming Karatantcheva wins her third qualifying round), who took a set off Maria as a 14-year-old at Indian Wells last year.

In the second round it's the same argument re. qualifier, or #91 Lindsay Lee-Waters, whom Maria thrashed 6-1 6-3 at the same stage of last year's Australian Open (and 6-2 6-1 at ITF Frisco 2002). Easy pickings for Maria (unless by a slightly less than 1 in 6 chance she gets Karatantcheva before the third round).

The third round could be much tougher against #33-ranked Shinobu Asagoe, who ended Maria's WTA breakthough at Birmingham 2003 6-2 2-6 7-6 in the semi-finals, and Maria got her revenge 6-2 3-6 6-0 at Miami 2004. Asagoe is very much on form - she was runner-up to Katarina Srebotnik at Auckland last week, although she benefitted from two retirements en route to that final.

But we shouldn't discount Laura Granville as another potential third-round opponent. Maria struggled past Granville 6-3 5-7 7-5 at the US Open 2004, although Granville's recent form does not favour her against Asagoe, or even against Na Li.

And then in the fourth round, Maria could face Mary Pierce, who beat her 4-6 6-2 6-3 in the third round of the US Open 2004 - their only meeting so far.

But Pierce has been struggling with a shoulder-injury recently, so maybe her sector will go to seed and Maria will instead face 32-year-old Silvia Farina Elia, who reached the semi-finals on the Gold Coast last week and also beat Maria 7-6 6-0 at Rome 2004.


I really fancy Maria's chances of reaching the quarter-finals, and I would love her fifth meeting with Vera Zvonareva to take place here. It's always a high-quality competitive match when they play each other, with Vera's aggressive form of defence and tremendous fighting spirit providing the perfect foil for Maria's spectacular power-game of many winners.

Maria and Vera have a healthy rivalry - their head-to-head is 2-2 (all four matches took place in 2004), and they are friends off the court. But Maria's wins over Vera came at the French Open and the WTA Tour Championships, while Vera's wins were in regular WTA tournaments (Memphis and Montréal).

Unfortunately Vera's chances of making the quarter-finals are not so good, as she would probably have to beat US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the fourth round.

Maria lost to Kuznetsova 6-1 2-6 7-5 at Wimbledon 2003, and 6-2 6-2 at Beijing 2004. But she got her revenge at the WTA Tour Championships, beating Kuznetsova 6-1 6-4.

Maria could play 7th seed Serena Williams in the semi-finals - whom she beat 6-1 6-4 in the Wimbledon 2004 final and 4-6 6-2 6-4 in the WTA Tour Championships final!!

Or it could be second seed Amélie Mauresmo in the semi-finals, who has beaten Maria in their only meeting (7-5 6-4 in the round-robin section of the WTA Tour Championships). But I'm hoping that the dangerous Samantha Stosur - a finalist in Sydney this week after receiving walkovers in both her quarter-final and her semi-final - will get rid of Mauresmo in the first round.


Full Australian Open draw:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/ws/

My full analysis of the draw:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/1696

Maria is at Melbourne Park already, practising for the Australian Open. She even got to hit on the Rod Laver Arena!
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=46

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

DrChemicalX
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:36 AM
good stuff

Andy.
Jan 14th, 2005, 08:23 PM
Thanks for the report thats a really good analysis

andrewbroad
Jan 15th, 2005, 05:58 AM
81. SILVIA FARINA ELIA [15] v Julia Schruff
83. Marta Domachowska v Ting Li [Q]
85. Elena Baltacha [Q] v Katarina Srebotnik
87. Stéphanie Cohen Aloro v MARY PIERCE [24]

89. SHINOBU ASAGOE [28] v Anca Barna
91. Na Li v Laura Granville
93. Zsófia Gubacsi [Q] v Lindsay Lee-Waters
95. Sesil Karatantcheva [Q] v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]

I said Karatantcheva was the one potential qualifier I was worried about Maria having to play, and by a 1 in 12 chance, they do play each other in the first round! :eek:

Karatantcheva is a 15-year-old currently ranked #109, who gave Maria an almighty scare at Indian Wells last year after threatening to "kick Maria's ass off" because Maria was "too scared" to play her at the Nick Bollettieri academy. Maria won that match 3-6 6-3 6-2, so it's important for her to hit the ground running this time.

How Karatantcheva qualified:
1q + Chanelle Scheepers, 6-2 7-6
2q + Maria Fernanda Alves, 6-3 6-3
3q + Shahar Peer, 6-4 7-5

So she struggled quite a bit to beat players I've barely even heard of, but I still regard her as a much bigger threat than any of the other 11 qualifiers would have been.

I hope to God that Maria has fully recovered from the virus with which she withdrew from Hong Kong.


Full Australian Open draw:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/draws/ws/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

andrewbroad
Jan 15th, 2005, 10:06 PM
Those in the bottom half of the women's draw (and top half of the men's) will play on Monday:

Vodafone Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 1r: SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [5] v Jessica Kirkland [Q]
MS 1r: Scott Draper v TOMMY ROBREDO [13]
MS 1r: Guillermo García-López [Q] v CARLOS MOYÁ [5]
WS 1r: Sesil Karatantcheva [Q] v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]

Davai Maria!

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/


Maria Sharapova article from CEEFAX p.494:
>>>
Russia's Maria Sharapova goes into the Australian Open confident she can follow up on last year's Wimbledon win.

"I'm very excited to get the new year under way. I've had an amazing year and learned a lot.

"I've had a really good off-season. I worked really hard at the things that I thought I needed to improve.

"I feel ready mentally and physically and I hope everything works out," said Sharapova, who faces Bulgarian Sesil Karatantcheva on Monday.
<<<

Maria's dream is to become world number one:
"It's very important. If it doesn't happen, I'm not going to die. But that is my dream and I hope I can achieve it. But anything can happen in life. You can get injured and your career is over, so I'm just taking it one day at a time."

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

Andy.
Jan 17th, 2005, 02:01 AM
Maria seems confident against Sesil she will need to be on top of her game. Thanks for the report again

faust
Jan 17th, 2005, 04:35 AM
good luck maria hope i can watch your game...

andrewbroad
Jan 17th, 2005, 08:30 AM
Maria opened her 2005 Grand Slam campaign by giving 15-year-old Sesil Karatantcheva a tennis-lesson that lasted exactly an hour.

I followed live score-updates at www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com/). The match started at 17:58 AEST (06:58 GMT).


FIRST SET

Shara 0-0: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, held
Karat 0-1: 0/15, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken for 0-2.

Two very fast games for Maria!

Shara 2-0: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Karat (BP), broken
Karat 1-2: 0/40 (3 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Shara (BP), broken for 1-3.

Maria got away with not winning the first of three break-points.

Shara 3-1: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, held.

Maria was in trouble on her serve again. What a difference between 3-2 on serve and 4-1 with a break!

Karat 1-4: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, held
Shara 4-2: 30/0, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Shara, held
Karat 2-5: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, 40/30, held
Shara 5-3: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15 (2 SPs), Maria won first set 6-3 at 18:32.


SECOND SET

Karat 0-0: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/40, broken.

(Scoreboard was updating two points at a time.)

Shara 1-0: 40/0, 40/15, held
Karat 0-2: 0/40 (3 BPs), broken
Shara 3-0: 0/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken
Karat 1-3: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad Shara (BP), Deuce #2, ad Shara (BP #2), broken for 1-4.

Maria had me worried for a while there, but surely she is out of the woods now. A feisty young upstart like Karatantcheva probably doesn't know when she's beaten, but it's an awfully long way back for the qualifier.

Shara 4-1: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, 40/30, held.
Karat 1-5: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 MPs), Maria won 6-3 6-1 at 18:58.

Maria - like all great champions - went for the jugular at the end.

Maria's statistics weren't great, but Karatantcheva's were very poor. Maria had a winner:unforced-error ratio of 15:26, Karatantcheva 4:18. No aces from either girl today.

Maria got 59% of first serves in, winning 62% of points when she did so, and 60% on second serve. Whereas Karatantcheva got 43% of first serves in, winning 41% on first serve and 38% on second serve.

Maria broke 6 times from 10 break-points; Karatantcheva had two break-points and converted them both.

Maria will play the winner of Lindsay Lee-Waters and Zsófia Gubacsi in the second round. At the risk of jinxing Maria, I predict another, even easier win.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

Szymanowski
Jan 17th, 2005, 02:00 PM
Thankyou andrew, your reports are of the highest standard :)

Andy Mac
Jan 17th, 2005, 08:44 PM
thnx andrew

Andy.
Jan 17th, 2005, 08:47 PM
I saw the match and Although she made some errors her shot making and power were terrific. She seems to have gotten stronger. With the rust out of her game she is going to be a contender.

Andy Mac
Jan 17th, 2005, 09:31 PM
hell yeah...shes gotten WAYY stronger man!

andrewbroad
Jan 18th, 2005, 08:14 PM
(Bottom half of WS draw, top half of MS draw)


Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MS 2r: Karol Beck v TOMMY HAAS [16]
WS 2r: Lindsay Lee-Waters v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]
MS 2r: Rainer Schuttler v ANDRE AGASSI [8]
(start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 2r: Sophie Ferguson v NADIA PETROVA [11]
MS 2r: ROGER FEDERER [1] v Takao Suzuki

Davai Maria!

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/


Maria on first-round opponent Sesil Karatantcheva:

"She's a very dangerous opponent, especially in a first round match. But I knew what to expect. Very aggressive player. I just played a good, solid first-round match. You can't expect the best from yourself, but meanwhile it's good to get through.

"Like I've said before, I cannot win everything. You never know what can happen, and I'm still developing my game. It's not that I won a Grand Slam and all of a sudden I'm going to win everything. I understand that. That's why my game is still a work in progress."

Maria on becoming ambassador for Moscow's 2012 Olympic bid:

"For Moscow to host the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games would be a dream for me and millions of other Russians. I'm looking forward to helping explain why Moscow should host the Games. Russia has a very strong history of sports, and having the Olympic Games in Moscow would be a new and brilliant chapter in that history."

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

faust
Jan 19th, 2005, 05:33 AM
nice report...and i think maria's really breaking well...

!!!--Duiz™--!!!
Jan 19th, 2005, 05:52 AM
Interesting reports....

andrewbroad
Jan 19th, 2005, 08:55 AM
I don't know whether it was the fierce Australian heat, or some lingering effects from her recent stomach-virus, but Maria was given an almighty scare against Lindsay Lee-Waters, who I had expected to be a pushover.

In a match of almost unbearable tension, Maria won 4-6 6-0 6-3. The last two sets were much tighter than the scoreline implies, as Maria had to fight hard for almost every single game.

Maria "looked exhausted, running a bag of ice over her neck and shoulders between games as temperatures rose to nearly 95 degrees."
[ http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/news?slug=ap-australianopen&prov=ap&type=lgns ]

Lindsay Lee-Waters is a 27-year-old American who only recently started playing full-time again after having a baby in January 2001. But according to ITV Teletext (UK), she surprised Maria with an impressive display of power in the first set.

I followed live score-updates at www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com/). The match started at 15:09 AEST (04:09 GMT).


FIRST SET

Shara 0-0: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad Shara, held
Lee-W 0-1: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, held
Shara 1-1: 30/0, 40/15, 40/30, held
Lee-W 1-2: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, held
Shara 2-2: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken
Lee-W 3-2: 30/0, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Lee-W, held

That break-point was a big opportunity missed by Maria. Am I going to lose both my Russians in the same day? :(

Shara 2-4: held to love
Lee-W 4-3: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, held

And again Maria lets Lee-Waters off the hook.

Shara 3-5: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, held
Lee-W 5-4: 40/0 (3 SPs), Lee-Waters won first set 6-4 at 15:44.

19 unforced errors to only 5 winners. Looks like Maria may be following Vera Zvonareva through the door marked "exit"! :sad:


SECOND SET

Maria 0-0: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Shara, held

Maria keeps going one point ahead, only to get pegged back.

Lee-W 0-1: 0/30 -> 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken

Almost blew that chance too, but Maria breaks for the first time in the match.

Shara 2-0: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, 40/30, held
Lee-W 0-3: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Shara (BP #3), broken
Shara 4-0: 0/40 (3 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Shara, held
Lee-W 0-5: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Shara (SP), Deuce #2, Maria won second set 6-0 at 16:14.

A 6-0 set, but resistance from Lee-Waters in every single game. Maria's W:UE for the second set was 10:12, Lee-Waters 3:14. In points, Maria won the second set 30-18.


THIRD SET

Maria 0-0: held to love
Lee-W 0-1: 30/0 -> 30/30, 40/30, held
Maria 1-1: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, held

Maria could do with an early break in this set, or the biggest upset by far of these championships could still be on the cards.

Lee-W 1-2: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, held
Shara 2-2: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Shara, held

I haven't felt so nervous following a tennis-match for a long, long time.

Lee-W 2-3: 30/0 -> 30/30, broken
Shara 4-2: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held for 5-2.

A big relief as I was having horrible memories of Wimbledon 1996, second round, when Monica Seles led Katarína Studeníková 4-2 in the third set... then lost four games in a row.

Lee-W 2-5: 0/30 -> 30/30, 30/40 (MP), 40/40, ad Lee-W, Deuce #2, ad Shara (MP #2), Deuce #3, ad Lee-W, Deuce #4, ad Lee-W, held for 3-5.

Surely I can count on Maria to win such an important game as serving for the match at 5-3...

Shara 5-3: 40/0 (3 MPs) -> 40/40, ad Shara (MP #6), Maria won 4-6 6-0 6-3 at 16:56.

WHEW!!!

Maria: "She played amazing in the first set, moving side to side really well. It seemed like everything was going in. From my side, I was making too many errors. I tried to get myself in the match, and pulled it through."

Maria served 8 aces in the match (Lee-Waters 1) and 4 double-faults (Lee-Waters 3). Maria got 59% of first serves in (Lee-Waters 56%), winning 58% of the points when she did so (Lee-Waters 66%), and 57% when she had to use her second serve (Lee-Waters 41%).

Maria broke 4 times from 11 break-points, Lee-Waters once from 5 BPs. As I saw in Maria's Wimbledon 2004 quarter-final against Ai Sugiyama, converting break-points can be a weakness for Maria.

Maria's final winner:unforced-error ratio was 24:44 (Lee-Waters 14:34).

Maria might get away with such a W:UE ratio against Li Na in the third round; she might even get away with it against Silvia Farina Elia in the fourth. But the chances of her getting away with it against Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-finals would be very slim.

Maria has days when she's in the zone, and she has days when her game doesn't flow naturally and she has to struggle against her own errors. There's no knowing which kind of day she will have next, but she has certainly proved that she can rise to the big occasion.

Photos:
1. http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova
2. Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

Andy.
Jan 19th, 2005, 09:49 AM
It was a battle and it gave me a scare but she pulled out the big guns when she needed to and showed us the mark of a champ. Winning when not playing at your best. Good luck next round Maria and once again thaks for the analysis Andrew

faust
Jan 20th, 2005, 05:04 AM
can you tell me something bout the na li player?
shes the next opponent ryt?

Andy.
Jan 20th, 2005, 05:18 AM
All i know is that she is another hard hitter so i would assume it will be a similar match to her last.

andrewbroad
Jan 20th, 2005, 07:30 AM
(Bottom half of WS, top half of MS)

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 3r: Ana Ivanovic v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2]
MS 3r: MARAT SAFIN [4] v MARIO ANCIC [28]
MS 3r: ROGER FEDERER [1] v Jarkko Nieminen
|
Evening session (start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 3r: Na Li v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]
MS 3r: TAYLOR DENT [29] v ANDRE AGASSI [8]

Davai Maria!

Full order of play:
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/scores/schedule/

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

!!!--Duiz™--!!!
Jan 21st, 2005, 01:10 AM
is Na Li a baseliner?

andrewbroad
Jan 21st, 2005, 09:21 PM
Maria reached the fourth round of the Australian Open for the first time in her career with a ruthless 6-0 6-2 demolition of Li Na - champion of the WTA Tier III tournament at Guangzhou last October.

I followed live score-updates at www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com/). The match started at 19:47 AEST (08:47 GMT).


FIRST SET

Li 0-0: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken
Sh 1-0: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, held

A very professional start by Maria to recover from 15/30. No slow start today! :)

Li 0-2: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Sh (BP #2), broken for 0-3.

I feel so alert, so exhilarated, so in the mood for following Masha's scores! :)

Sh 3-0: 0/15, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Sh, held

I had Codemasters' Pro Tennis Simulator for my Sinclair ZX Spectrum, and I got so addicted and so good at it that I could win any point I wanted at will, regularly winning 6-0 6-0 6-0. That's kind of how this is for Maria right now! :)

Li 0-4: 0/15, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken
Sh 5-0: 40/0 (3 SPs), Maria won first set 6-0 at 20:07.

Amazing - just 20 minutes and 10 points dropped. Maria seems to have benefitted from the wake-up call she had in the second round! :)


SECOND SET

Li 0-0: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken
Sh 1-0: held to love
Li 0-2: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, held

Aww, no double bagel! :p

Sh 2-1: held to love
Li 1-3: 0/40, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Li, held

Oh, you're trying to make a game of it are you? ;)

Sh 3-2: 30/0 -> 30/30, 40/30, held
Li 2-4: 30/0 -> 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken

Anything you can do I can do better
I can do anything better than you

Sh 5-2: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15 (2 MPs), 40/30, Maria won 6-0 6-2 at 20:37 (50 minutes).


Maria: "I felt pretty good out there. I was hitting pretty solid, doing the right things, serving well, putting pressure on her.

"I feel a bit of confidence in myself. I know that even if I'm playing a seeded player, I've been in those situations. I know what to do, and I feel more experienced. Definitely when I play top players, I know that I'm number four in the world, and when they see me in the draw they don't say, 'Well, I really wanted to play her.'"


The statistics suggest a very poor performance from Li, who hit 27 unforced errors and only 3 winners. Maria's own W:UE ratio was also in the red at 9:10. In points, Maria won the match 54-27.

Maria got 69% of first serves in (Li 64%), winning 81% of the points when she did so (Li 44%), and 58% of the points when she had to use her second serve (Li 33%).

Maria broke 5 times from 9 break-points, Li 0/2.

In conclusion, I don't think Maria faced enough resistance from Li for the easy scoreline to be a true indication of her chances of winning the title.

She should face much sterner opposition in the fourth round against 15th seed Silvia Farina Elia, who steamrollered Elena Baltacha 6-1 6-0, and who beat Maria 7-6 6-0 in their only meeting at Rome 2004.

Thank you Maria for not eating into my hours of sleep too much! ;)

Photos:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

faust
Jan 22nd, 2005, 02:25 AM
that asian player was so much worst than i expected. i dunno whats got into her.
Maria was definitely playing well that match and a whopping first set kinda boosted her game and just kept her game on her top.

her oponent next will be? elia...ive seen elia play she has a good forehand. i hope elia wont let me down on giving maria a nice match.

good luck!

Andy.
Jan 22nd, 2005, 03:40 AM
Farina will be a toughy but im sure Maria is a better and more confident player that there last meeting. She will want revenge.

andrewbroad
Jan 22nd, 2005, 11:32 PM
For those in the UK, the BBC have announced that they will be showing some (typically a few games) of Maria's match in Sunday Grandstand! Grandstand starts at 13:20 GMT on BBC 2, and the tennis is provisionally scheduled to start at 13:50. They usually start with men's tennis.


(Bottom half of WS, top half of MS)

Vodafone Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MD 3r: JONATHAN ERLICH/ANDY RAM [13] vs BOB BRYAN/MIKE BRYAN [2]
WD 3r: LINDSAY DAVENPORT/CORINA MORARIU [15] vs Eva Birnerová/Andreea Vanc
WS 4r: SILVIA FARINA ELIA [15] v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]
MS 4r: MARAT SAFIN [4] v Olivier Rochus

Udachi Maria!

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

Andy.
Jan 23rd, 2005, 01:05 AM
Good Luck today Maria im sure she will do well. She is starting to really play in the zone

andrewbroad
Jan 23rd, 2005, 11:30 PM
Maria made a slow start to her fourth-round match against the elegant Silvia Farina Elia, falling behind 4-6 0-1 with a break in the second.

But, in the words of CEEFAX, "it precipitated a sparkling return to form" as Maria won seven games in a row and ultimately wrapped up an unconvincing 4-6 6-1 6-2 victory to reach her first Australian Open quarter-final.

32-year-old Farina Elia is a good athlete who plays with one hand on both sides, and breaks up her opponent's rhythm with unexpected shots such as dropshots. The last few years have been the best of her career, and she is quite an attractive older woman if I may say so.

I followed live score-updates at www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com). The BBC showed ten minutes of highlights of the match in Sunday Grandstand, so I have augmented my report with descriptions of the points that they showed. Unfortunately they won't be showing any more of the Australian Open until the finals. :fiery:


FIRST SET

The match started at 14:58 AEST (03:58 GMT).
Sharap 0-0: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Farina (BP #3), Deuce #2, ad Farina (BP #4). Deuce #3:
- Farina Elia caught Maria unawares with an enterprising backhand dropshot from behind the baseline; Maria scurried forwards and reached it, but her forehand clipped the net, setting up a sliced off-backhand pass-winner for Farina Elia that curled away from Maria, hitting the sideline like a stone skimming over water.
Ad Farina (BP #5):
- Maria came to the net behind some aggressive groundstrokes, but she didn't get close enough to the net; Farina Elia hit an off-forehand pass-winner into Maria's left corner, thus the first game was a break of Maria's serve.

Not the start I was looking for! Sometimes a long service-game can help to get your serve going, though.

Farina 1-0: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, held
Sharap 0-2: 40/0, 40/15, held

That's more like it!

Farina 2-1: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, held
Sharap 1-3: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs)

I feel so tired and drained now. I hope we won't be seeing the headline "AWFUL SHARAPOVA DECIMATED BY FARINA" on Teletext today!

Farina 4-1: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs):
- Maria netted a backhand and groaned "come on". 30/40 (BP #2):
+ Maria hit a sharp-angled crosscourt forehand winner to get back one of the breaks.

At least Maria's now done better than Elena Baltacha in the previous round! ;-) Baltacha was actually the more aggressive player there, but Farina Elia was much more consistent and ran a lot of balls down.

Sharap 2-4: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, held

The next game is crucial. I feel that if Maria could break back to 4-4, she'd be firmly in the driver's seat with the momentum in her favour. Whoever wins this next game will win the first set.

Farina 4-3: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Sharap (BP #2), Deuce #2, ad Farina, held

A Hantuchováesque [I am a Daniela fan] game of wasted opportunities.

Sharap 3-5: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held

The acid-test for Farina Elia: serving for the first set:

Farina 5-4: 40/0 (3 SPs), Farina Elia won first set 6-4 at 15:47.

I hope Maria has the same passion in the Australian heat as she had at Wimbledon 2004, otherwise all my players will be out of the singles and Maria will be all out of the Australian Open! :mad:

At least Daniela Hantuchová completed her third win in women's doubles during this first set; she and Vera Zvonareva (and their respective doubles-partners) are still in both doubles events.

Maria has a winner-to-unforced-error ratio of 9:16 so far (Farina Elia 10:6), and is only winning 33% of the points on Farina Elia's serve.


SECOND SET

Sharap 0-0: 0/30, broken
Farina 1-0: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Farina, Deuce #2, ad Sharap (BP), broken

Maria's prospects looked bleak indeed at a set and a break down. But here she is, still fighting.

Sharap 1-1: 40/0, 40/15, held
Farina 1-2: 0/15, 30/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad Sharap (BP), Deuce #2:
+ Maria forced Farina Elia into hitting a series of defensive floaters, Maria coming to the net and having to hit three volleys, the last of which was an error-forcing overhead forehand. Ad Sharap (BP #2):
+ Farina Elia hit a forehand just long; Maria pumped her fist and shouted "vamos"(!) as she broke thus for 3-1.

Terrific fightback by Maria! And she's now won one more game than she did in her 7-6 6-0 defeat at Rome 2004.

John Barrett said Maria's grunt was getting louder by the minute and the authorities might have to do something about it because it could be off-putting to the opponent. Keep grunting Maria!

Sharap 3-1: 0/30, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, held for 4-1.

Four games in a row - the momentum's firmly with Maria now, but has the tide truly turned? I guess we'll find out early in the third set...

Farina 1-4: broken to love
Sharap 5-1: 40/0 (3 SPs), 15/40, Maria won second set 6-1 at 16:20.

Maria's W:UE for the second set is 12:10, Farina Elia 3:9.


THIRD SET

The set-break lasted five minutes - I wonder if they had a bathroom-break? (a heat-break is 10 minutes, I believe).
Farina 0-0: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Farina, Deuce #2, ad Sharap (BP):
- Maria hit a backhand return just long, and muttered to herself. Deuce #3:
+ Maria hit a scorching forehand return-winner down the line. Ad Sharap (BP #2):
+ Hitting the ball so low over the net that it twice clipped the tape, Maria then hit a precise forehand winner down the line to get the break. She yelled "C'mon" and pumped her fist.

Good things come to those who are brilliant! :D Is Maria champion enough to run away with this third set like at Wimbledon?

Sharap 1-0: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Sharap, Deuce #2, ad Sharap, Deuce #3, ad Sharap, Deuce #4, ad Farina (BP #2), broken

If Maria loses this match, it'll be because losing that long game stalled her momentum.

Farina 1-1: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Farina, Deuce #2, ad Sharap (BP #3), broken

That game could be very important to the final outcome of this match. Maria 'just' has to hold her amazing serve now. She's been broken four times in this match so far.

Sharap 2-1: 15/0, 30/15, 40/15, held
Farina 1-3: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15:
+ With the growing shadow now covering about a metre of the court from the sideline, Maria's penetrating forehand forced Farina Elia to net a backhand. 30/30:
+ After a good rally with some terrific depth from Maria, Farina Elia hit a forehand wide. There were some boos from the crowd after two of Maria's drives had hit Farina's baseline. 30/40 (BP):
+ Farina Elia showed good retrieval skills against some punishing drives from Maria, but was eventually forced into hitting a defensive backhand long by a forehand smash from Maria, who thus broke again for 4-1.

Now the tide has truly turned...

Sharap 4-1: 0/40 (3 BPs), 15/40, broken

...I hope I haven't jinxed Maria by saying that! It's like Daniela's loss to Elena Dementieva (who led 4-1 in the third with two breaks) in reverse. I must commend Farina Elia on her resistance.

Farina 2-4: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken

Maria's about to serve for the match. Maria, who is tough enough to bend nails. Maria, who is tough enough to melt nails! C'MON!

Sharap 5-2: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15 (2 MPs):
+ Maria hit a good first serve; Farina Elia a backhand return; Maria a forehand down the line; Farina Elia a backhand netcord which sat up nicely for Maria to wallop a crosscourt backhand, forcing Farina Elia to chip a backhand long. Maria slowly raised her arms in victory and looked to the sky in awe, which is her way of thanking God. Maria won 4-6 6-1 6-2 at 17:12.


Maria: "She played a solid game. She hit great winners out of the court which sometimes were unexpected, but I hung in there and fought well.

"I made too many errors and wasn't playing my usual game. I was just letting her play her game and worrying about what she was doing. But I'm going to go out [against Kuznetsova] playing my game, enjoying it and fighting to win."


Commentator John Barrett said, "I think she'll have to do something about all that noise she's making - not very attractive."

Grandstand host Craig Doyle laughed this off with tennis-analyst Andrew Castle, who said that grunting in general was "completely overdone", and tended to get "worse" with Maria when she's nervous or in a tight situation. He said Maria must have a special technique to grunt as loud as she does! He said that if he had been Farina Elia, he would have complained to the umpire in the hope of making Maria have to stop grunting, which might put her off and give her opponent a better chance of winning. I hope Maria is never treated as badly over the grunting issue as Monica Seles was at Wimbledon 1992.

Andrew Castle said Maria is the real deal, as she proved by winning Wimbledon and the WTA Tour Championships last year. "At least when she's out there, she looks like she's not going to fall into a sullen strop like some of the other Russian players... she's enthusiastic, and the Tour are going `thank God for Maria Sharapova' because she's the one that they are selling women's tennis on the back of."

Earlier in Sunday Grandstand, Andrew Castle had made an astonishing verbal attack on the "Russian Repulsion", saying that the Williams sisters were "the perfect antidote to these faceless Russians who look like they have wasps in their mouths - like they're just playing for the money because they want to better their circumstances." :fiery: He named Petrova, Kuznetsova, Myskina and Douchevina as examples of these "faceless Russians".

At least he didn't tar Maria or Vera Zvonareva with the same brush - in fact a year ago, he had said "watch out for Zvonareva", (incorrectly) predicting that she would beat Lindsay Davenport in the fourth round! :D

I think the Russian Revolution - and Maria Sharapova in particular - is the best thing to happen to tennis since Monica Seles. Although not all of the top Russians are attractive, flairsome players like Maria and Vera, I hope that it will inspire a more general East-European revolution that includes Slovakia, Serbia and Croatia, from where have already come several brilliant players.


Maria hit 4 aces (none by Farina Elia); they made two double faults each. Maria got 62% of first serves in (Farina Elia 72%), winning 55% on both first and second serve (Farina Elia 52% on first serve, 29% on second serve).

Maria broke 8 times from 15 break-points, and was broken 5 times from Farina Elia's 11 break-points.

Maria is still hitting more unforced errors than winners (not so if you ignore the first set); her overall W:UE was 33:37 (Farina Elia's was considerably worse at 19:28 - she was both less aggressive than Maria and hit more errors in proportion to her winners).

I'm very worried about Maria having to face US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova in the quarter-finals, although anyone seeded 5-8 at this Australian Open is very tough (Kuznetsova, Dementieva and the Williams sisters).

Kuznetsova has cruised through her first four matches 6-1 6-1, 6-2 6-0, 6-3 7-6 and 6-4 6-2 - albeit without having to play a seed - while Maria has twice been a set down to opponents ranked more than ten places below her own world number four.

I hope it will be more like the WTA Tour Championships (Maria won 6-1 6-4) than like their September 2004 meeting at Beijing (Kuznetsova won 6-2 6-2). Maria needs to really cut down on her unforced errors, come out of the blocks on much better form than in today's first set, and rise to the occasion like the Grand Slam champion she is.

Andrew Castle predicted that Maria would reach the final to face Venus Williams, predicting that Lindsay Davenport would "come unstuck". But Venus Williams, who didn't beat a single top-ten player in 2004, is a very much diminished force from the player who used regularly to beat Davenport in Grand Slam finals and semi-finals in the early '00s.


Photos:
1. http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova
2. http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=48
3. http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wtas961.html
4. Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

If you'll only look at one Maria photo, make it this one:
http://images.sportsline.com/u/ap/photos/MEL188012304_1024x768.jpg

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

faust
Jan 24th, 2005, 04:55 AM
alright! this will be a nice match...

US open champ up against the wimbley champ! can maria get this again.
still breaking those points well.

Andy.
Jan 24th, 2005, 10:55 AM
This will hopefully be a more high quality affair then their last meetings. A really good match is possible. Go Maria

andrewbroad
Jan 24th, 2005, 07:46 PM
(Bottom half of WS, top half of MS)

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WS qf: SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [5] v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]
WS qf: SERENA WILLIAMS [7] v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2]
MS qf: MARAT SAFIN [4] v DOMINIK HRBATÝ [20]
|
(start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
MS qf: ROGER FEDERER [1] v ANDRE AGASSI [8]
MD qf: James Blake/Mardy Fish vs BOB BRYAN/MIKE BRYAN [2]

Udachi Maria!


WS qf draw:
* LINDSAY DAVENPORT [1] v ALICIA MOLIK [10]
* NATHALIE DECHY [19] v PATTY SCHNYDER [12]
* SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [5] v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]
* SERENA WILLIAMS [7] v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [2]

The semi-final line-up I hope for:
* ALICIA MOLIK [10] v NATHALIE DECHY [19]
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v SERENA WILLIAMS [7]

The final I hope for:
* ALICIA MOLIK [10] v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]

Davai Maria!

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

Maria Croft
Jan 24th, 2005, 10:07 PM
Good luck to Maria !!

faust
Jan 25th, 2005, 05:30 AM
.

and indeed another maria classic win.

Andy.
Jan 25th, 2005, 07:52 AM
This was a terrific Match terrific drives from the baseline excelent rallies and winners. Maria played well she really showed us why she is already a Champion.

andrewbroad
Jan 25th, 2005, 08:31 AM
Maria recovered from losing the first set 6-4 (for the third time this tournament) in temperatures exceeding 35°C (95°F) to score a gutsy 4-6 6-2 6-2 victory over US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova and reach the second Grand Slam semi-final of her young career.

This leaves Maria as the last Russian in the women's singles, so the hopes of completing a Russian Grand Slam now rest on Maria's sexy shoulders. And she will be officially confirmed as the best Russian when next Monday's WTA Rankings are published with Maria at #3.

Maria made a sloppy start, and Kuznetsova used her raking forehand to great effect to take the first set. Then Kuznetsova's game disintegrated, and Maria pushed herself to breaking point to overcome Kuznetsova in conditions so hot that play was later suspended on the outside courts but continued under the retractable roofs on the Rod Laver and Vodafone Arenas.

I did not see the match myself, but I followed live score-updates at www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com). The match started at 11:15 AEST (00:15 GMT).


FIRST SET

Sharap 0-0: 0/30 -> 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Sharap, Deuce #2, ad Sharap, Deuce #3, ad Sharap, held

A good start for Maria, because (a) she recovered from the threat of a break, and (b) she had a long game to get her serve going.

Kuznet 0-1: 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Kuznet, held
Sharap 1-1: held to love

Maria sending out an early message to Kuznetsova that she can make Kuznetsova's service-games difficult whilst holding her own serve easily. And Maria has the advantage of serving first.

Kuznet 1-2: 30/0, 40/15, held
Sharap 2-2: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken
Kuznet 3-2: held to love

Damn. Fight, Maria!

Sharap 2-4: 40/0 -> 40/40, ad Sharap, Deuce #2, ad Kuznet (BP), Deuce #3, ad Sharap, held

A big relief, as Maria almost suffered a bout of "Alexandra Stevenson's syndrome" (Stevenson twice dropped serve from 40/0 up when Daniela Hantuchová beat her at Eastbourne 2003).

Kuznet 4-3: held to love

Maria hasn't put any pressure on Kuznetsova's service-games since I praised her for doing so! :(

Sharap 3-5: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Sharap, Deuce #2, ad Kuznet (SP), Deuce #3, ad Sharap, held

Well saved Maria! It's always important to make your opponent have to serve for the set, because (a) it puts pressure on them to have a good service-game, and (b) it gives you the advantage of serving first in the next set if they do serve it out.

Kuznet 5-4: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15 (2 SPs), 40/30, Kuznetsova won first set 6-4 at 12:04.

This is the third time in these championships that Maria has been a set down. Will it be the third time she will recover to win in three? Only if she can radically change the statistics of this match like she did against Lindsay Davenport in the semi-finals of Wimbledon.

Maria's winner-to-unforced-error ratio is a woeful 5:16, while Kuznetsova's is 13:18. Kuznetsova got only 37% of first serves in in the first set, but won 90% of the points when she did so (Maria 56% and 64%). Maria won only 22% of the points on Kuznetsova's serve (Kuznetsova 42% of the points on Maria's).


SECOND SET

Sharap 0-0: 0/40 (3 BPs), 15/40, broken

Maria was in this exact same situation (a set and a break down at 4-6 0-1) in her fourth round against Silvia Farina Elia...

Kuznet 1-0: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken

...and she also broke back to 1-1 in the second against Farina Elia! :)

Sharap 1-1: 40/0, 40/30, held
Kuznet 1-2: broken to love

Suddenly this match has a very different complexion! :D

Sharap 3-1: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken

But right back to square one as Kuznetsova - like a great champion - breaks back immediately! :( Oh well, reaching the quarter-finals isn't such a terrible result, and at least Maria is assured of a respectable scoreline now (4-6 3-6 at the worst) against the latest player to win a Grand Slam.

Kuznet 2-3: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken

But now it's Maria's turn to break straight back! Come on Maria, you can win this set!

Sharap 4-2: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, held
Kuznet 2-5: 0/15, 15/15, 15/40 (2 SPs), Maria won second set 6-2 at 12:37.

Wow, Maria has really turned this match around! Her W:UE for the second set is 6:6, Kuznetsova's a woeful 6:16. They are both winning only 33% of points on second serve, but Maria is getting 59% of first serves in, Kuznetsova only 38%.

These statistics aren't pretty at all - but much uglier for Kuznetsova than for Maria in the second set. If Maria can hit more winners and serve better than she has in the first two sets, this match is hers for the taking.

And, by breaking Kuznetsova for the set, she has the very important advantage of serving first in the third.


THIRD SET

The set-break went on for eleven minutes as they took a heat-break using ice-packs in towels. Extreme heat should favour Maria as she has lived in Florida (which is even hotter than Australia, though Maria is rarely there in the summer) since she was seven, and it makes the court faster which is good for Maria's game.

Sharap 0-0: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held
Kuznet 0-1: 0/40 (3 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Kuznet, Deuce #2, ad Sharap, broken

I'm really, really excited now. Not only is Maria a break up in the third, she has now won five games in a row! :D Has Kuznetsova's resistance melted in the heat?

Sharap 2-0: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad Sharap, Deuce #2, ad Sharap, Deuce #3, ad Kuznet (BP), broken

Well, that really puts a dampener on my excitement! Maria had four points to hold and couldn't convert; Kuznetsova had one break-point and she took it! :(

If Maria loses this match, she'll definitely wish she could have that 2-0 40/15 lead back again. But she must banish thoughts of that lead for the rest of this match.

Kuznet 1-2: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken

A healthy lead for Maria, but I'm much more wary of Kuznetsova now than I was two games ago.

Sharap 3-1: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Sharap, held

This time she does go three games clear, but I know it isn't over until it's over - or in this case, until the fat lady sings ;)

Kuznet 1-4: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Kuznet, Deuce #2, ad Kuznet, Deuce #3, ad Sharap (BP), broken

Now it's Maria's turn to fight off three points for Kuznetsova to hold, and to break at the first opportunity, and she'll serve for the match!

Sharap 5-1: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken

My excitement turned to nervousness with each point Maria lost in that game. But it would be an unprecedented choke for Maria to lose from 5-1 up. I really hope she breaks in the next game so she doesn't have to serve for it again! That kind of pressure can unhinge even the steeliest of competitors.

Kuznetsova 2-5: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, 40/30, 40/40, ad Sharap (MP). With a running crosscourt forehand winner, Maria won 4-6 6-2 6-2 at 13:33.

YAAAIIISSS!!! If it wasn't 2:33am in the morning I'd have screamed at the top of my lungs! I was absolutely shaking with nerves when Kuznetsova was 40/15 up, but Maria proves her quality as a big-match player yet again!


Maria's overall W:UE ratio was 21:37 (Kuznetsova 27:53). For the third set alone it was 10:15 (Kuznetsova 8:19).

Maria hit 4 aces, Kuznetsova 3. Maria double-faulted 5 times, Kuznetsova 4. Maria got 56% of first serves in (Kuznetsova 46%), winning 64% of the points when she did so (Kuznetsova 54%) and 40% of the points when she didn't (Kuznetsova 42%). Maria won 52% of points on Kuznetsova's serve, Kuznetsova 47% of points on Maria's.

Maria broke 8 times from 13 break-points, Kuznetsova 5 times from 11 BPs. Amazingly, Kuznetsova didn't hold serve at all after the first set!


Maria: "I need a wheelchair right now. Mentally I just tried to tough it out. It was so hot - on the court it's very, very hot. I just try to concentrate on what I have to do... block it out. But this was one of the toughest matches of my life.

"I kept thinking back to training in the off-season when I thought I couldn't go on - but I knew that I had more, even if my body thought I didn't. I remember those moments, and I just kept fighting, just trying to take as much time as I can and fight. I told myself just to get through it.

"I was a bit lazy at the beginning of the match. I didn't run for as many balls. But the third set, end of the second set, is when I think both of us started feeling the heat and feeling tired and we wanted the points to go a lot quicker.

"[The heat-break was] very helpful because I thought both of us were starting to get a little tired and we wanted the points to go shorter, so we were going for our shots. And I think the quality of the tennis started to pick up once we took the break. Well, I felt like it did. I felt like after I got the break, my body cooled down a little bit."

Kuznetsova: "It was just terrible. I was very focused and I played well in the first set, but something happened. I just stopped playing. My body was there, but my mind wasn't there at all. It was just, I don't know, ball-boy playing out there. I didn't deserve to win because I just didn't fight. I had the match in my hands. I just switched off.

"I can't blame the heat as an excuse. It's a lie. I think I was coping with it better than Maria, I felt okay."

Kuznetsova obviously wasn't affected by the heat, for shortly after that, she and Alicia Molik beat Daniela Hantuchová and Martina Navrátilová 6-3 6-0 in 43 minutes in the quarter-finals of the women's doubles. :sad:


In Thursday's semi-finals, Maria faces Serena Williams who crushed an injured Amélie Mauresmo 6-2 6-2. So we shouldn't read too much into that scoreline, but instead remember how Williams was almost in tears at her poor form after struggling past Nadia Petrova in the fourth round.

Maria crushed Williams 6-1 6-4 in the Wimbledon final, and overcame an injured Williams 4-6 6-2 6-4 in the WTA Tour Championships final last November. Williams has not won a Grand Slam title since Wimbledon 2003, but I expect her to give Maria a much sterner test than in these previous two meetings.

Maria: "I think next time she plays me, she probably feels she has nothing to lose because I have such a good record. In a way it's like I have a bit of an advantage, but at the same time she does too."

Williams: "I feel like I don't have anything to lose. I think I was way too nervous at Wimbledon. I couldn't sleep, I couldn't breathe. Sometimes you want it too bad that you just freak yourself out. Now I'm fine - I'm really proud of my preparation."

I think Maria will have to both recover from today's exertions and raise her game considerably if she is to have any chance of reaching the final. I think she also needs the weather to be much cooler on Thursday, because Williams says this heat is nothing compared with her experiences of Floridian summers, while Maria admitted that she struggled with the heat today. Davai Maria!

Photos:
1. http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova
2. Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

Mr Anderson
Jan 25th, 2005, 09:24 AM
twas a good game, i think her next one against williams will be better but.
man u must have ALOT of spare time to do that much of an analysis...

andrewbroad
Jan 26th, 2005, 05:27 AM
man u must have ALOT of spare time to do that much of an analysis...
Well, I did work like a maniac from November to January in order to save up the free hours I need for the Australian Open!

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

faust
Jan 26th, 2005, 09:05 AM
.

thanks for the report again work maniac...lol.
btw when you hav dark complexion the heat of the sun doesnt heat them up so much unlike caucasians...dark complexed people have more melanine concentrations so that protects them from the sun at least.

so i think when its hot i think serena has quite an advantage over maria.

.

andrewbroad
Jan 26th, 2005, 06:03 PM
.
btw when you hav dark complexion the heat of the sun doesnt heat them up so much unlike caucasians...dark complexed people have more melanine concentrations so that protects them from the sun at least.

so i think when its hot i think serena has quite an advantage over maria.
That's quite a paradox after the experiments we did in Physics to prove that white material reflects the sun's rays while black material absorbs the heat! I thought it was strange that Silvia Farina Elia chose to wear a black outfit to play Maria in the fourth round.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

andrewbroad
Jan 26th, 2005, 06:25 PM
Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MD sf: Jürgen Melzer/Alexander Waske vs WAYNE BLACK/KEVIN ULLYETT [5]
|
(not before 13:30 AEST = 02:30 GMT)
WS sf: MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v SERENA WILLIAMS [7]
|
(not before 15:00 AEST = 04:00 GMT)
WS sf: LINDSAY DAVENPORT [1] v NATHALIE DECHY [19]
|
(start 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
MS sf: ROGER FEDERER [1] v MARAT SAFIN [4]
XD qf: MARTINA NAVRÁTILOVÁ/MAX MIRNYI [7] vs WAYNE BLACK/CARA BLACK [2]

Serena Williams: "Maria's playing really good. She's a really mentally tough character out there. I just feel as if it is going to boil down to me playing my shots. If I play well, then it's hard to beat me. Revenge? No, I look at it as a chance to be in the finals here again."

I don't expect Maria to beat Serena this time, but nor did I in the Wimbledon and WTA Tour Championships finals! A lot of people like to give Maria no chance prior to a match against Serena. But Maria doesn't win because she has a good chance - it's her passion that makes her a champion.

Davai Maria!

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

tennisjunky
Jan 26th, 2005, 08:05 PM
i agree about the passion. serena and maria are my two favorite players and i think if maria really keeps believing she'll come out the winner. i have to admit that this one time i am rooting for serena, but i hope maria wins wimbledon again. let's all hope for a high quality match with both players giving it their all.

Szymanowski
Jan 26th, 2005, 10:37 PM
That's quite a paradox after the experiments we did in Physics to prove that white material reflects the sun's rays while black material absorbs the heat! I thought it was strange that Silvia Farina Elia chose to wear a black outfit to play Maria in the fourth round.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)
dude, the physics u learnt will still apply, in effect Serena's skin will absorb more heat, but its the mechanisms of the body that dissapate the heat more effectively for someone with dark skin. They are not directly linked, just because people evelved to have darker skin in warmer places, it worked that way.

omg. look at what two years' science A levels have done to me

im a geek :bounce:

faust
Jan 27th, 2005, 04:26 AM
.

that was just stock knowledge i learnt back at school...
besides i hate pyhsics and chemistry etc. invovling science except science in discovery channel...that channel interests me...

.

andrewbroad
Jan 28th, 2005, 12:41 AM
Maria was upset in her semi-final by 7th seed Serena Williams 2-6 7-5 8-6 as her tiredness from previous three-set battles in extreme heat caught up with her. Thursday itself was a cooler, cloudy day, with temperatures no higher than 78°F as opposed to 95°F in her quarter-final on Tuesday.

Maria put me through the worst nerves of my life, by failing to serve for the match at 6-2 5-4 (losing three games in a row), and again at 5-4 in the third, when she had her three match-points to reach the final... a final I'm confident she would have won.

So Maria failed in exactly the same score-situation in which she had succeeded in the Wimbledon final, just as Vera Zvonareva (in the recent Hong Kong exhibition-tournament) failed to serve out a match against Venus Williams at 5-4 in the third - when she had successfully done exactly that against Venus at the French Open 2003. It's just as well it wasn't Vera who had to go through what Maria did yesterday, or they'd have had to suspend play because of a wet court! ;)

This phenomenon is known in the trade as "choking", and it's something I never would have expected from Maria, so strong is she mentally. But, in a battle between the two mentally toughest competitors on the tour, it was Williams's far greater experience that ultimately made the difference.

I hope that this experience will not adversely affect Maria's performances in tight situations in the future. Many hitherto-fearless young players become inhibited once they have scars like this on their psyche. Maria has already proved that she is mentally strong, but we'll have to wait and find out whether she is thick-skinned too.

The one cheerful thought is that if Maria had to choke away either this match or the Wimbledon final, there's no doubt which one most Maria fans would choose!

So there will be no all-Russian Grand Slam sweep this year, as Williams will meet world number one Lindsay Davenport in the final instead. By reaching the final, Williams has already usurped the #3 ranking that Maria would have had next week. If she wins the final, she will also displace Amélie Mauresmo as #2.

I hope Williams will win the final because I prefer her to Davenport on all levels, and it would also make Maria #3 on the wooden-spoon list that I will compile for the tournament on Saturday <http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/wooden_spoon/>. And I expect that Williams will win the final, as Davenport is already exhausted, and has to play the women's doubles final today (Friday).


FIRST SET

I did not watch the match myself (the BBC only televises the finals), but I followed live score-updates at www.australianopen.com (http://www.australianopen.com). The match started at 13:44 AEST (02:44 GMT).

Williams 0-0: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, held
Sharapov 0-1: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad Sharapov, held

Very important for Maria to get on the scoreboard straight away - especially after 40/15 became 40/40. Williams will be baying for Maria's blood after their last two meetings!

Williams 1-1: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), 30/40, broken

What a terrific start for Maria, in contrast to three slow starts in earlier rounds! Williams has already made 7 unforced errors.

Sharapov 2-1: 30/0 -> 30/30, 40/30, held
Williams 1-3: broken to love for 1-4.

Maria is living off Williams's errors at the moment (Maria's W:UE = 1:4, Williams 3:13).

I must admit that thoughts of a potential Maria v Davenport final have already entered my head, knowing that Maria beat Davenport at Wimbledon, plus in an off-season exhibition, and has never lost to her.

Right now, I objectively believe that Maria is the likeliest winner of the title! Williams might well fight back and win this match, but it speaks volumes for Maria that I, a pessimist, actually believe this of one of my fanees.

Sharapov 4-1: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Sharapov, Deuce #2, ad Sharapov, held
Williams 1-5: held to love
Sharapov 5-2: 40/0 (3 SPs), 40/15, Maria won first set 6-2 at 14:14.

I feel almost as giggly and excited as Maria was when she won Wimbledon! It's not that I think Maria will win this match for sure - far from it - but to do this score to the girl who completed her "Serena Slam" here two years ago is just incredible! It's amazing to think that the once-invincible and still-very-motivated Williams is more brittle than one of my players now.

Williams's W:UE is 5:15, Maria's is 4:9. The question now is whether Williams can eliminate her unforced errors and put some pressure on Maria, because Maria didn't face much resistance at all in that set.


SECOND SET

Williams 0-0: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Williams, held

Williams is having to fight and scrap for morsels at the moment, even on her own serve. She'll never admit this in public, but I do think she's become intimidated by Maria after Maria's two huge wins against her. I think Maria is the one opponent Williams has faced in her career who is mentally stronger than she is.

Sharapov 1-0: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, held
Williams 1-1: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, held
Sharapov 1-2: 40/0, 40/15, held
Williams 2-2: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Williams, held

No breaks in the second set so far, but Maria's Set 2 statistics are clearly better...

Sharapov 3-2: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad Sharapov, Deuce #2, ad Sharapov, held

I cannot overemphasise how important that game was. If Maria had been broken for 2-4 after losing that 40/15 lead, it would have given Williams a huge momentum-shift, and Maria's victory would have been in great danger.

It's still on a knife-edge as it is. In fact, as we enter the crucial seventh game, I'll even say that whoever breaks first in this second set will probably win the match. But contrast this with the Wimbledon final, where Maria was 2-4 down in the second!

Williams 3-3: 30/0 -> 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Williams, held

I'm getting very nervous now. As the scoreline mounts, so does the pressure on Maria's sexy bare shoulders every time she has to serve in arrears. A break here and Williams would be serving for the set at 5-3...

Sharapov 3-4: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad Williams (BP #3), Deuce #2, ad Sharapov, held

That game was HUGE. If Maria goes on to win in two sets, we'll have to remember those three break-points she saved!

It won't be easy for Williams to serve after those missed opportunities...

Williams 4-4: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, ad Williams, Deuce #2, ad Williams, Deuce #3, ad Sharapov (BP), Deuce #4, ad Sharapov (BP #2), broken

A repeat of the titanic game at 6-1 4-4 of the Wimbledon final (which also had four deuces), and Maria will serve for the match! :D

Sharapov 5-4: 0/30, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken

I don't know about Maria, but I feel like all my internal organs have just burst, and I now fully understand why people speak of "butterflies in one's stomach". I'm in mental and physical anguish right now. Will Maria, with all her mental strength, be able to overcome this disappointment and still win?

Williams 5-5: 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, held
Sharapov 5-6: 0/15, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (SP), Williams won second set 7-5 at 15:17.

Maria suffers her first two breaks of the match in consecutive service-games. So she's human after all. But now she must banish that second set from her mind and think of nothing but "I've taken Serena Williams to three sets and I plan to win."

Williams's W:UE for the second set is 13:22, Maria's 9:19. So Williams has been the more aggressive player in this match so far.


THIRD SET

The set-break lasted seven minutes, so presumably they had a bathroom-break and not a heat-break.

Williams 0-0: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs), broken

That should go some way towards banishing the demons of failing to serve out the second set.

Sharapov 1-0: broken to love

What's happened to Maria's serve? :sobbing:

According to those who saw the match, Maria was looking very tired at this point, not grunting, and Williams was just getting the ball back and capitalising on Maria's errors. :(
[ http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=143317&page=38 ]

Williams 1-1: held to love
Sharapov 1-2: 40/0, 40/30, held

Thank goodness! A bout of Alexandra Stevenson's syndrome (losing your serve from 40/0 up, as Stevenson did twice when losing to Daniela Hantuchová at Eastbourne 2003) would surely have been the final nail in Maria's coffin.

Williams 2-2: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15, held
Sharapov 2-3: 15/0, 15/15, 30/15, 30/30, 40/30, held

It's very positive that Maria has been competitive in this third set so far. Aside from the psychological blow of losing the second set, I think Williams would definitely have the edge physically, particularly with Maria having won her quarter-final 4-6 6-2 6-2 in extreme heat, Williams just 6-2 6-2.

Williams 3-3: 30/0, 30/15, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), broken

Let's not go getting all excited again, but if Maria could just hold her serve two more times, or hold and break, she'd be into a final that she should win! This should be the last thought in Maria's mind right now though.

Sharapov 4-3: held to love

I'm struggling to contain my excitement, and my internal organs feel quite sore at this moment!

Williams 3-5: 40/0, 40/15, held

Our Father, who art in Heaven...

Sharapov 5-4: 15/0, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30 (MP), 40/40, ad Sharapov (MP #2), Deuce #2, ad Sharapov (MP #3), Deuce #3, ad Williams (BP), broken

...thank you for not making me subject to heart-attacks, or my family would be finding my dead body in a few hours from this moment! ;)

From what I've read elsewhere, Maria overhit a difficult volley on her first match-point, and Williams saved the other two with flashy forehand winners.

Williams 5-5: held to love
Sharapov 5-6: 15/0, 15/15, 40/15 -> 40/40, ad Sharapov, held

At least all those who predicted that Williams would crush Maria in straight sets will have to eat their words. Break here, Maria!

Williams 6-6: 0/15, 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad Sharapov (BP #2), Deuce #2, ad Sharapov (BP #3), Deuce #3, ad Williams, held

I feel strangely calm now, at peace with what has happened - and still believing that Maria is in with a chance.

Sharapov 6-7: 15/0, 15/15, 15/40 (2 MPs), Williams won the match 2-6 7-5 8-6 at 16:23.


In terms of the statistics, Maria was let down by a poor ratio of winners to unforced errors, just as she was in all her previous matches here. Her final W:UE for this match was 21:51, while Williams's was healthier at 33:53. If Maria could have cut down on her UEs, she might well have embarrassed Williams by a very one-sided scoreline like 6-1 6-3.

Maria served 4 aces and 6 double-faults, while for Williams it was the other way round. Maria got 63% of first serves in (Williams 61%), both won 66% of the points when they did so, and Maria won 40% of the points on her second serve (Williams 48%).

They broke serve 5 times each - Maria from 12 break-points, Williams from 8, which reflects Maria's difficulties in taking her opportunities in this match. Williams won 115-110 in points, but they each won 17 games in the match.


Maria: "I thought it was a great match. I gave it all I've got and she gave it all she's got. The match could have gone any way.

"I think she got better as the match went on, and she started to pick up her level. In my previous matches, I took my chances. In this match, she took her chances. That's why she won.

"I think she's one of the best competitors out there. I mean, she's been in those situations when she was down in the third set, and out of nowhere she knows how to to turn it around. Again, that comes from experience, that comes from her fighting spirit. But, you know, hopefully I will learn and improve.

"I gave it everything I had. You know, I played from my heart. But I didn't take my chances when I could, and that is what this game is all about. If you don't take your chances, you lose.

"Of course I'm sad, and obviously it's a tough one to lose. But I've got a long way ahead of me. I'm 17 years old and I got to the semi-finals of the Australian Open. Nothing is negative.

"This is not a sprint, it's a marathon and I'm just riding along."

Re. tiredness: "That's not an excuse for me. Of course, you're tired but you're in a semi-final of a Grand Slam. In my off-season, I wanted to work on my physical aspect of the game. I wanted to make sure that I was ready for this heat and I was ready to play three-set matches."


Williams: "It definitely lived up to everyone's expectations and it was a lot of fun. I am really happy to get through. I am so excited to be in another final, it has been such a tough 12 months for me. I want to thank everyone for supporting me.

"I thought `Okay, Serena, you're down match-point but that's okay, you've been down match-point before.' So I thought `Okay, I could do this.' I definitely think she has a fighting spirit, and I think that's gotten her to where she is today. But I'm still a fighter too... top fighter out there.

"Those are always the best wins, when you're down match-point because it's like you realise that you can't give up. I personally never give up, but I thought, 'Okay, I definitely don't want to give up now.'

"I think I was battling Maria and myself. I was playing two opponents because I was making a tremendous amount of errors. I wasn't doing what I had practised. But I just tried to stay positive out there the whole time."


Other reports on this match:
http://www.inside-tennis.net/index.php?action=article&id=139
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/message/128

Photos:
1. http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova
2. Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

Maria will play the Tokyo Pan Pacific Open next week - quite a contrast in temperature!

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/

Doc
Jan 28th, 2005, 01:23 AM
Thanks for the reports.

You really ought to get Eurosport to see some of these matches.

I too am broken up that Maria lost it after having quite a few chances. But the scoreboard pressure meant that one lost serve was curtains for her in each of the final sets, while Serena could lose serve but still have a second chance to recover. In a way the final set tiebreak is fairer.

Maria was never in really top form throughout the AO. The matches she won were pure guts. I originally told myself I'd be glad if she just got to the Quarter Final. But I am still disappointed now.

However Maria takes a lot away from the AO.

No 1 position in Russia.
A growing respect for her game in the tennis world.
A very useful reputation for being ultra-tough on the tennis court.

andrewbroad
Jan 29th, 2005, 08:40 PM
Thanks for the reports.

You really ought to get Eurosport to see some of these matches.Not possible, as I live in a road which bans satellite-dishes and doesn't have cable installed. :( But it's for my own good - can't spend my whole life just watching tennis! ;)

So I just watch (and record) what they show on BBC, and order the other matches I most want to see from Tennis Videos International [http://www.users.bigpond.com/tennisvideos1/].

In a way the final set tiebreak is fairer.I don't approve of final-set tiebreaks as a matter of principle. Tiebreaks boil down to luck between two equal players, whereas advantage-sets test your ability to dig in and fight to the bitter end.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)

Szymanowski
Jan 30th, 2005, 07:55 PM
I don't approve of final-set tiebreaks as a matter of principle. Tiebreaks boil down to luck between two equal players, whereas advantage-sets test your ability to dig in and fight to the bitter end.


its the tennis equivalent of a penalty shootout in football or rugby :( don't like them! but in earlier sets I think they create tension.

I think If its in a set where one player can win the match, the tie break should always be scrapped, so no match points would be played in tie breaks.

maybe not such a great idea for three set matches, but in mens at GS, I think this is a far better idea for settling a match.

Josh B.
Jan 30th, 2005, 09:05 PM
Cheers for the Reports Andrew!!!

Andy.
Jan 31st, 2005, 01:26 AM
You did a great job all Aussie Open Andrew well done And thanks

faust
Jan 31st, 2005, 09:03 AM
.

will u make reports for the french open?

looking forward for that...

.

andrewbroad
Feb 1st, 2005, 01:22 AM
will u make reports for the french open?
Well I'm not sure how my life will be in four months from now, but I certainly hope to make time for the Grand Slams.

Re. tiebreaks: I think it's fine to have them in non-final sets, even sets where one player can win the match. Just not in final sets where you can have the situation that whoever wins the point at 5/5 &c. will have match-point.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/)

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/sizzlingsharapova/)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/)