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andrewbroad
Jun 23rd, 2011, 05:48 AM
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THE CHAMPIONSHIPS (Wimbledon, London, England; grass; Major)
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First-round TV-report: Chakvetadze v Sharapova (Tuesday 21st June 2011)
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+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [5,EF] d. Anna Chakvetadze [EF], 6-2 6-1

For a match between two members of my Eternal Fanship, this was rather disappointing, particularly from Anna, whom Maria now owns 7:0.

Anna retired from Dubai, Indian Wells and Stuttgart with a mystery illness that causes dizzy spells, and even caused her to faint on the court. Since then, she has played only ’s-Hertogenbosch, losing 6-4 6-1 to Lourdes Domínguez Lino, so I didn’t expect much from her here.

Maria wasn’t at her best – perhaps to be expected as she pulled out of Birmingham with an illness – but had too much power for Anna, who lacked her usual feel, although she did show some clever point-construction. Maria had some problems with her high toss in the wind, serving four double faults.

Anna appeared to suffer one of her dizzy spells at 0:1 0-1* 0/15*, although nothing too serious this time. I wish her a full recovery.


First set
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CHAKVETAD *___*___ 2
SHARAPOVA _*@*_*@* 6

The match was dynamically scheduled fourth on Centre Court, and started at 19:08 BST.

Unfortunately I missed the start, as an earlier revision of the order of play had this match on Court One after Söderling v Petzschner, so I thought it was safe to watch Bartoli v Plíšková first. I only found out about the switch to Centre Court when the match appeared on the online scoreboard, which only happens about a minute after the first point has been played, and by the time I had managed to switch my Humax to Centre Court via the BBC’s Sport Multiscreen, I had missed the first three points.

Chakvetadze serving 0-0: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. Maria hit a crosscourt forehand return wide. 40/15 (GP #1). Anna ran down a dropshot, but hit a backhand long. 40/30 (GP #2). Maria hit a backhand winner down the line. Deuce #2. Maria netted a backhand. Anna adjusted her hairclips. Ad Chakvetadze (GP #2). Anna hit a backhand onto the baseline. Anna hit a clever backhand lob onto the baseline, forcing Maria to earth a backhand behind her. Held.

Sharapova serving 0-1: Anna hit a backhand long. 15/0. Anna netted a backhand off a deep ball from Maria. 30/0. Maria hit an off-forehand winner back behind Anna. 40/0 (GP #1). Anna forced a short ball, but sprayed a wild forehand long. Held.

Chakvetadze serving 1-1: A longish baseline-rally ended with Anna netting a backhand. 0/15. Maria hit a down-the-line backhand return just wide. 15/15. Maria forced a short ball, and hit an off-backhand winner just inside the baseline. 15/30. Maria netted a forehand. 30/30. Maria hit a pinpoint forehand winner just inside the sideline. 30/40 (BP #1). Anna hit a brave off-backhand dropshot-winner just inside the sideline. Deuce #1. Anna and Maria exchanged some strange short forehands, and Maria netted one. Ad Chakvetadze (GP #1). Anna went to the net, but netted a backhand off a dipping ball from Maria. Deuce #2. Anna hit an off-backhand wide. Ad Sharapova (BP #2). Maria hit a down-the-line forehand winner as Anna did the splits behind the baseline – fortunately without the horrific knee-injury that Magdaléna Rybáriková suffered when she did the same earlier in the day. Broken.

Sharapova serving 2-1: Anna hit a crosscourt forehand just wide, and adjusted her hairclips again. 15/0. Anna forced a short ball, but caught it late and sprayed a forehand long. 30/0. Anna, driven wide, forcedly hit a down-the-line forehand wide. 40/0 (GP #1). Anna netted a makeable forehand return. Held.

Chakvetadze serving 1-3: Anna ran down a dropshot but hit a forehand would-be winner just long. 0/15. Maria hit a crosscourt backhand winner just inside the sideline. 0/30. Maria’s deep crosscourt backhand forced Anna to earth a forehand – she mishit it so completely that it flew off to her left. 0/40 (BP #1). Deep first serve forced Maria to hit a forehand long. 15/40 (BP #2). Ace down the middle: on the centre-line. Anna got a loud cheer. 30/40 (BP #3). Anna ran down a dropshot and hit a beautiful short-angled crosscourt forehand winner – she did well to stop before touching the net. Deuce #1. Anna hit a crosscourt forehand back behind Maria, forcing her to earth a forehand. Ad Chakvetadze (GP #1). Deep first serve forced Maria to hit a forehand lob long. Broken.

Finally, we’re starting to see glimpses of the real Anna Chakvetadze. She’s been so hesitant before that game, lacking her usual feel.

Sharapova serving 3-2: First serve: Anna netted a forehand return. 15/0. Anna netted a forehand. 30/0. Anna drew Maria to the net with a
backhand dropshot down the line, hit a crosscourt backhand to force a weak backhand volley from Maria, and hit a pinpoint backhand pass-winner down the line. 30/15. Double fault (second serve into the net). 30/30. Maria’s sharp-angled crosscourt backhand forced a floater, which she dispatched with a forehand drive-volley winner down the line. 40/30 (GP #1). Anna went to the net, but her approach was too short; Maria hit a backhand drive-volley pass-winner. Held.

Chakvetadze serving 2-4: Anna went to the net, but Maria blasted a down-the-line backhand pass-winner. 0/15. First serve: forehand return long. 15/15. First serve out wide: Maria’s ferocious crosscourt forehand return forced Anna to bunt an off-forehand wide. 15/30. Ace out wide. 30/30. Anna netted a forehand off a deep ball from Maria. 30/40 (BP #1). Anna netted a forehand off a crosscourt forehand deep into the corner from Maria. Broken.

There was a nice slow-motion close-up of Maria’s legs, the delicate feminine muscles rippling as she ran.

Sharapova serving 5-2: Maria hit an off-backhand winner deep into the corner. 15/0. Anna netted a forehand from about 10 feet behind the baseline, after an intriguing baseline-rally in which they both hit lines. 30/0. Ace out wide. 40/0 (SP #1 for Sharapova). Maria’s depth induced Anna to bunt a backhand long. Sharapova won the first set 6-2 at 19:41 BST (32m).


Second set
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CHAKVETAD _@_____ 1
SHARAPOVA @_@*@*@ 6

Chakvetadze serving 0-0: Maria hit a crosscourt backhand deep into the corner, forcing Anna to hit a backhand long. 0/15. First serve out wide: Maria hit a pinpoint backhand winner down the line. 0/30. Anna handled Maria’s short-angled crosscourt backhand with a backhand dropshot, forcing Maria to hit a running forehand that clipped the netcord and fell back on her side. 15/30. First serve: forehand return long. 30/30. Maria’s deep, hard crosscourt forehand return forced Anna to net a forehand. 30/40 (BP #1). Maria forced a floater, and dispatched it with an easy crosscourt forehand smash-winner. Broken.

Nick Mullins: “It’s difficult to know quite what Anna Chakvetadze does in the face of such raw power and aggression. She’s got no form at all after the dizzy spells.”
Lindsay Davenport: “Chakvetadze’s game is all so much around the timing, being able to control her shots. She’s just not sharp in that area, hitting a lot of balls late due to Maria’s power and pace.”

Sharapova serving 1-0: Maria’s depth forced Anna to net a backhand. 15/0. Anna went into her receiving-stance, but apparently started having one of her dizzy spells: she put her hand up, turned to the back fence, and waited a few seconds before going back to receive. Second serve: Anna netted a backhand return. 30/0. Maria netted a backhand. 30/15. Maria’s depth forced Anna to hit a backhand long. 40/15 (GP #1). Maria hit an off-forehand just wide. 40/30 (GP #2). Anna’s body-jamming backhand return forced Maria to net a forehand. Deuce #1. Anna’s depth forced Maria to hit a forehand long. Ad Chakvetadze (BP #1). Maria’s deep forehand forced Anna to mishit a crosscourt backhand wide. Deuce #2. Maria sprayed a crosscourt backhand wide. Ad Chakvetadze (BP #2). Maria forced a short ball, and hit an off-backhand winner. Deuce #3. Double fault (second serve into the net). Ad Chakvetadze (BP #3). Double fault (second serve into the net). Broken.

Chakvetadze serving 1-1: Maria hit a down-the-line backhand just long. 15/0. Maria forced a short ball, and nailed an off-forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/15. Maria forced a short ball, and hit a crosscourt forehand that forced Anna to earth a forehand. 15/30. Maria hit a deep backhand onto the baseline, forcing Anna to net a forehand. 15/40 (BP #1). Maria hit a down-the-line forehand just wide. 30/40 (BP #2). Maria netted a backhand off a mildly awkward short-angled crosscourt backhand from Anna. Deuce #1. Maria netted a backhand off a short, soft ball from Anna. Ad Chakvetadze (GP #1). Maria’s deep off-forehand forced Anna to net a backhand. Deuce #2. Anna netted a backhand off a deep forehand on the baseline from Maria. Ad Sharapova (BP #3). Deep first serve out wide forced Maria to bunt a backhand return long. Deuce #3. Maria punished a second serve with an off-backhand return-winner. Ad Sharapova (BP #4). Maria hit a deep, hard crosscourt backhand onto the baseline, forcing Anna to net a backhand half-volley. Anna wanted to challenge Maria’s shot, but the umpire wouldn’t let her because she had apparently looked at her father first. Anna argued with the umpire: “I didn’t do anything, actually. If you look, look better.” Broken.

Sharapova serving 2-1: Anna forehand long. 15/0. Anna ran down a dropshot and hit a forehand winner down the line. 15/15. Anna hit a forehand long. 30/15. Ace #2: first serve down the middle. 40/15 (GP #1). Maria hit an off-backhand just wide off a deep return from Anna. 40/30 (GP #2). Anna hit a down-the-line forehand wide. Held.

Chakvetadze serving 1-3: Anna hit an off-forehand wide off a deep, body-jamming return. 0/15. Anna’s depth forced Maria to hit a forehand long. 15/15. First serve out wide: Maria hit a pinpoint forehand return-winner down the line. 15/30. Maria punished a deep, high-bouncing ball with a crosscourt forehand winner just inside the sideline. 15/40 (BP #1). Maria’s deep crosscourt forehand forced Anna to hit a crosscourt forehand wide. Held.

Sharapova serving 4-1: Maria’s off-backhand clipped the netcord and landed just wide. 0/15. Maria’s deep down-the-line backhand forced Anna to hit a forehand long. 15/15. Maria netted a forehand. 15/30. Anna went to the net, but Maria hit a crunching forehand pass-winner down the line. 30/30. Double fault #4 (horrendous second serve into the bottom of the net). 30/40 (BP #1). Maria forced a short ball, and hit an off-forehand winner as Anna ran to cover the crosscourt forehand. Deuce #1. Maria forced a short ball and hit a crosscourt backhand winner. Ad Sharapova (GP #1). Maria’s depth induced Anna to net a forehand. Held.

Chakvetadze serving 1-5: Anna netted a backhand. 0/15. Body-jamming second serve forced Maria to hit a forehand that clipped the netcord, but went over, forcing Anna to net a forehand. 0/30. Maria blasted a backhand return long off a short second serve. 15/30. Maria hit an off-forehand winner. 15/40 (MP #1 for Sharapova). Anna hit a sliced off-backhand wide. Maria won 6-2 6-1 at 20:17 BST (second set 35m, match 1h08m).


Maria’s BBC interview
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This interview took place in the corridor immediately after Maria walked off Centre Court.

Rishi Persad: “Maria, how pleased are you with what looked a very smooth start?”

Maria Sharapova: “Yeah, I was. This was my first match on grass, so I didn’t have a warm-up tournament this year, but I felt really good for the first round. You never really know when you go into the match. I played against somebody that’s had really good results in the past, and was top ten in the world, so I expected a tough match.”

Rishi Persad: “And the shoulder okay?”

Maria Sharapova: “Yeah. The conditions are a little bit tricky out there – it’s colder; balls are heavier – but I’m doing really well.”

Rishi Persad: “The title, obviously the last time you won it [was in] 2004. Would it be be fair to say that, in terms of form and fitness, this is the best preparation you’ve had for this tournament since then?”

Maria Sharapova: “Well, I feel like I’m improving with every tournament this year. In the beginning of the year, my goal was just to play a lot of matches, because I feel like with matches, with wins, not only do you get confidence, you kind of start playing on auto-pilot, and don’t worry about certain situations; you just go for it, and that’s really my game. When I’m playing well, I’m aggressive, I don’t hesitate, and I win the match.”

Rishi Persad: “It’s lovely seeing you signing all those autographs for people out there. They really appreciate it.”

Maria Sharapova: “Well, I love the crowd at Wimbledon. I think they have so much respect for the game and the players. I saw that ever since I was a junior, as a 14-, 15-year-old girl. They would come out to Court 19, they don’t know who you are, but they were thrilled with the tennis. They’d sit there for hours and watch the juniors, and yeah: they’re really great.”

Rishi Persad: “Well done.”

Maria Sharapova: “Thank you.”

--
Dr. Andrew Broad

Jason A.
Jun 24th, 2011, 05:42 AM
There was a nice slow-motion close-up of Maria’s legs, the delicate feminine muscles rippling as she ran.



"Dr Broad?"

"Yes."

"I'm so sorry, Dr Broad. I know that you don't like to be disturbed when you are writing, but there's a lawyer on the phone who says that he represents Mills and Boon."

"Mills and Boon? What does he want?"

"He says that he's calling in regards to one of your reports. I think that it's some sort of copyright issue."

____________________________________

Alright, putting all jokes aside now. :) It was another great report, Andrew. It would probably take me a whole week to piece together something similar. :o