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andrewbroad
Jan 15th, 2006, 12:59 AM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Contents
--------

This is a cut-down, Maria-focused edit of my full Australian Open preview:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/3113 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/3113)

1. UK TV-alert
2. News of Maria
5. Andrew's analysis of the draw
7. Order of play for Monday


--------------
1. UK TV-alert
--------------

For those in the UK who have a Freeview box or other form of digital TV, there will be extra coverage of the Australian Open on BBCi! They will be televising the evening-session of the Rod Laver Arena from 8:30am GMT each day, in addition to the usual weekend-coverage on BBC 1 & 2.

Further details:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/4582096.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/4582096.stm)


----------------
2. News of Maria
----------------

Photos:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=105 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=105) (and onwards)
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova)
Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

News:
* Maria was misdiagnosed as having a pectoral-muscle strain. The source of her pain is (a) a tight region in the back of her right shoulder that she has trouble loosening and eventually grows sore under stress, and (b) a dislocated rib.
* Maria arrived in Melbourne on Sunday 8th January, practised on Rod Laver Arena, looked very relaxed (I might add beautiful and sexy!), and didn't show any visible signs of shoulder-soreness.
* Maria is still unable to serve at 100%, but her forehand is functioning normally.
* Maria is working with a new doctor/trainer, Walt Landers.

Sources:
http://www.********************/sub_scoop_010506.html (http://www.********************/sub_scoop_010506.html)
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mariasharapovacenter/ (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/mariasharapovacenter/)


2.1 Quotes
----------

Maria:
"It's not 100%. I wouldn't say it's at the top level. But at least I know the cause of the problem. The good thing is, the doctors have told me it can't get any worse. As long as I know I can't hurt it any more, I'm going to have to suck it up and do the best I can.

"I think I need a few matches to prepare. I'm not going to be playing my best in the first round, but I'm sure gradually as I go, I'm sure my form will come back to normal.

Re. who's favourite for the title?
"If you want my confidence to be up, I have to say myself."


Paul McNamee, Australian Open chief executive:
"I spoke to Maria and it was a bit of a race against time for her. She wasn't certain to come, but she's here and giving it her best shot."


--------------------------------
5. Andrew's analysis of the draw
--------------------------------
5.2 Second quarter
------------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v Sandra Klösel (davai Maria!)
* Ashley Harkleroad [Q] v Peng,Shuai (jia you Shuai!)
* Mashona Washington v Jelena Kostanic
* Zuzana Ondrášková v ANABEL MEDINA GARRIGUES [28] (pod'me Zuzana!)

* DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [17] v Saori Obata
* Dally Randriantefy v Akgul Amanmuradova [WC]
* Mariana Diaz-Oliva v Camille Pin
* Li,Na v SERENA WILLIAMS [13]

* ELENA DEMENTIEVA [9] v Julia Schruff (davai Elena!)
* Elena Vesnina v Li,Ting [Q]
* Tzipora Obziler [Q] v Olga Savchuk [Q]
* Jill Craybas v JELENA JANKOVIC [23]

* KLÁRA KOUKALOVÁ [29] v Ekaterina Bychkova (pod'me Klára!)
* Maria Elena Camerin v Yvonne Meusburger [Q] (forza Maria Elena!)
* Jarmila Gajdošová [Q] v Martina Müller
* Sophie Ferguson v NADIA PETROVA [6]

1r: Klösel was the wooden-spoonist of the US Open 2005, so despite being ranked as high as #91, it should be a virtual bye for Maria, provided that Maria is more than 50% fit after pulling out of Gold Coast with a right-shoulder injury (which we now know stems from a dislocated rib rather than a strained pectoral muscle).

2r: Peng,Shuai is the Selesian player who beat Kim Clijsters 6-4 6-4 at San Diego 2005 - the only player to beat Clijsters on a hard court before the WTA Tour Championships IIRC. But Maria beat her 6-2 6-1 in their only meeting (Berlin 2005), and Shuai's year started with a 6-2 6-4 loss to Ana Ivanovic in 1r Sydney. But Shuai is the first player capable of closing out a win over Maria (as opposed to Maria retiring).

3r: Mashona Washington beat Maria 6-3 2-6 6-2 in Maria's opening match at New Haven 2004, but that was just an aberration; Maria avenged that loss 6-0 6-1 in the Tokyo Japan Open 2004 final.

The greatest 3r threat comes from feisty Anabel Medina Garrigues, full of confidence after winning this week's Canberra tournament (although she didn't have to face anyone ranked higher than #46). I remember watching Medina Garrigues give Monica Seles quite a torrid time in 4r Australian Open 2002 before having to retire with a sudden and very serious knee-injury.

4r: The seedings decree a rematch against Serena Williams, who beat Maria in sf Australian Open 2005 despite Maria twice serving for the match and holding 3 match-points. But the defending champion is seeded only 13th after a horrendous 2005 post-AO. And she lost 6-1 6-3 to Elena Dementieva in last week's Hong Kong exhibition - and I was shocked at how out-of-shape and overweight Serena looked in a photo from that event.

I really hope Daniela Hantuchová can oust Serena in 3r, giving us a mouthwatering Maria v Daniela 4r.

qf: The seedings decree a Maria v Nadia Petrova quarter-final for the third Grand Slam in a row. Maria beat Petrova at both Wimbledon and the US Open, but I must admit that she was lucky to close out both matches. Petrova thrashed Maria 6-1 6-2 in a dead round-robin match at the WTA Tour Championships 2005, but only because Maria was saving all her effort for the semi-finals.

Petrova is an extremely powerful player, who overcame a huge mental hurdle by winning her first-ever WTA singles-title at Linz in October 2005, which should make her a considerably greater threat than before. However, she retired from the semi-finals of Auckland and from the quarter-finals of Sydney with a left-groin strain.

The other likely quarter-finalist is Elena Dementieva, who beat an out-of-shape Serena Williams at the recent Hong Kong exhibition, and also beat Maria 6-7 6-3 6-1 at that event last year. But Maria has a 3-1 record over Dementieva on the tour, the only loss coming in 2003.

sf: The top seed is Lindsay Davenport. Aside from Maria's infamous 6-0 6-0 loss to Davenport at Indian Wells 2005, Maria has beaten Davenport every other time they've played (sf Wimbledon 2004, Baltimore exhibition 2004, final of Tokyo Pan Pacific Open 2005, round-robin WTA Tour Championships 2005).

8th seed and French Open champion Justine Henin-Hardenne hit a very rich vein of form in winning Sydney, crushing Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-3 6-1 in the semis. Maria beat Henin 6-1 6-7 6-2 at Miami 2005, but lost twice to Henin on clay, including 6-4 6-2 in the French Open quarter-finals.

Final: The expected finalists from the bottom half are US Open champion Kim Clijsters (subject to her recovery from the hip-injury that forced her to retire from Sydney), WTA Tour Championships champion Amélie Mauresmo (who lost to Ana Ivanovic at Sydney and whose only Grand Slam final has been the Australian Open 1999), and Mary Pierce (who reached the French Open and US Open finals last year, having won the Australian Open 1995 and French Open 2000).

But my dream final would be Maria v Vera Zvonarëva.


---------------------------
7. Order of play for Monday
---------------------------

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 EST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 1r: LINDSAY DAVENPORT [1] v Casey Dellacqua [WC]
MS 1r: Danai Udomchoke [Q] v DAVID NALBANDIAN [4]
WS 1r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v Sandra Klösel
|
Evening session to be televised on BBCi (start 19:30 EST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 1r: Li,Na v SERENA WILLIAMS [13]
MS 1r: Michael Lammer [Q] v ANDY RODDICK [2]

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

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

nouf
Jan 15th, 2006, 05:30 AM
tkxs andrew! :-)

Maria Croft
Jan 15th, 2006, 09:15 AM
Thanks Andrew, but Maria lost to Washington 3-6 6-2 2-6

johnoo
Jan 15th, 2006, 10:48 AM
is this bit right
Evening session to be televised on BBCi (start 19:30 EST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 1r: Li,Na v SERENA WILLIAMS [13]
MS 1r: Michael Lammer [Q] v ANDY RODDICK [2]I heard a rumour that the henman match was starting a bit later to be shown on bbci also anyone fancy making a guess what time roughly maria's match might start/finish,I'm going to take a gamble its on and capture high quality so its going to take many gbs and I don't want hours of the other matches but then again I don't want to miss any of it if its on,if its on and captured I will upload to ftp server same day.

Porcupine
Jan 15th, 2006, 11:11 AM
Thanks so much Andrew :)

Andy.
Jan 15th, 2006, 11:15 AM
Thanks Andrew

msharafan
Jan 15th, 2006, 02:26 PM
yeah thanks but any ideas what time masha's match is on at? cause i want to see her wipe this kloesol or whoever she is off the court!

Mafia_Sharapova
Jan 15th, 2006, 02:27 PM
thanks Andrew :)

johnoo
Jan 15th, 2006, 06:44 PM
bbc are defo showing henman,not sure if british eurosport are as well,as taken off eurosport site.
Not Before 8:30 gmt:
Tim Henman (GBR) v Dmitry Tursunov (RUS)

xan
Jan 15th, 2006, 07:47 PM
Eurosport may show some of Maria overnight, but with the timings, it will probably be about 4am!

xan
Jan 15th, 2006, 07:50 PM
Thanx for the info Andrew.

eurosport may show some of Maria's match overnight, but its almost impossible to say when - except it will be after about 3am...

johnoo
Jan 15th, 2006, 10:32 PM
Thanx for the info Andrew.

eurosport may show some of Maria's match overnight, but its almost impossible to say when - except it will be after about 3am...

next you will be posting to say after 2am :D

andrewbroad
Jan 17th, 2006, 10:22 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)

Photos:
http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/ (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/)
http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wtas961.html (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wtas961.html)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=107 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=107) (and p.108)
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova)
Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

Video of 1r second set (not had time to watch it myself):
http://vswfan.tennisvidz.com/JOHNOO/Sharapova_V_Kloeso_ao_2006_2ndset.avi (http://vswfan.tennisvidz.com/JOHNOO/Sharapova_V_Kloeso_ao_2006_2ndset.avi)


-----------
First round
-----------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] d. Sandra Klösel, 6-2 6-1

It was touch and go at one stage whether Maria would even play the Australian Open after pulling out of Gold Coast with her shoulder-injury/dislocated rib, but she came through her opening match without pain, and "even served a lot harder than she has recently" [xan]. :)

"She's more subdued and concentrated, (the grunts are still there but not as loud) and she's using her brain more, knowing when to go for the kill. That was a rock solid performance. btw, I saw Serena play and well... let's just say at this point Maria's capable of feeding her bagels and breadsticks..." [morningglory]

"This was a very good match from Maria, because Kloessel was out to win it, and actually played very well, getting a lot of balls back, and hitting hard." [Doc]

Having decided to sleep through the day-sessions in order to watch BBCi's coverage of Melbourne's evening-sessions, I caught up with the scores from the following threads:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=213275&page=46 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=213275&page=46)
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=211890&page=2 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=211890&page=2)


First Set
---------
SHARAP *@* * *@ 6
KLÖSEL ___* *__ 2

The match started at 16:27 EST on the Rod Laver Arena.
Maria serving 0-0: Held after saving break-point.

Maria serving 4-2: Held with an ace.

Klösel serving to stay in the match at 2-5: Maria needed two set-points to win the first set 6-2 at 17:08 (41m).


Second Set
----------
SHARAP ? *@*@* 6
KLÖSEL _?_____ 1

Maria serving for the match at 5-1: 40/0 (3 MPs), Maria hit a service-winner to win 6-2 6-1 at 17:33 (1h06m).


Statistics
----------

Maria got only 50% of first serves in, but won 86% of the points when she did so, and 76% on second serve. The top players would make her pay much more dearly for all those second serves I think.

Klösel got 69% of first serves in, winning 58% of the points when she did so, and only 29% on second serve.

Maria's first serve was much faster than Klösel's: average 167 km/h (Klösel 149 km/h) with a fastest of 180 km/h (Klösel 175 km/h). Maria had an average second-serve speed of 139 km/h (Klösel 141 km/h).

Maria served 2 aces and one double fault (Klösel 2 DFs).

Maria beat Klösel by 57 points to 30, and dropped only 8 points on serve, only having to face a break-point in the first game of the match, whilst breaking Klösel's serve 4 times from 6 BPs.

Maria had a W:UE ratio of 20:16, while Klösel's was 3:19. I don't think that's a real indication of what might happen when Maria plays someone much stronger in the second week, but her W:UE ratio for the second set was a spectacular 12:4, with Klösel winning a mere 8 points in the second set as compared to 22 in the first.


Quotes
------

"I actually felt pretty good. I'm really happy about it because that's one of the first times I played a match without feeling anything. I don't expect it to be that like for the whole tournament, so I'm very happy I got through that one without any pain.

"I'm just very happy to be here. Every match that I can win, I'm just very excited, because a few hours before the flight I wasn't even going to go. Just to be here, just to feel healthy at the moment and to play good tennis, yeah.

"Usually when you don't get a lot of practice, coming into one of the most important tournaments of the year, you're not under the best condition. But I felt really good. I felt like we had a lot of good rallies and I could get a rhythm out there."


-----------------
Second-round draw
-----------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v Ashley Harkleroad [Q]

The only time I've seen Harkleroad play was in the Girls' Singles at Wimbledon 2000, when she was thrashed 6-3 6-0 by Hannah Collin. But Harkleroad has already given me grief by knocking Daniela Hantuchová out of the French Open 2003.

Harkleroad is a tiny girl of 5'5" (Maria is 6'2"), now aged 20 and ranked #107, having been ranked as high as #39 in 2003. I must admit that she's quite cute - in fact I've taken a bit of a shine to her just through my research for this preview.

Apparently she is married to the ATP player Alex Bogomolov Jr., and (in a hopefully unrelated issue) is rumoured to have spent some time in hospital suffering from depression in February 2005.

Harkleroad already has an 8-2 win/loss record for 2006 going into the second round, with six of those wins coming in qualifying for Auckland and for the Australian Open.

Maria thrashed Harkleroad 6-2 6-1 on her Wimbledon début in 2003, and barring a serious recurrence of Maria's shoulder-injury, I can only envisage a similar if not even more one-sided result on Wednesday.


---------------------------
Order of play for Wednesday
---------------------------

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 EST = 00:00 GMT)
MS 2r: IVAN LJUBICIC [7] v Philipp Kohlschreiber
WS 2r: Hana Šromová v JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [8]
MS 2r: Wesley Moodie v ANDY RODDICK [2]
|
Evening-session (not before 19:30 EST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 2r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v Ashley Harkleroad [Q]
MS 2r: Stanislas Wawrinka v DAVID NALBANDIAN [4]

BBCi have promised to appease "those who like their tennis tall, blonde and Russian"! :D

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

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

Steve-o
Jan 18th, 2006, 07:26 PM
Thanks Andrew :)

andrewbroad
Jan 19th, 2006, 09:09 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Photos
------

http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/Default.asp (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/photogallery/Default.asp) ("Australian Open" and "Australian Open - Whirlpool Ad Shoot")

http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=109 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=99305&page=109)
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova)
Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

------------
Second round (Wednesday)
------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] d. Ashley Harkleroad [Q], 6-1 7-5

I saw the whole match on BBCi - the only women's match they have televised so far in 2006.

In tennis-terms this wasn't a very spectacular match, with Maria not showing more than occasional flashes of brilliance - nor needing to against Harkleroad, whose style is just to keep the ball in play without much pace.

Harkleroad was once hyped as the next big thing in American tennis, but she hasn't got a fast enough arm to be a superstar.

The first set was easy for Maria, as she just overpowered Harkleroad with hard hitting and few errors. Neither girl hit a lot of clean winners until the last couple of games, when Maria did come up with some top-drawer winners.

In the second set, Maria was bothered by a blister on her left sole (at least her shoulder was "fine"). Her forehand broke down alarmingly, and she seemed to be losing control of the match with a series of wild unforced errors. Harkleroad was keeping a good length on her groundshots, making it difficult for Maria to attack.

But the Sharapova overdrive always seems to kick in when she feels threatened: Maria seems to have access to an instant shot of adrenaline. She saved three set-points on her serve at 4-5, and after that it was Harkleroad making the errors.

But it's lucky that Maria didn't have to play a third set with that blister, and lucky that she wasn't playing a stronger opponent when this happened.


Eye-candy
---------

This match was very pleasant on the eyes: Ashley Harkleroad is a beautiful young lady, with pretty eyes, a delicately sculpted nose, cute little teeth, and a petite, sensuously fleshy body with wonderfully smooth skin, even if her shoulders aren't as well contoured as Maria's.

Whereas Maria's beauty transcends the sum of her body-parts: she just has an awesome presence about her. She was wearing a blue maternity-dress with sexy thin shoulder-straps, although the dress did make her look a little bit fat around the midriff (it had the same effect on Karolina Šprem, who wore a mauve variant of this dress).


Low expectations
----------------

The commentators said the vibe from the Sharapova camp was that her expectations for the Australian Open 2006 were very low, which is good in a way because it takes the pressure off Maria.

It can be very stressful to go into a match not knowing if you'll be able to finish it, as Maria did at least in the first round.

But if anyone can grit their teeth and play through pain, it's Monica Seles (who defied two painful injuries to win the Australian Open 1996), and then Maria.


Maria's forehand
----------------

Maria has only been practising an hour a day, in order not to aggravate her shoulder-injury. That may be part of the reason that her forehand broke down in the second set - as well as the blister, which was surely the main reason.

The commentators, Chris Bailey and Sam Smith, criticised Maria's forehand-technique, saying it may be to blame for her shoulder-injury.

Maria's forehand has a late contact-point, and the reason it may be bad for her shoulder is a lack of rotation with her hips and shoulders: she tries to do it all with her arm, with a "lasso" follow-through, i.e. up the back of the ball and around her head, instead of following through the shot. So she's always falling to the left, always off-balance.

I wonder whether Maria ought to remodel her forehand, in order to make it a little more reliable, and to protect her shoulder.

But it would be a very difficult decision for her to commit to: other players who have remodelled their forehands have found it difficult to work on the new forehand in practice-sessions whilst still using their old forehand in matches, and/or have had to put up with months of bad results before their new forehand begins to pay dividends.


First Set
---------
SHARAPOVA *@* *@* 6
HARKLEROA ___*___ 1

The match started at 19:42 EST on the Rod Laver Arena.

I haven't got time to write up a detailed point-by-point description if I'm going to post this before Maria's third-round match, so I'll do that for my website in the future - for now just highlights.

The point of the Australian Open 2006 so far occurred with Maria serving at 2-0 (40/30): with both girls having to run outside the tramlines to retrieve angled shots from each other, Harkleroad netted a forehand on the 22nd stroke of the rally.

Harkleroad serving 1-4:
* {0/15} Maria hit a crosscourt backhand to set up a stunning backhand winner down the line.
* {30/40} Maria hit a scorching crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline to achieve her second break.

Maria serving for the first set at 5-1:
* {0/0} Maria hit a crosscourt backhand winner behind Harkleroad.
* {15/0} Maria backhand winner down the line.
* {30/0} Ace down the middle.
* {40/0} Maria netted a forehand.
* {40/15} Harkleroad netted a forehand to lose the set 6-1 at 20:11.


Second Set
----------
SHARAPOVA _* * *@__*@* 7
HARKLEROA * * *__@*___ 5

Harkleroad serving 0-0:
* {15/15} Maria hit a crosscourt forehand return-winner onto the sideline.
* {15/40} Maria squandered these break-points with unforced errors, grimacing and hobbling between points. Harkleroad held after several deuces.

When Maria called for the trainer at the 0-1 change-of-ends, I was terrified that her shoulder-injury had flared up again. But she bared her left foot, and there was a red blister on the concave part of her sole. She took a medical time-out to have a doughnut-shaped plaster put on around the blister.

At the 1-2 changeover, Maria had a larger doughnut put on her sole, on top of the old doughnut and its strapping.

Harkleroad serving 2-2:
* {15/0} Maria made a spectacular error: running backwards for a high, deep lob, she hit a wild overhead long.

At the 2-3 changeover, Maria took everything off her left foot, and had a fresh doughnut put on her sole.

Harkleroad serving 3-3:
* {0/15} Maria crosscourt forehand winner.
* {0/40} Maria wasted the first two break-points.
* {30/40} Harkleroad gave Maria the break with a double fault.

Maria serving 4-3:
* {15/15} She handed the break right back to Harkleroad with three ragged forehand errors in a row.

Harkleroad serving 4-4:
* {15/0} Maria hit a spectacular acute off-forehand return-winner.
* {15/30} Maria's forehand broke down for the rest of the game to let Harkleroad off the hook.

Maria serving to stay in the set at 4-5:
* {0/0} Service-winner.
* {15/0} Maria forehand error.
* {15/15} Maria backhand error.
* {15/30} Maria played a spreading rally: a crosscourt forehand and an off-forehand to set up a crosscourt forehand winner.
* {30/30} Maria netted a backhand.
* {30/40: SP #1} In a long rally, it was Harkleroad who broke down first, netting a forehand on the 14th stroke.
* {40/40} Maria netted a forehand.
* {Ad H: SP #2} Maria saved it with a massive unreturnable serve out wide.
* {Deuce #2} Harkleroad hit an off-backhand return to set up a forehand winner down the line.
* {Ad HL: SP #3} Maria saved it with another huge serve out wide to set up an easy crosscourt forehand winner.
* {Deuce #3} Harkleroad netted a backhand return off a second serve.
* {Ad M} Harkleroad netted a forehand.

Harkleroad serving 5-5:
* {0/0} Harkleroad hit a deep forehand and came to the net, inducing Maria to net a backhand.
* {15/0} Harkleroad forehand long.
* {15/15} Maria netted a backhand.
* {30/15} Harkleroad forehand long.
* {30/30} Harkleroad tried a crazy backhand dropshot that landed on her side of the net.
* {30/40} Harkleroad double-faulted to give Maria the break, just as she had done at 3-3 (30/40).

Maria serving for the match at 6-5:
* {0/0} Harkleroad forehand return just long.
* {15/0} Harkleroad netted a forehand.
* {30/0} Double fault.
* {30/15} Harkleroad hit a backhand dropshot; Maria ran it down and hit a forehand winner that caught the back edge of the baseline.
* {40/15: MP #1} Maria hit a fierce backhand into Harkleroad's backhand-corner, forcing Harkleroad to miss a one-handed backhand. Maria won 6-1 7-5 at 21:06 (1h24m).


Statistics
----------

Maria had a W:UE ratio of 18:31, Harkleroad 5:25 - not very good for either girl, and Maria will have to improve hers if she is to have a clear advantage against Jelena Kostanic. Maria had a W:UE of 11:23 for just the second set, perhaps wanting to keep the points short because of the blister.

Maria served 2 aces and 4 double faults. Harkleroad served 3 double faults, but crucially, 2 of them came at break-point down in the second set.

Maria got 54% of first serves in, winning 84% of the points when she did so, and 54% on second serve (Harkleroad 67%, 61% and 35%). The differences between first and second serves were more than usual, then.

Maria hit some booming first serves, with an average speed of 170 km/h, fastest 185 km/h (Harkleroad 162 km/h, 152 km/h). Both girls hit second serves at an average of 139 km/h.

Maria broke 4 times from 11 break-points - not a very good conversion-rate - while Harkleroad broke once from 4.

Maria beat Harkleroad by 69 points to 49 (second set 42-36).


Maria's on-court interview
--------------------------

JOHN ALEXANDER: It was getting just a little tight near the end.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah. Yeah, I thought it was good, I haven't had these kind of matches in a while, it's been uh, nearly two months already since I had, you know, the competition, so I think it's good to get that in earlier rounds, push yourself a little bit more.

JOHN ALEXANDER: And pretty happy with your form overall?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I am, I think I made a little bit of some errors towards the... towards the middle of the second set, and I... I'll just get on the practice-court tomorrow and work on a few things to... to get ready for the next match.

JOHN ALEXANDER: So you've got a day off. What're you gonna do on your day off, other than practise - you gonna have some fun?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Heh! I don't know how much fun I can have, I'll just try to focus on this tournament, but I, you know, go out, have some nice dinners, and 's pretty much it for now. Heh!

JOHN ALEXANDER: I hear there's some good shopping in town!

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I heard there is too - don't worry, I'll hit the shops after the tournament! <laughing> I gotta get my pay-cheque first, you know? Gotta see how much I can spend. Heh heh!

JOHN ALEXANDER: Just living from hand to mouth, I say! Congratulations on a great match...

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Thank you. Thanks everybody.

JOHN ALEXANDER: ...and good luck in the rest of the tournament.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Thank you.


Maria quotes
------------

"I played a really good, solid first set. Then all of a sudden I got a blister on my foot, and the taping made it worse, and I started thinking about it and kind of my mind shut down for a little bit.

"It was weird. I've never gotten blisters before on my feet, so I was kind of a little shocked and forgot, you know, what I was doing out there. So it took me a little while just to get a groove again.

"I broke, and then at 4-3 I didn't take the opportunity to finish it off. It was good for me to realise that once I'm up a break, I need to finish it off rather than just play another four games for the crowd.

"I think that there's definitely room for improvement with my physical conditioning. I think that I can get better. And I think that as the challenges become bigger, I think, physically, I'm going to get better on the court.

"I'm really happy to be here because I didn't think I would be. I didn't think that I would be competing. So, after having a tough last six months with the shoulder injury, it feels really good, but I'm not expecting a lot from myself here.

"I can't worry about my opponent. I've got to focus on my game. That's what makes me a great player."


----------------
Third-round draw
----------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v Jelena Kostanic

I pray that Maria won't have any problems with her blister or her shoulder, or any other weird surprises on Friday, because I've got a bad feeling about this match after watching Maria struggle in the second set against Harkleroad.

I've already suffered three losses to Kostanic: once as a Jelena Dokic fan, once as an Iva Majoli fan, and once as an Iroda Tulyaganova fan.

And Maria had a lucky escape against Kostanic in their only previous meeting, at Philadelphia 2004: Maria lost the first set 2-6, won the second 6-4, and was leading 3-0 in the third when Kostanic retired with a groin-injury.

I saw Kostanic play at Wimbledon 2005, and she was slicing everything. Whether she does that on surfaces other than grass - where the ball keeps especially low when sliced - I do not know.


------------------------
Order of play for Friday
------------------------

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 EST = 00:00 GMT)
WS 3r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v Jelena Kostanic
MS 3r: Julien Benneteau v ANDY RODDICK [2]
WS 3r: LINDSAY DAVENPORT [1] v MARIA KIRILENKO [25]
|
Evening session (not before 19:30 EST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 3r: DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [17] v SERENA WILLIAMS [13]
MS 3r: TOMMY ROBREDO [16] v JAMES BLAKE [20]

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

Porcupine
Jan 20th, 2006, 12:02 PM
Thanks Andrew

xan
Jan 21st, 2006, 01:40 AM
Maria played really hard against Kostanic. It was a tougher match than the score suggests. Maria seemed to put everything into her groundstrokes to finish the match off quickly and looked overjoyed to win. It looked as though she'd been worried about this match.

andrewbroad
Jan 21st, 2006, 11:48 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Photos
------

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wtas961.html (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wtas961.html)
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova)
Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

-----------
Third round (Friday)
-----------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] d. Jelena Kostanic, 6-0 6-1

This match was played in steamy 35°C heat, so Maria will have been glad to power through so quickly - although it was closer than the scoreline implies - without too many long rallies.

Martin Johnson of British newspaper The Daily Telegraph wrote a couple of things about this match that made me laugh:
>>>
Sharapova was in action against Jelena Kostanic, a Jelena who does not, so far as we know, have a father intent on launching a nuclear strike against Sydney.

It was a sweltering 93°F when Sharapova came on to court at 11am. As she sat in the chair beneath her parasol, organising her drinks table, arranging her towels and slapping on the Factor 30, she gave the impression of someone about to spend a day on the beach. For all the exertion she required to see off Kostanic, 6-0, 6-1, the beach is where she might just as well have been, though if she made the same noises in the ocean as she does when she hits a tennis ball, the Victoria state coastguard would have put to sea thinking that someone was being attacked by a shark.
<<<

Having decided to sacrifice following live scores in the day-sessions in order to watch BBCi's coverage of Melbourne's evening-sessions, I caught up with the scores from the following thread:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=214646&page=2 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=214646&page=2)


First Set
---------
SHARAPOV *@*@*@ 6
KOSTANIC ______ 0

The match started on Rod Laver Arena at 11:13 AEST.

Maria serving 0-0: Held to love.
Kostanic serving 0-1: 15/15, 30/15, 30/30. Double fault. 30/40 (BP), broken.
Maria serving 2-0: 0/15... held.
Kostanic serving 0-3: 15/30. Maria forehand winner. 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40. Maria forehand winner. Ad Maria (BP #3), Deuce #2. Double fault. Ad Maria (BP #4), Deuce #3, ad Maria (BP #5), broken at last.

Maria serving 4-0: 40/40 after 2 forehand errors from Maria. Held.
Kostanic serving 0-5: Maria won the first set 6-0 at 11:43 (30m) after a winner to set up set-point.


Second Set
----------
SHARAPOV * *@*@* 6
KOSTANIC _*_____ 1

Maria serving 0-0: Held to love.

Kostanic serving 0-1: Held after saving a couple of BPs that would have made it a double bagel.

Kostanic serving 1-2: Broken after saving at least one BP.
Maria serving 3-1: Maria making errors on her backhand now. 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40.
Kostanic serving 1-4: GP, Deuce. Maria breaks with two forehand winners in a row!
Maria serving for the match at 5-1: Held to love. Maria won 6-0 6-1 at 12:21 (1h08m).


Statistics
----------

Maria had an "in the black" W:UE ratio of 18:13 (but only 6:7 in the second set), while Kostanic had a woeful 7:27 (3:19 in the second set).

Maria went to the net 15 times - which is quite a lot for her, perhaps trying to keep the points short in the heat - and won 8 of those points (Kostanic 1 of 2).

Maria got 61% of first serves in, winning 78% of points when she did so - and 80% on second serve! Kostanic didn't get any pay-off from her first serve either (64%, 39% and 50%).

Maria dropped only 8 points on her serve, and although she had to face 2 break-points, she saved them both. She broke Kostanic 5 times from 13 BPs, which is rather wasteful.

Maria won almost twice as many points as Kostanic, 62-32.

Maria served faster than Kostanic (fastest serve 175-162 km/h, average first serve 156-151 km/h, average second serve 135-133 km/h), although significantly slower than in her second-round match. I hope this isn't an indication of her shoulder getting worse.


Maria quotes
------------

"I wouldn't say that was really easy. Mentally it was pretty tough when you know you've got a very patient opponent, and you know that it's really hot out there. I mean, you've got to be really tough. And the score doesn't really explain the match.

"I think it took a little while to get used to the conditions, but other than that, it felt pretty good. She is a lefty, she's a very tricky player. You just have to be very patient. It was the first day that was really hot out there today, so I just had to be extra patient. I knew that she wouldn't just give up the match, that I had to work for it. I was happy that I fought till the end.

"It was the first day it's been really hot like this, so it was good to get through this sort of match and get ready for the next one.

"I think a whole year brings a lot of experience to your game. My game has matured a lot. I feel like I'm a more experienced player in tougher situations. Even though I'm still only 18 and still have a lot to learn, I feel like I'm slowly getting better.

"I'm naturally a lefty. I do a lot of things lefty. I write with my right hand, but I throw and kick with my left foot and left hand. If I feel comfortable enough to hit a lefty, I feel like I'm in the right position to do it, yeah, I'm confident that I can make it."

[Re. a possible 4r v Serena Williams, who had yet to play Daniela Hantuchová]
"It would be great. I was disappointed last year, but I know I'll have support here. I'll have my revenge."

And now she'll have to take revenge on Daniela for stealing her revenge against Serena! ;)


-----------------
Fourth-round draw
-----------------

* MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [17]

A mouthwatering match between my second and third favourite players of all time. A match of tall, elegant beauty, of flairsome power, and of the two loveliest serves in tennis.

"I have the power to save the one you love! You must choose!"

Surely, there is no grief that can befall a man more sorely than to have to choose between Maria Sharapova and Daniela Hantuchová. If this were a Grand Slam final, I'd be rooting for Daniela to join Maria as a Grand Slam champion (in singles). If it were a regular WTA tournament, then the joy and confidence to Daniela would far outweigh the little gap on Maria's scroll of honour. But which girl is likely to dignify my eternal fanship by winning the Australian Open title?

As a Daniela-fan, I just hope to see her lose her inhibitions and entertain us with full justice to her immense talent, even if only to keep the match close.

Daniela will have to be bolder than she was against an erratic Serena Williams if she is to make any real impact against a healthy Maria. She'll need to hit more winners, get more first serves in, and have a better break-point conversion-rate than she did against Williams.

As Sam Smith said, Daniela takes tennis very seriously and stressfully. She doesn't have the pressure that she's expected to beat Maria, so she needs to have a bit more fun out there and just "let it rip".

Daniela: "I'm really looking forward to the match, I've got nothing to lose. If I keep going like I did tonight, it's going to be a great match again. I can't wait to be out there again."

But will Maria be healthy for this match? She was struggling with a blister in her second-round match - spraying forehands everywhere - and also has a long-term shoulder-injury that could flare up at any time. I pray that these problems will stay away until she's holding up that beautiful tall trophy next Saturday.


------------------------
Order of play for Sunday
------------------------

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MD 3r: Bob Bryan/Mike Bryan v JORDAN KERR/TRAVIS PARROTT [14]
(NB 12:30) WS 4r: LINDSAY DAVENPORT v SVETLANA KUZNETSOVA [14]
MS 4r: Marcos Baghdatis v ANDY RODDICK [2]
|
Evening-session (not before 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
WS 4r: MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [17]
MS 4r: IVAN LJUBICIC [7] v THOMAS JOHANSSON [10]

Maria v Daniela will be televised on BBCi at 8:30am GMT! :D

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/) (added 3 external links)

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 24th, 2006, 12:50 AM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN (Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Photos
------

Maria and Daniela:
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova)
Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

Fans of both players might want to read my joint, uncut report:
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/3162 (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/jeldani/message/3162)

------------
Fourth round (Sunday)
------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] d. DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [17], 6-4 6-4

This was a brilliant match from both players, and the best tennis that I've seen from Daniela since the Indian Wells 2002 final. No longer tentative but full of confidence after beating Serena Williams, Daniela went for her shots and made some spectacular winners, particularly when 3-4* down in the first set.

But Maria responded with her own winners, and was better in the decisive moments than Daniela. Maria has an incredible strength of will - "as mean as a snake", as Martina Hingis once put it. And Maria is a heavier hitter than Daniela, and a better mover.

Daniela led 2-0 in the first set and 3-0 in the second. Sadly she picked up a thigh-injury in the second set that required off-court treatment at 3-2, and while it didn't appear to be too serious, Daniela just went off the boil enough for Maria to romp into the quarter-finals without much resistance at the end. Daniela had deserved a set.

It's good that this match was on the Rod Laver Arena evening-session, as it was a brutally hot and humid day, with temperatures up to 44°C outside - the 6th-hottest day ever recorded in Melbourne - although with the roof closed and the air-conditioning on, it was more like 25°C (the ball bounces lower with the roof closed).

But I don't remember seeing such brilliant tennis from two players against each other since Monica Seles d. Karina Habšudová in 1r Wimbledon 2000. :)

Sam Smith commented on how much Daniela's forehand has improved this year: a cleaner swing and a better strike-position. She criticised Maria for serving to Daniela's forehand in the deuce-court too much.

Sam Smith said Daniela's intelligence works against her on a tennis-court, as she tends to overanalyse things rather than playing from instinct.

Of the previous Maria v Daniela matches that I've seen, Maria was just too good for Daniela at Wimbledon 2004, and IMO neither of them played close to their best at Zurich 2004. Their match-ups lack a contrast of styles, but it's certainly a joy to watch when they're both hitting winner after winner as they were doing towards the end of the first set, which was worthy of a Grand Slam final.


In British newspaper The Daily Telegraph, Mark Hodgkinson wrote:
>>>
Hantuchová, the world No 17, has previously been known for her mental frailty on court, but it is understood that she had been working with a leading sports psychologist, and she has displayed a tougher approach to her tennis during her run at the Australian Open.

And while strolling the corridors and walkways of Melbourne Park, her manner and ever-present smile have suggested that she has been enjoying her time on the tour again.
<<<

According to Sam Smith, Daniela has improved mentally in that she doesn't beat herself any more. When things start to go wrong, she's learned to stay in the moment rather than thinking ahead about what could happen (another important aspect, of course, is not thinking back to missed opportunities). And it takes a tough, strong-willed woman to come back as far as Daniela has done from the traumas she suffered both on and off the court in 2003.

Sam Smith tipped Daniela to return to the top ten.

Apparently, Daniela spent a couple of years at the Nick Bollettieri academy in Florida, from the age of 16 which I didn't know before (Maria, of course, has been there since 1994).

Sam Smith said Maria and Daniela were both influential fashion-icons - that girls in Russia and Slovakia wanted to wear the same as they do. I hope Maria's maternity-dress won't become the latest fashion, though - only the slimmest girls would get away with that! ;)


First Set
---------
SHARAPOVA __@*@*__@* 6
HANTUCHOV *@____*@__ 4

Daniela won the toss and elected to serve, and the match started on Rod Laver Arena at 19:43 AEST.

Daniela serving 0-0: Held to love, courtesy of some quick errors from Maria and a dead netcord. Daniela looked relaxed, and was playing consistently rather than recklessly, getting a lot of balls back.

Maria serving 0-1: More errors from Maria and a double fault. 15/40 (2 BPs). Maria hit a good serve out wide, but netted an easy down-the-line forehand to give first blood to Daniela.

Daniela serving 2-0: Broken to 15 with four errors (the point she won was a serve down the middle to force a short return, which she dispatched with a crosscourt forehand winner).

Maria serving 1-2: Held to 15 - errors and a dead netcord.

Daniela serving 2-2: Maria forehand winner. 0/15. Daniela hit a great serve out wide, followed by an off-backhand dropshot, but Maria ran it down impressively to hit a crosscourt forehand winner. 0/30. Daniela won the next three points with a service-winner followed by a couple of errors from Maria after good defensive play by Daniela. 40/30. Double fault. 40/40. Two forehand errors from Daniela put Maria up a break.

Maria serving 3-2: Daniela was sparring well, but making errors. She hit an off-backhand winner down the line at 30/0, and Maria missed a forehand to make it 30/30. Maria hit an off-forehand to set up a crosscourt forehand winner, and said "c'mon". 40/30. Maria hit a crosscourt forehand winner onto the sideline.

Daniela serving 2-4: Maria punished a poor dropshot with a forehand winner. 0/15. Two service-winners. 30/15. Daniela netted two backhands. 30/40 (BP). Daniela saved it with a wide serve to force a short return and set up a crosscourt forehand winner. 40/40. Maria exposed Daniela's lack of mobility with an aggressive backhand down the line, forcing Daniela to net a sliced forehand. Advantage Maria (BP #2). Daniela saved it with a terrific crosscourt backhand winner. Deuce #2. Two service-winners.

Maria serving 4-3: Brilliant game!
* Daniela hit a forehand return-winner down the line.
* {0/15} Daniela hit a stinging forehand return winner down the other line.
* {0/30} Maria responded with a backhand winner down the line that caught the back edge of the sideline.
* {15/30} Daniela hit an aggressive forehand return to set up a forehand winner down the line.
* {15/40: 2 BPs} Maria saved it with backhand winner down the line.
* {30/40} Daniela wasted it with a forehand return long.
* {40/40} Double fault.
* {Ad D: BP #3} Maria saved it with a good serve to set up an off-forehand winner.
* {Deuce #2} Maria forehand long.
* {Ad D: BP #4} Maria backhand long.

Daniela serving 4-4: Maria broke to 15 as Daniela made four errors (the point she won was a service-winner), finishing with a sliced backhand into the net. "C'mon!" said Maria.

Maria serving for the first set at 5-4:
* Daniela forehand return-winner down the line.
* {0/15} Daniela crosscourt backhand virtual winner.
* {0/30} Maria served down the middle to force a lob from Daniela, and hit a forehand smash-winner.
* {15/30} Daniela opened up the court nicely for a backhand winner down the line... and hit it into the net.
* {30/30} Daniela mishit a dropshot-return that made Maria stumble on her way to hit a forehand; Daniela hit a lob; Maria, running backwards, hit a forehand smash long.
* {30/40: BP} Maria saved it with an ace out wide, but Daniela complained that it was wide. The slow-motion replay showed that it was clearly wide.
* {40/40} Daniela hit a wild backhand wide.
* {Ad M: SP} Maria won the first set 6-4 at 20:28 (45m) with a service-winner down the middle, and said "c'mon".


Second Set
----------
SHARAPOVA ___*@* *@* 6
HANTUCHOV *@*___*___ 4

Daniela serving 0-0: After errors and a service-winner made it 40/15, Daniela hit a nice angled crosscourt forehand, but Maria used it against her with a forehand winner down the line. 40/30. Double fault. 40/40. Daniela hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand. Ad D. Ace out wide.

Maria serving 0-1: Maria hit a crosscourt forehand to set up a forehand winner down the line, but a couple of forehand errors (before and after) made it 15/30. Daniela hit a stunning forehand winner down the line. 15/40 (2 BPs). Daniela hit a deep forehand return to draw a netcord from Maria; Daniela hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand right into Maria's forehand corner to get the break.

Daniela serving 2-0: Held to 30 with two service-winners and two shots wide from Maria (one of Maria's points was a crosscourt backhand winner).

Maria serving 0-3: Held to 15 with two forehand smash-winners, and an acute crosscourt backhand that forced Daniela to net a sliced backhand on the second point. Daniela started stretching her left thigh between points.

Sam Smith: "Sharapova having to play near her best tennis just to live in this second set with Hantuchová."

Daniela serving 3-1: With Maria hitting a crosscourt forehand onto the sideline to set up a forehand drive-volley winner at 15/15, Daniela was broken to 15 after missing three forehands - one of which was short and easy.

There was a 9-minute delay while Daniela went off-court for a medical time-out, during which Maria was hitting practice-serves. Only 3 minutes are allowed for the actual treatment - the other 6 were taken up with waiting for the trainer to arrive, evaluating the injury, leaving and reentering the court. Daniela reappeared with her left thigh strapped.

Maria serving 2-3: Maria tested Daniela's injury with a dropshot, but Daniela ran it down, hit a crosscourt forehand, and Maria missed a forehand pass long and wide. 0/15. Daniela off-forehand winner. 0/30. Maria forehand drive-volley winner. 15/30. Maria backhand long. 15/40 (2 BPs). Maria hit a crosscourt forehand to set up an error-forcing forehand down the line. 30/40. Daniela wasted the 2nd BP with a backhand return long. 40/40. Daniela ballooned a forehand return wide. Ad M. Daniela backhand long.

Daniela serving 3-3: Held to love with two aces down the middle, a service-winner, and a wide-angled serve to set up a backhand winner down the line.

Maria serving 3-4: Held to love with an ace out wide, a serve out wide to set up a crosscourt backhand winner, and two backhand errors from Daniela.

Daniela serving 4-4: Daniela recovered from 0/15 with a forehand winner down the line. Maria hit a down-the-line forehand winner to make it 15/40 (2 BPs). On the 16th stroke of the rally, Maria netted a forehand. 30/40. On the 16th stroke of this rally, Maria hit an off-forehand winner behind Daniela to score the vital break.

Maria serving for the match at 5-4:
* Daniela backhand long.
* {15/0} Service-winner down the middle.
* {30/0} Ace out wide.
* {40/0: 3 MPs} Daniela hit a backhand onto the baseline, forcing Maria to hit a backhand long.
* {40/15: MP #2} Maria served down the middle; Daniela hit a backhand skyscraper-lob return that landed just inside the sideline; Maria hit a crosscourt backhand; Daniela hit a forehand winner into the open space.
* {40/30: MP #3} Service-winner out wide. Maria won 6-4 6-4 at 21:20 (1h37m, including the 9m MTO).


Statistics
----------

Maria got 61% of first serves in, winning 63% of the points when she did so, and 50% on second serve (Daniela 70%, 58% and 33%). Maria will need to improve her serve-percentages if Nadia Petrova's serve will be at its best (Maria did improve them in the second set to 71%, 65% and 63%).

Maria served big, with a fastest serve of 185 km/h (Daniela 175 km/h), average first serve at 170 km/h (Daniela 165 km/h), second serve 141 km/h for both players.

Both girls hit 3 aces and 2 double faults. Maria won 8 of 10 points at the net, while Daniela won only 6 of 9, which is a bit disappointing compared with her previous rounds.

Maria had a W:UE ratio of 25:16, Daniela 16:22. These figures don't do justice to the best part of the match (the end of the first set and the beginning of the second), where they both hit plenty of spectacular winners.

Maria beat Daniela by 66 points to 57 (first set 35-31, second set 31-26).

Maria broke 5 times from 8 break-points, Daniela 3 times from 9 BPs. And that was the key difference - Daniela actually had one more BP, but her conversion-rate was only 33% against Maria's 63%.

Daniela really needs to address what happens on break-points against the opponent as her number-one priority.


Maria quotes
------------

"Today was probably one of the hottest days I've ever experienced in my life. It was pretty brutal out there."

[Re. approaching peak form]
"Little by little I am. It was good today, I kept my composure when I was down at the beginning of both of the sets. I just kept calm and tried to break her, and tried to get the momentum back, and it went my way in the end.

"I felt like even though I got down those breaks, I still felt like I was playing pretty well. I thought she was a great returner."

[Re. Daniela's medical time-out]
"I really had to keep my composure and stay in control."


------------------
Quarter-final draw
------------------

* LINDSAY DAVENPORT [1] v JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [8]
* MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v NADIA PETROVA [6]

* PATTY SCHNYDER [7] v AMÉLIE MAURESMO [3]
* Martina Hingis [WC] v KIM CLIJSTERS [2]

Maria beat Petrova at both Wimbledon and the US Open, but I must admit that she was lucky to close out both matches. Petrova thrashed Maria 6-1 6-2 in a dead round-robin match at the WTA Tour Championships 2005, but only because Maria was
saving all her effort for the semi-finals.

Petrova is an extremely powerful player, who overcame a huge mental hurdle by winning her first-ever WTA singles-title at Linz in October 2005, which should make her a considerably greater threat than before.

I have a very bad feeling about this match. I don't think Maria can afford to lose her serve three times against Petrova.

Maria: "I know it will be tough. She's a very strong server, so I'm expecting another very close game, but I'm just happy to get through."

Petrova has reached the quarter-finals with alarming ease (albeit not having to face a seed), dropping just 15 games (Maria has lost 18 games so far):
1r + Sophie Ferguson [WC], 6-2 6-1
2r + Martina Müller, 6-4 6-1
3r + Maria Elena Camerin, 6-1 6-2
4r + Elena Vesnina, 6-3 6-1

Elena Vesnina on Petrova: "She can play on the baseline, she can play on the volley, so she's like perfect, I think. I think she can do well here. She can beat the next opponent. I don't know who it will be, Maria or Daniela. I wish good luck for her. She can beat them."

One thing in Maria's favour is that Petrova is not happy with her current coaching-situation. After sacking Glen Schaap (the man who once picked up Yuri Sharapov and dumped him in a courtside-bin), she has a new coach who she thinks goes too easy on her and doesn't tell her what to do, and whom she intends to sack at the end of the Australian Open.

-------------------------
Order of play for Tuesday
-------------------------

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
WD qf: SHINOBU ASAGOE/KATARINA SREBOTNIK [9] v CARA BLACK/RENNAE STUBBS [2]
MS qf: Fabrice Santoro v DAVID NALBANDIAN [4] (not before 12:30)
WS qf: MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] v NADIA PETROVA [6]
|
Evening-session (not before 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
WS qf: LINDSAY DAVENPORT [1] v JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [8]
MS qf: IVAN LJUBICIC [7] v Marcos Baghdatis

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

lakan kildap
Jan 24th, 2006, 01:19 AM
I think it's unfortunate that on breakpoint in the 10th game of the 1st, with Maria serving, she was given the point which allowed her to get to deuce when her serve was clearly out. Between these two, I'm rooting more for Maria, but Daniela happens to be one of my favorite players, and is on a comeback trail. So little reward for what was a huge effort against Serena.

And poor officiating always happens in the most important points.

Maria Croft
Jan 24th, 2006, 09:44 AM
M. SHARAPOVA/N. Petrova

7‑6, 6‑4

Q. That was a pretty good fight out there, wasn't it?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it was definitely not easy. You know, we were breaking each other's serves left and right out there. I mean, it was a miracle when someone held serve.

I was having trouble with the direction of the wind. It was going in one direction the whole match. When I was playing against the wind, I would, you know, hit the ball harder with more spin on my serve. Then when I would go to the other side, I'd do the same thing, and it felt like the ball was just, you know, going way out. It just put pressure on my second serve. Knowing she has pretty big serves, that's one of her biggest weapons, you know, that put more pressure on me.

I just tried to hang in there. You know, it's really tough being down two set points. But I gutted it out in the first point, then had an easy second point. You know, yeah, I mean, it definitely wasn't easy.

Q. Might be the survival of the fittest. How are you feeling just at the moment?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I feel pretty good. My arm is feeling pretty good, yeah. I must say, I didn't expect it to be this good.

Q. Why do you say you didn't expect it to be this good?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, because in my mind I have this (indiscernible) that I'm going to play the whole tournament in pain. So I just know in advance. That's what I thought before the tournament started: I'm going to play this tournament with pain. I'm just going to tough it out and do whatever I can, as long as it doesn't get to a point where I can't play.

Q. What do you do, painkillers?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, nothing. Just treatment.

Q. Very high number of unforced errors in that match.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: There were.

Q. What do you put that down to?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, I think a little bit of everything. I think the conditions, the wind a little bit, as well as the serve. I think when you have a low percentage of your serves going in, I don't know what it was in the end, but the first set I know wasn't high. That puts pressure on everything else.

I mean, I was trying to think of, you know, how to get my first serve in. That's all I was thinking about, when I should have just, you know, played my game. Yeah, combination of both.

Q. Was the wind swirling?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No.

Q. Or was it inconsistent?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, it was just going in one direction. I think that's why ‑‑ I mean, both of us had problems with our serve. We were breaking each other, making a lot of double‑faults.

Q. At this level, there's rarely what you would call a friendly match, but it seemed like things were a little testy out there. She certainly was unhappy a number of times. Seemed to be unhappy with maybe even Yuri. Does that concern you at all?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, yeah, I get unhappy when, you know, I make six double‑faults in four service games. I mean, that's not normal. I shouldn't be doing that, yeah. On an important point, I get a bad call, yeah, it's normal, I get frustrated.

But, you know, what, you got to go out and you got to deal with it. That's the way it is. Like it or not, with the wind, I mean, there can be so many excuses out there. Can leave me a lot of excuses, but that's not going to do me any good if I keep making excuses.

Q. How do you get along with the other Russian girls on tour at the moment?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm very good friends with Maria Kirilenko. I've known here since we were about 14 years old. She's a very good buddy of mine. Other girls, I'm, "Hello, how are you?" But that's about it. They're a lot older than me. I didn't know them growing up.

So, you know, it makes things a little bit different. You know, anyone, it's hard having great friends on tour when the next day you can go out and play them.

Q. Is there any tension left over from, say, the Fed Cup two years ago?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: What happened?

Q. When Anastasia Myskina...

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, God, no. That's history.

Q. The medical timeout, Petrova in the second set, did that concern you at all?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It gave me a break. I mean, you know, no, it didn't concern me at all. It was pretty quick.

Q. Do you feel you could beat Justine or Lindsay the way you played today?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'll have to step it up, that's for sure. But, yeah, I mean, I'm confident that I can. I'm moving a lot better. I feel like, you know, the biggest weapon of mine is just my toughest, and I know that over any girls, until the end, I'm just going to be a tough opponent. Even if I'm making a lot of unforced errors, I'm just going to try to do the best that I can and just to give it all I have out there.

I've won a lot of matches like that. So even if I'm not going to be playing my best tennis, I'm just going to give it all I have. I don't know if that's going to be enough, but I'll sure be trying.

Q. In the first matches, you were saying you were getting better match by match. Do you feel you did that today, too?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I definitely wasn't serving as well as I would like to. But game‑wise, I mean, she's a very tricky opponent. She stays way behind the baseline, gets a lot of balls back. I think the main thing was just to be patient. I think, you know, I did what I needed to be done today. I mean, it's hard because the other matches have all been pretty different, in different conditions.

But, you know, that's what makes this tournament even tougher, is every day you go out, played under the roof the other night, the conditions are totally different. Today you have wind and it's hot out.

Q. Did you pay more attention to your support team in the stands today than what you normally do?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm, no. I just look over there, you know, for inspiration, for just motivation. You know, sometimes when I'm a little bit flat, they get me going.

Q. You were telling Alicia you wouldn't necessarily watch Lindsay and Justine tonight. Do you have to step away from tennis? Is that a conscious effort on these days off that you have to get away from it?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. It's just not that I'm going to plan my day, my evening around some match that's on TV, you know. I was on court. I've been waiting for a match the whole day. I'm not going to wait to watch another match that's this evening.

Q. Are you at a point now, when it gets this deep in the tournament, can you even go out without getting hassled for autographs or people wanting to take pictures, or do you have to stay inside?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not really worried about that. Here everyone's pretty mellowed out. I mean, I just have a few restaurants that I go to on a daily basis. You know, it's fine. I mean, it's not like I have all the time in the world to go out and do things during a Grand Slam. But after that, yeah, I mean, I'll be doing a few things.

I mean, even if I get asked for a few autographs or congratulations, you know, hopefully no "bad lucks." I'm fine with it. It's not a big deal for me. I appreciate it.

Q. Some athletes get enough by playing a sport themselves and don't want to watch television or football or tennis. How do you feel about that? Do you like to watch it on television?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I'm not the biggest fan, I must say, no. I don't know why. I mean, if there's other things on, I'd rather watch something else than tennis, unless it's like a very exciting match where you know the quality of the tennis is going to be great.

Q. You're not a scout watching?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, no, no.

Q. After playing a few matches, what if anything are you telling yourself you have to do to win the tournament? Anything you need to play better?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I definitely need to improve my percentage of serving next match, that's for sure, you know, work on that. I don't know. Depends who I play.

Q. What would you like to change of this world of tennis?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: The weather of tennis?

Q. What would you like to change of this world of tennis.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, the world of tennis.

Q. If there is anything that is important for you.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think there's a lot of things that could make the tennis world more exciting for the players, as well as the fans. I mean, first of all, I think everybody knows that the tennis season is way too long. I mean, it's about 10 and a half months of the year. If you tell it to anyone else, they think you're crazy. If they know nothing about tennis, people think you're absolutely crazy.

I think there needs to be consistency in the surfaces that we play on and the balls that we play with. Seems like, I mean, we're going from Rebound Ace to Tokyo, which is a synthetic grass, to hard court, to a faster surface, to playing with different heaviness of the balls. I mean, there's so many things. I think a lot of the times with the scheduling, I think fans don't know sometimes what tournaments are bigger than the others. I think there needs to be a better structure on the tour. But, again, that is not something that is going to happen very quickly.

I also think that this is a big business for everyone. The WTA Tour and the ATP and the ITF and everyone that's in this whole tennis world needs to come together because I think each and every one of them is trying to make a business in their own little shell. In order to make this game bigger and better, I definitely think they need to come together.

Q. For you personally, off the tennis courts, you say it's not easy to have friends between competitors, you have one, or you're always with your father. Some other people may have more fun than you maybe doing other things.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's great. I respect that.

Q. What would you like to change in that prospect? Would you love to have different kind of friendships, deeper friendships, have a chance to meet other people?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just different people around the world?

Q. Yes.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I think that's one of the coolest things of traveling around the world, is meeting new people. I love meeting new people and I love working with different kinds of people.

I think just getting to know someone different, I mean, from a different country. I know probably this sounds weird or something, but I enjoy getting to know someone totally new in a different business, about their lives and things like that. That's what I love. I love meeting new people, yeah.

But, I mean, I'm not going to create friends all of a sudden just out of nowhere. I mean, I have friends that I've been friends with since I was younger, and they're still my friends. But I think as you all know, it's very hard for someone that achieved a high level to just get someone from the street and just become friends with them. You never know what they want to be friends with you for.

Q. Do you pray before the match to win this?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Do I pray?

Q. Do you pray, yes?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I don't pray.

Q. Can you tell us what Yuri puts in those drinks that he sends over to you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's another form of Gatorade or Powerade, same thing.

andrewbroad
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:29 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN
(Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)
Photos
------

http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wtas961.html (http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/players/wtas961.html)
http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova (http://news.search.yahoo.com/search/news/?c=news_photos&p=sharapova)
Search Getty Images for "sharapova"

----------------------------------------
Fourth-round: Maria's on-court interview
----------------------------------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] d. DANIELA HANTUCHOVÁ [17], 6-4 6-4

JOHN ALEXANDER: Well, wonderful performance tonight - you must be feeling you're approaching peak form.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, little by little I am. Erm, it was good today - I kept my composure when I was down at the beginning of both of the sets, and erm, you know, I just kept calm and just tried to break her, and I tried to get the momentum back, and erm, you know, went my way in the end.

JOHN ALEXANDER: Now, you were injured prior to coming out to Australia - you were almost not going to come here. Happy that you came now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I'm so excited. I'm just happy with every round I win, erm, you know, not knowing if you're gonna play or not, and success before the flight is, is really tough, but erm, just to be in the quarters, and just to be playing, you know, in Melbourne on Rod Laver Arena, just erm, is great.

JOHN ALEXANDER: You got a day off tomorrow - how you gonna spend it?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Erm, just try to relax, get out of the heat, erm, today was probably one of the hottest days I've ever experienced in my life - I don't know how you guys do it out here? <laughing> Yeah, it was hot. <laughing> So yeah, I'll just try to cool off a little bit! <laughing>

JOHN ALEXANDER: So through to the quarter-finals, you play Nadia Petrova - how do you see that match?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's gonna be very tough, she hits a very flat ball, big server, erm, played her few times already in the quarters in, erm, last two Grand Slams that I played. So erm, you know, I'm very excited to be playing again.

JOHN ALEXANDER: You have a reasonably good serve yourself. Good luck Maria!

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Thank you.

JOHN ALEXANDER: Beautifully played.


-------------
Quarter-final (Tuesday)
-------------

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] d. NADIA PETROVA [6], 7-6 (8/6) 6-4

BBCi didn't show this match. Apparently it was a poor performance from both players - tentative and error-strewn. In stark contrast to the fourth round, the weather was cool and windy, and they played with the roof open.

Maria won the first set through "sheer determination - not quality of play" [CEEFAX], and then improved in the second set as she "out-smarted and out-witted" Petrova [www.AustralianOpen.com (http://www.australianopen.com/)].

Petrova was up a break on three separate occasions in the first set, which she served for at 5-4 and 6-5. She also had two set-points at 6/4 in the tiebreak. Luckily for Maria, Petrova specialises in bottling promising situations, while Maria plays the big points so well.

The BBCi commentators (during Davenport v Henin-Hardenne, which was televised) said that Maria and Petrova dislike each other, and that that was the reason for their low-quality match.

British newspaper The Daily Telegraph gave three reasons why Petrova dislikes Maria.

The first is that Maria is "not a proper Russian" because she lives in America and rarely visits Russia. The way I see it, this view is invalid as long as Maria chooses to play with the letters "RUS" after her name.

The second is Maria's father, Yuri Sharapov, whom Petrova's ex-coach Glen Schaap once dumped in a courtside bin after he verbally abused Petrova during a Maria v Petrova match, and whose vocal encouragement and gestures are considered by some to border on illegal coaching (but apparently Petrova had a system of hand-signals with Schaap).

The third is that Petrova is jealous of Maria's glamour, which can be measured by the "AWARDS" sections of their profiles at www.sonyericssonwtatour.com (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/):

Maria's "AWARDS" section:
• 14 lengthy entries - see http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/players/playerprofiles/PlayerBio2.asp?PlayerID=310137 (http://www.sonyericssonwtatour.com/players/playerprofiles/PlayerBio2.asp?PlayerID=310137)

Petrova's "AWARDS" section:
• Won the 1998 Roland Garros junior title.
• Tour mentor was Larisa Neiland in Partners for Success (mentor division of Professional Development Program).


Having decided to sacrifice following live scores in the day-sessions in order to watch BBCi's coverage of Melbourne's evening-sessions, I caught up with the scores from the following thread:
http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=215733 (http://www.wtaworld.com/showthread.php?t=215733)


First Set
---------
SHARAPO __* *@*__@ @ 7(8)
PETROVA @* *___*@ @_ 6(6)

The match started at 15:25 AEST on Rod Laver Arena.

Maria serving 0-0: Double-faulted to give Petrova a break-point. Broken.

Petrova serving 3-2: Maria broke to love(?) as Petrova served two double faults.

Maria serving 3-3: 15/30. Maria backhand winner. 30/30. Double fault. 30/40 (BP). Petrova "dumb error". 40/40. Held.

Maria serving 4-4: Double fault. 0/30. Double fault. 0/40 (3 BPs). Broken.

Petrova serving for the set at 5-4: 15/40 (2 BPs) -> 40/40. Double fault. Ad M (BP #3). Broken.

Maria serving 5-5: Petrova forehand winner. Broken.

Petrova serving for the set at 6-5: 0/40 (3 BPs). Ace. 30/40. Double fault.

6-6 tiebreak: Petrova *1/0, *1/1; Petrova 2/1*, 2/2*; Petrova *3/2, *3/3; Petrova 4/3*, Maria ace, 4/4*; Petrova *5/4, *6/4 (2 SPs), Petrova "terrible" backhand long, 6/5* (SP #2), Petrova forehand long, 6/6*; Petrova error, Maria 7/6* (SP #1), double fault. Maria won the first set 7-6 (8/6) at 16:36 (1h11m).


Second Set
----------
SHARAPO @* *@__* * 6
PETROVA __*__@* *_ 4

Petrova serving 0-0: 0/40 (3 BPs). Petrova served her 9th double fault.

Better points now - not just a UE-fest.

Petrova serving 1-3: Broken from 40/0 up! Good lobs from Maria, but sealed with Petrova's 11th double fault.

Maria serving 4-1: Broken. "Nadia seems to be going for her shots a lot more now instead of just playing defensive to protect a lead" [gibberish].

Petrova serving 2-4: Double fault, but held after saving 2 non-consecutive BPs.

Petrova serving 3-5: Petrova hit 2 winners in a row, and held. She then took a medical time-out.

Maria serving for the match at 5-4: Petrova forehand winner. No first serves. 0/40 (3 BPs). Anxious errors from Petrova. 40/40. Ad M (MP #1). Maria won 7-6 (8/6) 6-4 at 17:27 (2h02m).


Statistics
----------

Maria got 57% of first serves in, winning 64% of the points when she did so, and 47% on second serve (Petrova 47%, 63% and 37% - very poor for one of her serving-ability).

Maria served 4 aces and 8 double faults, Petrova 2 aces and a whopping 12 double faults.

Maria had a fastest serve of 178 km/h (Petrova 185 km/h), an average first-serve speed of 159 km/h (Petrova 172 km/h), and second serve 128 km/h (Petrova 141 km/h). So Maria served a bit slower than in her previous rounds, especially on second serve. But her service-speeds throughout the tournament have been encouraging, given her shoulder-injury.

Maria had a W:UE ratio of 15:36, while Petrova was much worse with 16:49. Maria will certainly want to better her W:UE ratio against Henin-Hardenne, who beat Davenport with a W:UE of 28:33 although Davenport did let some balls go because of her ankle-injury. Maria did better her W:UE to 8:11 for the second set.

Maria won 4 of 6 points at the net, while Petrova won 12 of 24.

Maria beat Petrova by 83 points to 72.

Maria broke 5 times from 13 break-points, Petrova 4 times from 9. It's a bad match indeed that sees Maria lose four service-games, while her BP conversion-rate against Petrova was not what it should be.


Maria quotes
------------

"It was very difficult against Nadia. We have tough matches and I've been able to pull through, so I'm very happy. I've played Nadia in the last two Grand Slams in the quarter-finals as well, and we've had such tough matches.

"It was definitely not easy. We were breaking each other's serves left and right out there. It was a miracle when someone held serve.

"I was having trouble with the direction of the wind. It was going in one direction the whole match. When I was playing against the wind, I would hit the ball harder with more spin on my serve. Then when I would go to the other side, I'd do the same thing, and it felt like the ball was just going way out...

"I just tried to hang in there. It's really tough being down two set-points. But I gutted it out in the first point, then had an easy second point. It definitely wasn't easy.

"I'll have to step it up, that's for sure, but I am confident I can do that. I'm moving a lot better. I feel like the biggest weapon of mine is just my toughness, and I know that over any girl, until the end of the match, I'm just going to be a tough opponent. Even if I'm making a lot of unforced errors, I'm just going to try to do the best that I can and just to give it all I have out there. I've won a lot of matches like that. So even if I'm not going to be playing my best tennis, I'm just going to give it all I have. I don't know if that's going to be enough, but I'll sure be trying.

"I just look over [to my entourage] for inspiration, for motivation. You know, sometimes when I'm a little bit flat, they get me going."


Petrova quotes
--------------

"I just feel like I simply gave it away. It couldn't be a better present that I just did to Maria. I had all the chances in the first set... I must say she fought hard for it. She stayed in the game. I mean, there's nothing I can do about it now. I can just go through my mistakes and get my head cleared from all this and just move forward."

[Re. Maria's grunting]
"I can't say it's a distraction because, first of all, when she start grunting, it means she's getting tight. It doesn't bother me. It doesn't bother me at all. If it would, I would definitely go and tell the umpire."


---------------
Semi-final draw
---------------

* JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [8] v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]
* AMÉLIE MAURESMO [3] v KIM CLIJSTERS [2]

Henin-Hardenne has reached the semi-finals with the following results:
1r + Marta Domachowska, 6-2 6-1
2r + Hana Šromová, 7-6 (7/2) 6-1
3r + Virginie Razzano, 6-4 6-1
4r + Virginia Ruano Pascual, 6-0 6-3
qf + LINDSAY DAVENPORT [1], 2-6 6-2 6-3

Although BBCi didn't televise Maria's quarter-final, they did televise Henin beating Davenport. It was such a poor match, and the way Henin played to beat Davenport, who was struggling with a serious ankle-injury, was nothing for Maria to be scared of.

Both players will want to raise their games drastically before their semi-final. I just get the feeling that Maria will be able to do a better job of this than Henin.

Henin is a very great threat to Maria on clay, but Maria can hit right through her on a fast hard court, as their head-to-heads suggest:
+ Miami 2005: Maria d. Henin-Hardenne, 6-1 6-7 (6/8) 6-2
- Berlin 2005: Maria lt. Henin-Hardenne, 6-2 6-4
- French Open 2005: Maria lt. Henin-Hardenne, 6-4 6-2

Henin: "She has confidence and wants to be in the final, so it's going to be a great match. It's going to be tough. It's a semi-final in a Grand Slam, it's always difficult."


--------------------------
Order of play for Thursday
--------------------------

Rod Laver Arena (start 11:00 AEST = 00:00 GMT)
MD sf: BOB BRYAN/MIKE BRYAN [1] v PAUL HANLEY/KEVIN ULLYETT [4]
|
Day-session continued (not before 13:30 AEST = 02:30 GMT)
WS sf: JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [8] v MARIA SHARAPOVA [4]
Australia-Day Ceremony
WS sf: AMÉLIE MAURESMO [3] v KIM CLIJSTERS [2]
|
Evening-session (not before 19:30 AEST = 08:30 GMT)
MS sf: DAVID NALBANDIAN [4] v Marcos Baghdatis
XD qf: RENNAE STUBBS/TODD PERRY [8] v Martina Hingis/Mahesh Bhupathi

BBCi's coverage starts at 8:25am GMT, as usual. They have promised to show replays of the women's semi-finals after their live, uninterrupted coverage of Nalbandian v Baghdatis. But watch out for women's tennis at 8:25am GMT if the day-session overruns!

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

Steve-o
Jan 25th, 2006, 09:36 PM
too late for me :sad: Good luck Masha :)

andrewbroad
Jan 27th, 2006, 10:56 PM
===============
AUSTRALIAN OPEN
(Melbourne, Australia; outdoor hard (Rebound Ace); Grand Slam)
=============== http://www.australianopen.com/ (http://www.australianopen.com/)

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

Video highlights and audio interviews:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/4645544.stm (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/4645544.stm)

----------
Semi-final (Thursday)
----------

- MARIA SHARAPOVA [4] lt. JUSTINE HENIN-HARDENNE [8], 4-6 6-1 6-4

I watched a replay of the whole match on BBCi, already knowing the result.

Maria played a brilliant first set, and I must admit that Henin contributed to the quality of the match too, as the ball was just zinging off her racket throughout - she certainly showed why she's a four-time Grand Slam champion (quite possibly five if you're reading this after the final). The first set was a joy to watch, and a gripping contest.

Unfortunately Maria's form fell away in the second set, as Henin destroyed her rhythm and timing with relentless retrieving, using a mixture of topspin, slice and short angles to make Maria play so many balls outside her comfort-zone.

Maria did come up with a couple of amazing left-handed forehand winners!

The third set was better, although Maria was still frustrated, on the back foot, and her intensity had dropped from what it had been in the first set. Two questionable line-calls at 2-2* (advantage Maria: break-point #2) and *2-3 (40/30) cost Maria those games, leaving her 2-4* down instead of 4-2* up. Although she thwarted Henin's attempt to serve out the match at 5-3, she was broken herself in the next game. :(

It was a very intense, physically draining match, played with the roof closed on Rod Laver Arena due to the Extreme-Heat Policy.

Inevitably this defeat has some negative consequences:
- Maria has now wasted the 19th year of her life without winning a Grand Slam, or even reaching a Grand Slam final. A second Grand Slam final is long overdue for one of Maria's talent and mental strength.
- Semi-finals continue to be Maria's unlucky round. She now has a 4-8 win/loss record in semi-finals since the start of 2005, including 0-4 in Grand Slams.
- Maria has now lost three times in a row to Henin, and no longer only on clay. Henin is possibly the one player who is mentally stronger than Maria at this point in tennis-history, and in terms of their future meetings it would have been better for Maria to lose earlier than to give Henin the psychological advantage of beating her on a hard court.

But there are some positives too:
+ Maria is pretty amazing to be able to reach a Grand Slam semi-final, and take a set off Henin on red-hot form, after all Maria's injury-problems, lack of match-play and not even being able to practise for long.
+ Maria's movement is faster than it was a year ago (although her footwork could still improve - she tends to take big strides, rather than lots of little steps like Maria Kirilenko).
+ If I knew nothing about Maria before watching this match, I would say she was an 18-year-old with a very promising future. She has more potential for improvement than any other top-ten player (Sam Smith suggested Maria add sliced backhands, serve and volley, and more volleying in general).
+ The shoulder-injury didn't flare up again in Melbourne.

Henin has gone back up in my opinion after watching this match. She has shrunk back to her original size - no longer the horrible muscular specimen she had become. In fact she doesn't even look as muscular as Maria does now (though Maria still looks mighty fine!).

While I don't approve of that ugly one-handed backhand, at least Henin's groundstrokes are sharper and more flairsome than those of Amélie Mauresmo, Kim Clijsters, Lindsay Davenport and the Williams sisters, and I certainly support Henin wholeheartedly against Mauresmo in the final.


First Set
---------
SHARAPOVA * * *__@*@ 6
HENIN-HAR _* * *@___ 4

The match started on Rod Laver Arena at 13:38 AEST.

Maria serving 0-0: Service-winner. 15/0. Long rally ended with Henin netting a forehand. 30/0. Service-winner. 40/0. Henin crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 40/15. Maria backhand long. 40/30. Service-winner (deep second serve).

Henin serving 0-1: Ace down the middle. 15/0. Maria long. 30/0. Henin wild backhand long and wide. 30/15. Henin forehand wide. 30/30. Henin at the net forced Maria to hit a forehand long. 40/30. Maria backhand just long.

Maria serving 1-1: Maria's depth forced Henin to hit a backhand long. 15/0. Henin forehand long. 30/0. Maria just long (called by the umpire). 30/15. Two service-winners.

Henin serving 1-2: Service-winner. 15/0. Maria netted two backhands. 40/0. Henin's shot clipped the netcord and fell short, and Maria hit a crosscourt backhand winner. 40/15. Service-winner.

Maria serving 2-2: Maria forehand smash-winner. 15/0. Maria forced a short ball from Henin, and hit a crosscourt forehand winner that clipped the sideline. 30/0. Maria sliced backhand wide. 30/15. Henin hit a good return, forcing Maria to hit a forehand wide. 30/30. Maria forehand winner down the line. 40/30. Maria hit a great angle of a crosscourt forehand, forcing Henin to net a forehand.

Henin serving 2-3: Maria netted a forehand. 15/0. Henin forehand wide. 15/15. Henin hit a good wide serve to set up a forehand winner down the line. 30/15. Henin backhand winner down the line. 40/15. Double fault. 40/30. Maria netted a backhand.

Maria serving 3-3: Henin netted a backhand dropshot. 15/0. Maria forehand smash long. 15/15. Henin backhand wide. 30/15. Henin hit a backhand winner down the line and shouted "allez". 30/30. Maria forehand just long. 30/40 (break-point). Maria forehand wide.

Henin serving 4-3: Maria backhand lob long. 15/0. Service-winner. 30/0. Double fault. 30/15. Henin just long. 30/30. Maria forehand winner down the line. 30/40 (break-point). Henin backhand wide.

Maria serving 4-4: Maria crosscourt forehand winner. 15/0. Henin crosscourt forehand virtual winner. 15/15. After a great spreading rally by Maria with relentless retrieving from Henin, Maria hit a forehand smash-winner. 30/15. Double fault. 30/30. Maria backhand long. 30/40 (break-point). Henin netted a forehand. 40/40. A long rally ended with Henin hitting a crosscourt backhand winner - you can't give her anything short and angled. Advantage Henin-Hardenne (break-point #2). Maria saved it with a forehand winner down the line. Deuce #2. Henin netted a backhand. Advantage Maria. Henin netted a forehand, and Maria shouted "C'MON!"

Henin serving to stay in the first set at 4-5: Maria forehand lob-return long. 15/0. Maria showed the best retrieving I've ever seen from her, winning the point with an amazing LEFT-HANDED forehand lob-winner that landed just inside Henin's backhand-corner. 15/15. Henin went for a high-risk forehand down the line, and it was long. 15/30. Maria's crosscourt backhand forced Henin to net a sliced backhand. "C'mon!" 15/40 (two set-points). Henin crosscourt forehand just wide. Maria won the first set 6-4 at 14:28 (50m).


Second Set
----------
SHARAPOVA _@_____ 1
HENIN-HAR @ @*@*@ 6

Maria serving 0-0: Maria backhand just long. 0/15. Maria forehand lob-winner. 15/15. Henin forehand wide. 30/15. Henin wrong-footed Maria with a forehand winner off a short ball. 30/30. Henin netted a forehand. 40/30. Maria forehand long. 40/40. Henin crosscourt forehand winner. Advantage Henin (break-point). Henin tried to do a sidespin sliced backhand down the line, but it was wide. Deuce #2. Henin forehand winner down the line, on the sideline. Advantage Henin (break-point #2). At the end of a long rally, Maria netted an awful sliced backhand, and had to listen to another "Allez!" from Henin.

Henin now seemed to be hitting more to Maria's forehand, which is more prone to breaking down than her backhand.

Henin serving 1-0: Henin forehand long. 0/15. Henin netted a forehand. 0/30. Henin backhand wide. 0/40 (three break-points). Henin forehand winner down the line. 15/40. Henin hit a wild forehand long to give Maria the break back.

Maria serving 1-1: Henin backhand dropshot-winner off a poor dropshot from Maria. 0/15. Henin forehand return very long. 15/15. Maria forehand wide. 15/30. Maria forehand long. 15/40 (two break-points). Henin netted a forehand. 30/40. After a long rally of relentless Henin retrieving, Maria netted a forehand. Maria really lost the rhythm on her forehand in that game.

Henin serving 2-1: Henin netted a forehand. 0/15. Service-winner down the middle. 15/15. Maria backhand wide. 30/15. Henin crosscourt forehand pass virtual winner. 40/15. Maria forehand wide.

Maria serving 1-3: Maria crosscourt forehand pass-winner. 15/0. Maria at full stretch missed a backhand. 15/15. Maria hit a LEFT-HANDED forehand smash-winner. 30/15. Henin netted a forehand. 40/15. Maria forehand long. 40/30. Maria netted a backhand dropshot. 40/40. Henin hit an off-backhand volley-winner from below the height of the net. Advantage Henin-Hardenne (break-point). Maria netted a forehand.

Henin serving 4-1: Maria netted a backhand. 15/0. Maria netted a forehand return. 30/0. Maria's turn to get a backhand volley below the height of the net, but she netted it. 40/0. Henin netted a forehand. 40/15. Maria forehand return very long.

Maria serving to stay in the second set at 1-5: Henin forehand return-winner down the line. 0/15. Henin hit a huge error-forcing forehand. 0/30. Maria netted a forehand half-volley. 0/40 (three set-points). Henin forehand return long. 15/40. Henin netted a forehand. 30/40. Maria hit a forehand wide to lose the second set 6-1 at 15:05.


Third Set
---------
SHARAPOVA _* *___*@_ 4
HENIN-HAR * * *@*__@ 6

Henin serving 0-0: Maria forehand long. 15/0. Henin forehand smash-winner. 15/15. Maria forehand long. 30/15. Henin netted a forehand. 30/30. After a long rally, a Henin crosscourt backhand forced Maria to hit a backhand very long. 40/30. Maria netted a forehand.

Maria serving 0-1: Henin hit an aggressive crosscourt forehand return, forcing Maria to net a forehand. 0/15. Henin missed a would-be backhand winner down the line. 15/15. Henin netted a forehand. 30/15. Henin forehand long. "C'mon" said Maria. 40/15. Maria forehand down the line forced Henin to hit a skyscraper-lob wide.

Henin serving 1-1: Maria netted a backhand. 15/0. Maria backhand very long. 30/0. Double fault. 30/15. Maria netted a left-handed forehand. 40/15. Henin forehand wide. 40/30. Maria backhand long.

Maria serving 1-2: Henin forehand wide. 15/0. Henin crosscourt forehand return-winner. 15/15. Henin drew Maria to the net with a dropshot; Maria hit a forehand down the line on her way in; Henin a backhand; Maria a backhand stop-volley; Henin a floating crosscourt forehand, but Maria netted a mildly awkward forehand volley. Sam Smith described the net as "alien territory" for Maria. 15/30. Henin forehand wide. 30/30. Henin forehand long. 40/30. Ace out wide, on the sideline.

Henin serving 2-2: Henin forehand just long. 0/15. Henin forehand long again. 0/30. Someone in the crowd yelled "out" during the rally, which ended when Maria netted a backhand. Henin is then reported to have turned towards Yuri Sharapov and shouted angry words in his direction, but the TV-cameras didn't show Henin: they showed Yuri looking around and gesturing - almost as if to say "it wasn't me" - and then Maria looking angry and shouting - presumably at herself for missing that backhand. 15/30. Maria netted a forehand return. 30/30. Maria hit an off-forehand winner off a lob from Henin after some great retrieving by Henin. 30/40 (break-point). Henin saved it with a forehand winner down the line. 40/40. Henin hit a good wide serve to set up a forehand winner down the line. Advantage Henin. Henin backhand long. Deuce #2. Henin wild forehand long. Advantage Maria (break-point #2). Henin hit a crosscourt forehand lob that landed on the sideline - or possibly just wide; Henin drew Maria to the net with a backhand dropshot; Maria hit a crosscourt forehand on her way in; Henin a forehand down the line, and Maria a crosscourt backhand volley that left a nice gap for Henin to hit a backhand pass-winner down the line. Deuce #3. Henin netted a backhand. Advantage Maria (break-point #3). Maria netted a forehand. Deuce #4. And again. Advantage Henin. Maria played aggressively from the baseline, but Henin kept retrieving with sliced backhands until Maria netted a dropshot.

Maria gave the umpire an angry look as she walked to her chair, and was seething as she sat there - presumably over the lack of a call on break-point #2, which would have made it *3-2 rather than *2-3.

Maria serving 2-3: Ace. 15/0. BBCi didn't show the first three points of this game for some reason. 30/15. Henin forehand long. 40/15. Maria forehand just long. 40/30. At the end of a great rally (Maria spreading and Henin retrieving), Maria hit an off-forehand just wide - BUT HAWKEYE SAID IT WAS IN!! Should have been 3-3*, or even 4-2* if Maria had got a call at break-point #2 in the previous game! 40/40. Henin crosscourt backhand winner. Advantage Henin (break-point). Maria forehand long.

Henin serving 4-2: Henin netted a forehand. 0/15. Maria netted a forehand. 15/15. Maria netted a backhand return. 30/15. Henin forehand winner down the line. 40/15. Maria forehand long.

Maria serving to stay in the match at 2-5: Maria hit a crosscourt backhand to set up a backhand winner down the line. 15/0. Maria hit an error-forcing crosscourt forehand. 30/0. Maria hit a hard, deep shot, forcing Henin to hit a backhand wide. 40/0. Henin crosscourt backhand wide.

Henin serving for the match at 5-3: Double fault. 0/15. Henin wild forehand volley wide. 0/30. Henin hit a deep shot into Maria's forehand-corner, forcing Maria to hit a crosscourt backhand just wide. 15/30. Henin hit a good serve, and Maria a forehand return very wide. 30/30. Maria spread Henin with a backhand down the line followed by a backhand drive-volley that forced Henin to hit a forehand wide. 30/40 (break-point). Henin netted a sliced backhand on the run.

Maria serving to stay in the match at 4-5: Henin forehand long. 15/0. Maria backhand long. 15/15. Maria netted a backhand. 15/30. Maria backhand just wide. 15/40 (two match-points). Maria hit a first serve down the middle; Henin a short backhand return down the middle; Maria a forehand down the line; Henin a backhand down the line; Maria a crosscourt forehand; Henin a forehand down the line; Maria hit a tentative crosscourt backhand that landed on the service-line, and Henin sealed her 4-6 6-1 6-4 victory with a pinpoint backhand winner down the line at 16:04 (2h26m).


Statistics
----------

Maria had a W:UE ratio of 17:34 (first set 9:10, second set 3:11, third set 5:13), Henin 22:33.

Henin won 4 of 8 points at the net, Maria 9 of 16.

Maria got 59% of first serves in, and her success-rates were very poor by her standards: only 52% of points won when she got her first serve in, 51% on second serve (Henin 54%, 74%, 38%). Maria's success-rates were especially poor in the second set: 33% on first serve, 42% on second serve. At least she upped her winning-percentage on first serve to 71% in the third set.

Maria served 2 aces and one double fault, Henin one ace and 4 doubles.

Henin has an amazingly big serve, given that she is under 5'6" tall while Maria is all of 6'2". She even served faster than Maria, with a fastest serve of 180 km/h (Maria 178 km/h), average first serve 168 km/h (Maria 164 km/h), average second serve 141 km/h (Maria 139 km/h).

Maria broke 4 times from 8 break-points, which is very good against as big a server as Henin (although she only converted one of 4 BPs in the third set), but to be broken herself 7 times from 13 break-points is a very disappointing statistic (4 of these breaks coming in the second set).

It's funny how when two big servers meet, they often either both hold serve reliably, or are able to break back. It was the same in the quarter-finals against Nadia Petrova, and even in the fourth round against Daniela Hantuchová.

Even with the shoulder-injury, Maria is very reliable at holding serve against players who aren't in the top 20 or so, but she seems to struggle to hold against the top players more than she should with her terrific serve. I just hope the injury will clear up so that she'll be able to serve with 100% power again in the future, because right now she's not getting as many easy points as she should on her serve.


Maria quotes
------------

"I know this is your job. But take your notepads, take your pencils down, take your grunt-o-meters down, the fashion-police, put everything away and just watch the match from the fans' perspective.

"I seriously think that the quality of the match today was great. Of course I'm disappointed, but I did not expect myself to play this great at this tournament. For me to be able to go out there and to play the quality of tennis that I did today, I think it was great.

"And I know that probably tomorrow I'm gonna be seeing headlines: 'Maria can't get past the semis', 'Maria can't finish it off in the third'. But take all that away and just look at the tennis that we both played today. I think that shows a lot. I have a lot to look forward to in the future.

"This match, it's disappointing right now, but it gives me a lot of confidence towards the future. I know I can do it. I know what level I can play. I have a lot to look forward to, but let's take it one step at a time.

"I think it was a good match. I'm really excited. I think my shoulder seems to be getting better. That's a big positive, you know. I didn't come in prepared the best way I could have been. But I think I played some great tennis after not even expecting to be here. I'm really excited. Without playing a lot of matches, to be able to play the quality of tennis I was able to play today is a big plus.

"I look towards my box to get me going. But I play by my instincts on the court. There are so many people in the stadium talking; you think it's easy to hear what one person's saying? If someone tells me to marry them, I'm not going to marry them; if someone tells me do something else, I'm going to do everything my way. I'm just not going to listen to what other people are saying to me. I barely see anything."


Henin-Hardenne quotes
---------------------

"I think it was a great match. That's the only thing I can say, cause it's been very intense physically and mentally, especially in the first set and at the end of the match. Maria, she played a great match - the best I've seen her play since a long time. So I think it was great.

"I was dominating the first set, and then on my serve I lost a little bit of aggression. I was too far from my baseline, and she could take the first set. Then I tried to change that in the second set, so it made the big difference that I was just staying on my baseline, instead of being three metres behind my baseline. It was tough, very intense, even in the third set. But very happy the way it ended, for sure.

"I'm very proud of myself because I kept fighting during the whole match, even when the points were very long. I ran like I probably have never run in the past on the tennis-court.

"I am very happy with the way I played, very happy to be in the final again. It's a great atmosphere. Now I have to recover physically, because it's been very hard after last year. She played a great match, and I had to be 100% on each point, and now it's time for me to rest before the big day on Saturday.

"I have surprised myself for sure, because when I arrived here I was coming to play a couple of matches and get my confidence back. It's been tough for me to be injured for such a long time, and no matter what happens on Saturday, I think I can be proud of my comeback."

[Re. the call of "out" from the crowd at 4-6 6-1 *2-2 (0/30)]
"I don't know. It was maybe upper or in the box. I have no idea who did that. I was just upset against the person who screamed, because it's not fair to do that during a point."


======================
TORAY PAN PACIFIC OPEN (Tokyo, Japan; indoor carpet; WTA Tier I)
====================== http://www.toray-ppo.co.jp/ (http://www.toray-ppo.co.jp/)

Maria is the top seed and defending champion for this tournament, which will be played next week.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://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
Feb 9th, 2006, 10:22 PM
I have started my extended report of Maria's matches at the Australian Open 2006:
http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/reports.html (http://www.geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/reports.html)

The first-round report is essentially just the report I posted here at the time (not having seen the match myself), but the second-round report now contains a blow-by-blow description of every point in the match against Ashley Harkleroad.

I will be adding detailed reports of the remaining Maria matches over the next few weeks.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/) (added 3 external links)

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
Feb 27th, 2006, 10:22 PM
I have added to my extended report of Maria's matches at the Australian Open 2006:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/australian_open2006.html (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/australian_open2006.html)

The third-round report is essentially just the report I posted here at the time (not having seen the match myself), but the fourth-round report now contains a blow-by-blow description of every point in the match against Daniela Hantuchová (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/hantu/), and some interesting quotes from the commentators.

I will be adding detailed reports of the remaining Maria matches in the coming week.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://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
Mar 6th, 2006, 10:46 PM
I have completed my extended report of Maria's matches at the Australian Open 2006:
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/australian_open2006.html (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/australian_open2006.html)

The quarter-final report is essentially just the report I posted here at the time (not having seen the match myself), but the semi-final report now contains a blow-by-blow description of every point in the match against Justine Henin-Hardenne, and some interesting quotes from the commentators.

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/)
http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/ (http://geocities.com/andrewbroad/tennis/shara/) (added 3 external links)

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