View Full Version : Andrew's Rome report

May 15th, 2005, 09:22 PM

Maria reached the first claycourt semi-final of her career at Rome - but lost the match she needed to win to be world number one on 23rd May.

From http://www.wtatour.com/newsroom/stories/NewsArticle_6925_rx.asp (http://www.wtatour.com/newsroom/stories/NewsArticle_6925_rx.asp)
While a runner-up finish this week would be insufficient for Sharapova to assume the No.1 ranking on May 16, it's highly likely she'll ascend to the top spot the following week. At this point, Davenport is not planning to defend her runner-up finish at the Tier III event in Strasbourg, France from last year, so her points total will drop below Sharapova's on May 23 (the first Monday of Roland Garros), provided she doesn't make a late entry into Strasbourg or Istanbul.

Detailed calculations

Maria has 4900 ranking-points as of 9th May.

Next week she will lose her 89 points for reaching the third round of Rome 2004.

And she will gain 203 points for her performance at Rome 2005:
135 points for reaching a Tier I semi-final;
10 points for beating #42-ranked Anabel Medina Garrigues;
23 points for beating #24-ranked Mary Pierce;
35 points for beating #15-ranked Elena Bovina.

Maria's ranking-points as of 16th May = 4900 - 89 + 203 = 5014.

This will be the same on 23rd May, since Maria didn't play in the week of 17th May 2004, and will not play in the week of 16th May 2005.

Lindsay Davenport has 5169 ranking-points as of 9th May. This will not change on 16th May, but on 23rd May she will lose her 122 points for reaching the Strasbourg 2004 final, replacing them with her 72 points for reaching the Sydney 2005 quarter-finals (a player's ranking-points are the sum of her best 17 results in the last year).

Thus Davenport's ranking-points of 23rd May = 5169 - 122 + 72 = 5119.
So Maria will remain at #2 :(

Had she beaten #13-ranked Patty Schnyder (35 points) to reach the Rome final (210 points), she would have had 5124 points - enough to be #1 on 23rd May.

Useful website for ranking-points:
http://www.tenniscorner.net/index.php?corner=W&action=rankings (http://www.tenniscorner.net/index.php?corner=W&action=rankings)

Second round

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [1] d. Anabel Medina Garrigues, 6-4 6-2

Maria: "Overall, I don't think I played great tennis. I was making too many errors in the beginning of the match. As the match went on, I was feeling a little bit better with my strokes. But these matches are never easy, especially against a player like Garrigues that runs and gets everything back. I'm just happy to have won it."

When Maria completed her second-round match, Daniela Hantuchová was a possible third-round opponent. Unfortunately Daniela then lost her first-round match against Sanda Mamic, who lost in the second round to Mary Pierce.

At this time when so many nice players are slumping, I thank God for Maria Sharapova, and I pray that she may be spared all the various misfortunes that have befallen so many players in recent years.

Third round

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [1] d. Mary Pierce, 7-6 (7/4) 6-4

Started 20:42 CEST.


Sharap * * *@*___*_ 7(7)
Pierce _* *___*@* * 6(4)

Pierce serving 0-1: Maria squandered four break-points.
Pierce serving 2-3: Maria finally broke on her 7th BP of the match.
Maria serving 4-2: Taken to deuce, but Maria yet to face a BP on her serve in the match.
Pierce serving to stay in the first set at 2-5: 15/0, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (SP), 40/40, ad P, held.
Maria serving for the first set at 5-3: 0/40 (3 BPs), 15/40, broken.
Pierce serving to stay in the first set at 4-5: 40/0, 40/15, held.
Maria serving 5-5: held to 30.
Pierce serving to stay in the first set at 5-6: 0/15, 15/30, 30/30, 40/30, 40/40, held.
6-6 tiebreak: Maria *0/0, 1/0*, 1/1*, *1/2, *2/2, 3/2*, 4/2*, *5/2, *6/2 (4 SPs), 6/3*, 6/4*, Maria won first set 7-6 (7/4) at 21:54.


Sharap _*@ @ @* * 6
Pierce *__@ @__*_ 4

Maria serving 0-1: saved BP at 30/40.
Pierce serving 1-1: 15/30, 15/40, broken.
Maria serving 2-1: 0/40 (3 BPs), 15/40, broken.
Pierce serving 2-2: 40/0 -> 40/40, ad S, broken (Alexandra Stevenson's syndrome).
Maria serving 3-2: 30/40 (BP), broken.
Pierce serving 3-3: broken after a long game.
Pierce serving to stay in the match at 3-5: 15/15, 40/15, held.
Maria serving for the match at 5-4: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15 (2 MPs), Maria won 7-6 (7-4) 6-4 at 22:42.

Maria broke 4 times from 14 break-points in the match - a statistic she ought to be quite disappointed with - while Pierce broke 3 times from 7. It seems that wasting break-points is one of Maria's main weaknesses - the number of times she hit forehand returns into the net before beating Ai Sugiyama in the quarter-finals of Wimbledon 2004.

Maria: "Yeah, it would be an amazing feeling to be number one. But I'm just trying to take one match at a time. I know expectations are high. I'm just trying to keep cool out there.

"As the weeks go on I think I'm playing better on clay."


+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [1] d. ELENA BOVINA [9], 6-2 6-2

Started 17:04 CEST.


Sharap * *@ @*@ 6
Bovina _*__@___ 2

Bovina serving 1-2: Maria broke within the time it took me to make a coffee - even WITH the changeover!
Maria serving 3-1: broken to 30.
Bovina serving 2-3: 40/15 -> 40/40, ad M (BP), Deuce #2, ad B, Deuce #3, ad M (BP #2), broken.
Maria serving 4-2: held to love
Bovina serving to stay in the first set at 2-5: 30/0, 30/15, 40/30, 40/40, ad B, Deuce #2, ad M (SP), Maria won first set 6-2 at 17:36.


Sharap * * *@*@ 6
Bovina _* *____ 2

First four games: Maria held easily, Bovina struggled to hold, Maria struggled to hold, Bovina held easily... is the momentum shifting in Bovina's favour?
Maria serving 2-2: 0/40 (3 BPs) -> 40/40, ad M, held.
Bovina serving 2-3: broken to love. It's tough to serve after wasting break-points in the previous game.
Maria serving 4-2: recovered from 0/15 and 15/30 to hold.
Bovina serving to stay in the match at 2-5: Double fault on first point, 0/40 (3 MPs), Maria won 6-2 6-2 at 18:08.

Maria broke 5 times from 8 BPs, Bovina once from 4 BPs. Maria served much better winning 77% of points when she got her first serve in, while Bovina only won 47% on /her/ first serve.

Maria: "I'm really excited. I'm playing better and better as the tournament goes on, although I know it's going to be a lot tougher in my next round.

"I think having a year to work - I worked really hard physically - is paying off. I feel a lot stronger on the clay, like I can play more matches in a row, and still feel good physically."

There's a real déjà vu about Maria's quarter-final and semi-final opponents:

1. Elena Bovina was the opponent in the first Maria Sharapova match I ever saw: 2r Wimbledon 2003. Maria won 6-3 6-1 against Bovina who seemed most dispapsinated about being shown to be inadequate by a 16-year-old, constantly complaining about Maria's timekeeping.

2. I was there when Maria beat Patty Schnyder in the semi-finals of Birmingham 2004. Maria served for the match at 6-1 6-5 but got very nervous... she won 6-1 6-7 (3/7) 6-3.


- MARIA SHARAPOVA [1] lt. PATTY SCHNYDER [8], 3-6 6-3 6-1

Yahoo! Sports (http://sports.yahoo.com/ten/):
"Schnyder used her drop shot effectively to set up easy passing shots and moved Sharapova out of her comfort zone with well-angled shots that the Russian was forced to track down."

Teletext (UK):
"...a superb performance from Patty Schnyder... the left-handed from Switzerland suddenly unfurled a dizzying array of passing shots, drop shots and winners... against a panicking Sharapova"

Started 16:18 CEST.


Sharapov *@__*@ @* 6
Schnyder __@*__@__ 3

Schnyder serving 0-1: 40/15 -> 40/40, ad M (BP), broken.
Maria serving 2-0: 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad P (BP), broken.
Schnyder serving 2-3: broken to love.
This is what David Mercer would describe as a "Noah's Ark" set - the games are going two by two.
Maria serving 4-2: 15/40 (2 BPs), broken.
Maria serving for first set at 5-3: 40/0 (3 SPs), Maria won first set 6-3 at 16:52.


Sharapov _*___* *_ 3
Schnyder * *@* * * 6

Maria serving 1-2: 40/40, ad M, 40/40, ad P (BP), broken.
Maria serving to stay in second set at 2-5 (after two deuce-games that both went with serve): 30/0, 30/15, 40/15, held
Schnyder serving for second set at 5-3: 40/15 (2 SPs) -> 40/40, ad S, Schnyder won second set 6-3 at 17:36.

At least Maria made Schnyder have to serve for it - she now has the advantage of serving first in the third.


Sharapov __*____ 1
Schnyder @* *@*@ 6

Maria serving 0-0: 0/15, 15/30, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad P (BP #3), Deuce #2, ad M, Deuce #3, ad M, Deuce #4, ad P (BP #4), broken.
Schnyder serving 1-0: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, held.
Maria serving 0-2: 0/15, 15/15, 40/15, 40/30, held.
Schnyder serving 2-1: 15/15, 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40, ad P, Deuce #2, ad P, held.
Maria serving 1-3: 40/15 -> 40/40, ad P (BP), broken.
Maria's suffering that 40/15 -> 40/40 syndrome again! :(
Schnyder serving 4-1: 15/0, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (BP), 40/40, ad M (BP #2), Deuce #2, ad P, held
Maria serving to stay in the match at 1-5: 15/15, 15/30, 30/30, 30/40 (MP), 40/40, ad P (MP #2), Schnyder won 3-6 6-3 6-1 at 18:16.

Maria broke 3 times from 8 BPs, Schnyder 6 times from 14 BPs.

Maria: "No, I'm not disappointed. I feel like I've been getting better and better as the matches went on this week. So hopefully I'll take this experience and these last two tournaments that I've played, and take it to Paris. I'll just go away and work hard next week and try and improve on the things I've learnt here.

"I've had a pretty good preparation for Paris, and I'd rather play well at a Grand Slam and just learn the things I need to work on and keep working on them... I've said it before, there's no rush. I'm just going to work on things next week and hopefully be fresh and ready for Roland Garros.

"I didn't think I was patient enough in the third set. I think she was more ready for the third set. I just have to be more patient and willing to hit an extra ball. In the third set, especially, I was too anxious to end the point. It's my instinct.

"She's a very different player than most players on tour. She has sort of an old-style sort of game and moves really, really well. You have to be really, really patient."

Schnyder: "It's one of my best wins. She deserves to be number one, she's a great champion. I just took a chance on a clay court. I think it's her weakest surface.

"I played a great game. Once the rally went on, I was the dominant player. I move better on a clay court than she does. At the end that was the key, that I could play better rallies from the back.

"I really believe in myself, especially on clay, and I know that I can beat the top players. I've beaten some number ones and most of the players on tour. But, you have to do it every week and every day, and that's the challenge.

"For me it was also about ranking. I can be in the Top 10 again. So for me, that's special. For [Sharapova], probably number one.

"I was really surprised how they supported me. I guess they like my game."


With the combination of bare shoulders and a pretty face, Maria looked something between lovely and gorgeous - she was for me the most beautiful girl in Rome.

1. http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova)
2. http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=66 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=66)
3. Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

A lot of the Maria photos from earlier this year (when she dressed in yellow) weren't very flattering to be honest. I can say that, now that she's looking as attractive as ever. ;)

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/)

Andy Mac
May 15th, 2005, 10:15 PM
thanks andy:yeah: