Ok I wanna start off my post by saying something new. I started being insecure about Maria beating Top 10 players in 2010(for obvious reasons) and since then I've been so insecure about Maria. However, this year she has been phenomenal, showing her real potential. Last year she started making very solid progress reaching finals and semis a lot, but fell short when playing top 10 players(Li, Kvitova, Azarenka, etc.) This year, however, she has been amazing. She looks so fresh and motivated on the court and she doesn't even need to play her best to routinely beat top 10 players(she has had easy wins over Li, Stosur, Kerber, Kvitova, Errani and others, including a handful of bagels as well :lol:) I have had my expectations and hopes for this year and she more than met them.
I;m so happy this year went the way it did, every year she makes great progress and I hope 2013 won't be any exception. Last year ended on not a great note(as well as 2010) and we didn't know how things would work out the next year and they worked out perfectly.
These are her results this year:
Aussie Open- Runner Up
Indian Wells- Runner Up
Miami- Runner Up
French Open- Winner
Wimbledon- Round 4
Olympics- Runner Up /Silver Medal
US Open- Semifinals
Beijing- Runner Up
WTA Champs- Runner Up
So this year she has made 9 finals, won 3 tournaments and unfortunately lost 6 pretty big finals. However, she has been incredibly consistent all year and was 9-1 in semifinals :cheer:
In 2012, Maria Sharapova improved her serve drastically and finished 3rd in the Ace race behind Serena and Petrova. She improved her fitness and confidence a lot as well and her clay game looks stronger than ever. She revenge wins over Azarenka, Kvitova, Wozniacki, Stosur, Li, Kerber, Radwanska,Lisicki, Clijsters, etc. Amazing, amazing year. The down side of this year was that she lost so many finals and has had some one sided defeats, HOWEVER, that will change in 2013. Maria will work on her forehand(that already looked great at the YEC finally!!!) and keep improving so she can hang in with Serena and Vika. That's the way Maria is, she always fights and keeps improving, she's such a hard worker. Despite not being naturally gifted like Vika and Serena, she fights for her results which shows how much she loves the sport. I think that's her best quality as opposed to GM criticizing her for somehow being a "part timer" and a celebrity. With her money and fame and results, she could have retired a long time ago, but she is an amazing athlete who loves what she does and is excellent at it.
I'm looking forward to seeing what her and Hogstedt will bring to Maria's game. he's obviously had a really nice influence on her so far and Maria's game is reaching her old peak slowly but surely. She is at her physical peak and hopefully next year she looks even sharper, readier, stronger, more motivated and better if possible :)
I'm definitely looking forward to 2013, I know it's going to be a great year :)
Maria started 2012 with not very high expectations and no matches under her belt after a tough ankle injury that forced her to not play her best at the YEC in Istanbul and withdraw from Brisbane. She exceeded everyone's expectations in Australia reaching her 3rd Australian Open final. Along the way, she had easy wins to start the tournament off(including a revenge win over Dulko and easy win over Kerber, future Top 10 player). Then she survived a tough match with Lisicki in the 4th round and gone on to face Kvitova in the Semifinals. Kvitova was the favorite realistically having had an amazing 2011 season in which she won Wimbledon and the YEC and was so close to No.1 in January. Maria, in the role of the underdog fought valiantly and won the epic Semifinal 6-2 3-6 6-4 after a terrific battle :hearts:
Unfortunately, she lost to Vika in the final in a painful final that nobody expected to be so one-sided. However, credit to Vika who was had an unbelievable start to 2012 and was unbeatable.
Maria continued playing solid tennis getting to the Quarterfinal of Paris, but unfortunately lost to Kerber 6-4 6-4 who was in her peak(while, lets be honest, Maria was nowhere near her best). This tournament was important because she got hold of the No.2 ranking for the 1st time in 2012.
After Paris, the real season began. Maria had loads of points to defend in the Indian Wells/Miami run, but she won even more points than she did in 2011. Maria was really solid in Indian Wells where she looked in control in all of her matches and had a great comeback in the Quarterfinals versus Kirilenko(another revenge win). She was then stopped by her great rival Victoria Azarenka, again in easy straight sets. After Indian Wells, Maria played in Miami. After not such an impressive opening match, she got better as the tournament went on. In the Quarterfinals she finally got her revenge over Li Na, losing only 3 games and then in the semifinals played another fantastic match vs Wozniacki prevailing in 3 tough sets 4-6 6-2 6-4.
Unfortunately, after that came her probably most chocking loss of the year. She lost to Agnieszka Radwanska(who was admittedly playing the best tournament of her life) and unfortunately lost her 4th Miami final :sad:
After losing 3 finals at the very beginning of 2012, things didn't look great. She entered Stuttgart, the strongest Premier event of 2012. All Top 10 players apart from Serena were playing. Maria made a fantastic comeback in the Quarterfinals beating Samantha Stosur 6-7 7-6 7-5 saving a match point in the 2nd set (another revenge win):
Then, in the semifinals, she ended Kvitova's 26 match indoor winning streak by beating her 6-4 7-6 and getting her 2nd win over Kvitova in 2012.
Then, in the final, again as the underdog, VintagePova showed up and demolished Azarenka 6-1 6-4 in one of her best matches of the year :worship:
After her amazing run in Stuttgart (where she beat 3 Top 5 players), she played on the blue clay of Madrid and reached her 1st QF there and was beaten by Serena(the eventual champion), keeping her streak of losses to only eventual champions. A week later she started her title defense in Rome which she successfully did beating Ivanovic, Venus and Kerber along the way(revenge wins over Venus and Kerber) and then she beat Li Na in one of the most dramatic finals of the season :bowdown: Masha came back from 6-4 4-0 to win and saved a match point in the 3rd set. The match was full of drama, comebacks, rain delays and of course billions of Unforced Errors :lol: Still, she won the match 4-6 6-4 7-6 and with that her 2nd title in Rome:
She then went to Paris for the 2nd Grand Slam of the year where she had lost to Li Na in the semis last year. She came to the tournament ranked 2nd with 2 clay titles. Her biggest threat, Serena Williams was eliminated in a 1st round thriller which opened the draw up for Maria. After 3 convincing wins came a 4th round scare vs Zakopalova. After that match, she never looked back and easily beat in-form Kanepi, then Kvitova for the 3rd time in 2012 and with that win she was back at the very top of the womens game, regaining the No.1 position after 4 years. In the final, she routined the surprise finalist and new Top 10 player Sara Errani 6-3 6-2.
Winning the 2012 French Open was a dream come true. It had been everything Maria and her fans have been waiting for for so long! After 4 tough years, after surgery and comeback, losing so many close matches, so many ups and downs and disappointments, came that amazing moment. She won her 4th Grand Slam after 4 years and became the 10th woman in tennis history to win all 4 Grand Slam titles. As a Maria fan this is one of the highlights of her career, if not the single greatest moment :sobbing: Pure awesomeness, so amazing!
Mentally drained and still trying to get her head back from the skies, she went into Wimbledon as the 1st seed, but her heart didn't look in it. After a major scare in the 2nd round vs Pironkova and 2 not convincing matches, she lost to Lisicki in straight sets. She wasted no time though and brought her A game at the Olympics where she had her revenge over Clijsters and Lisicki and then produced amazing tennis vs Kirilenko in the semifinals. Unfortunately, she lost to peak Serena in a very one sided final :facepalm:
She skipped Toronto and Cincinnati to have a mental rest after such a tough IW-Olympics run and was fresh and focused in NYC. Again, the easier rounds proved not to be a challenge and her real threat of course came in the 4th round again :lol: This time it was a very inspired Petrova. Maria had her highs and lows in this match, but played her best when it mattered and beat Petrova in a fantastic night match. Then came an ever more dramatic comeback against Bartoli. In the Semis, she faced Azarenka for the 4th time in 2012. After a phenomenal start and a 1st set won 6-3, she gave it her all and ran out of gas. She fought valiantly though and lost 3-6 6-2 6-4.
The Asian season proved to be relatively successful. Her game in Tokyo was a mess, but she fought like a champ, getting past Watson after a huge scare and getting another revenge win over Safarova :cheer: Unfortunately she flopped to Stosur :facepalm: Beijing brought a different story. She looked fresh and focused again. She trashed Kerber and Li Na, losing a total of 4 games versus them, but was outplayed by Azarenka once again in the final, losing her 3rd Premier Mandatory final in 2012.
Her last tournament of 2012 started 5 days ago. She had 2 easy wins over Errani and Sam Stosur(another revenge win) and won probably the best match of the 2012 YEC. She avenged the Miami loss to Radwanska beating her in a grueling 3 hour 12 minute match 5-7 7-5 7-5.
She then routined Azarenka, avenging 2 losses in a row to her and like we all expected, that was her last win- 60th of 2012.
She gave it her best vs a very inspired Serena yet again and ended the year on a high note!
Oct 28th, 2012, 08:36 PM
Too many beatdowns, but other than that, terrific :yeah:
Oct 28th, 2012, 08:38 PM
^ This, except the fact the beatdowns were in the Fs. If they were before then, I'm sure we'd all think 2012 was by far her best year results wise.
Oct 28th, 2012, 08:41 PM
A great consistent year, highlighted by a GS win at RG. Many great wins, but a lot of tough losses as well, especially in big matches (AO, Miami, Olympics, Beijing). I'm extremely proud and happy of the year she's had, and I'm already looking forward to 2013.
Oct 28th, 2012, 08:42 PM
Too many beatdowns, but other than that, terrific :yeah:
The real beatdowns actually are "only" (:sobbing:) AO and OG. While the first was also a surprise result, and maybe still the most burning loss of 2012, the OG result was quite predictable, but made far worse by the way it happened and the score.
But whatever, really, this year has been FAR beyond my wildest dreams after 2011 YEC. If I just go back with memory and think how I didn't want to live anymore after those days... It's amazing. I think I've never been so proud to be a Maria fan like I am now. :inlove:
Oct 28th, 2012, 08:43 PM
I'd love to see how consistent she is next year, tbh i'd take more title wins over more match wins because IMO 2012 has been the Maria Sharapova Consistency Season.
Next year needs to be about actually winning titles, going all out. Lets not forget she'll be 26 too and probably will only play for a couple more years. I want her career to be set in stone when she retires.
But even though we've had some heart breaking moments in 2012 i've never seen masha reach so many finals, playing her heart out and achieving her lifelong career slam dream.
Oct 28th, 2012, 08:43 PM
Oh and too many losses in finals/not enough titles.
Oct 28th, 2012, 09:02 PM
A fantastic year for Maria. I think that most of us would sign for more of the same in 2013. A lot will of course depend on Superwoman. But that goes for Azarenka, Radwanska, Kvitova and the rest of them as well. Take Serena out of the equation and literally anything is possible.
Oct 28th, 2012, 09:14 PM
the career grand slam and being #1 again > the picture I will always have for this year :drool:.
2013 will be even better :D , God Bless you Maria :hearts:
Oct 28th, 2012, 09:15 PM
Would have preferred her to not lose so many finals but any year where she wins a Slam is considered a good year in my eyes.
Oct 28th, 2012, 09:16 PM
This year was amazing. Bravo Maria!
Oct 28th, 2012, 09:23 PM
Not to repeat myself ---> here: http://www.tennisforum.com/showpost.php?p=22399439&postcount=1251
But, I can do my pic recap then here.. Just have to find all the right pics and upload them.. ;)
Oct 28th, 2012, 10:30 PM
I was so happy when Maria won the French Open its was her 4th Grand Slam Singles title and it gave her the Career Grand Slam.
Oct 28th, 2012, 10:38 PM
Thanks for a fantastic OP, FighterPova!
2012 is great, hope 2013 is even better.
Oct 28th, 2012, 11:10 PM
Masha's previous best year was 2006,no? The year in which she won 59 matches, lost 9; won 5 titles, all on hard and one is a Slam among them, played in 2 more finals, in which she lost to Henin and Kuznetsova; and reached a SF in AO, 4th R in RG and a SF in Wimby and SF in YEC...
This year we have: 60 matches won, 11 lost; 3 titles, all on clay and one of them is a Slam, played in 6 more finals and lost to the (future) no.1 (Azarenka) in 3 of them, to the best player right now in the Olympics and had her usual flop in Miami; and reached a F in AO, 4th R in Wimby and SF in USO and a F in YEC... And won a silver medal. And didn't play in the American pre USO tour nor the European indoor...
Pretty much tight... 2006 maybe slightly better, but as I used to say after Maria returned from the surgery- everything she achieves is a bonus... I am proud of her... She achieved way more than I could imagine in my wildest dreams in 2010... Hats off to her for fighting her DFs, serve issues and demons on clay... She did good, guys! Maybe could have won Miami but I think pressure always gets to her there...
Oct 28th, 2012, 11:11 PM
Her best year in a long time, with much to be excited about. Capping off the career Slam was a moment to remember forever. But she left a lot of opportunities out there. Maybe several of her fans, myself included, are too spoiled by Maria's success and are too negative and demanding. But the way I look at it is, tennis is an individual sport and, as a fan, you get to enjoy your favorite player once. It's not like rooting for the New York Yankees, New England Patriots, or Manchester United. Players come and go, but the franchise is always there for you. But there's only one Maria in the game of tennis. And once she's gone, she's gone for good. So that's why I and others have this sense of urgency for Maria to win as many titles as she can now, while she's at her peak. She'll be 26 next year and you don't know how many good title chances she'll have left. Will her game hold up? Will her health be there? Will other players rise up and surpass her? Will Serena continue to be invincible? You just don't know what the future holds. So when Maria loses 6 finals in one year, it stings. And at some point, you can't just say, "she'll get'em next year."
It was, as always, a pure joy to see Maria perform at a high level this year. So many great tournament runs. So many smiles on her face. I loved so much of it and am excited that after all these years, she's still a top 3 player. But I REALLY burn to see her win more titles to add to her legacy and get more respect from fans and the media. I want her to be remembered as one of the all-time great champions.
Oct 28th, 2012, 11:20 PM
Too many lost finals and beat downs but still an incredible year. I remember back in 2009/2010 when she was serving a million double faults, losing early at the slams,losing to players she shouldn't be losing to and not being able to beat top 10 players. Now I look at how she's turned it around and has had one of the best seasons of her career and the best one after the surgery and I can't be anything but happy and proud of her for everything she's done this year.
Here's to an even better year in 2013 :)
Oct 28th, 2012, 11:21 PM
Mexicola, Maria reached and won what she could reach and win at the given moment with the form/health she had on those days when she played... Yes, we do wish her to do better but our wishes don't play on court, Maria Sharapova, a human made of flesh and blood with good and bad days, with happy and sad moments off court, with these and that thoughts, with better and worse form, was out there playing... And she won when she was good enough to win. Imagine if we didn't have any of what she got this year? It is what it is... And for her standards (because my oh my, she is no Serena, nor Henin etc.) she did good enough to be called a success...
Let's see how she does in the future! I wish her from all my heart to do good!!!! It's gonna be a brutal year, because she has a lot to defend! I wish her good luck and good play! We can only watch and hope for best, she will be the one who will play. But I am sure of one thing, she always gives what she has in that given moment... She doesn't tank matches...
Oct 29th, 2012, 12:54 AM
Even though it's seemed like her comeback has been really gradual, in another way it's been quite quick if you consider that this time 2 years ago, her career seemed well and truly in the toilet -- that rotten period between September 2010 and March 2011 :scared: That AO match against Petkovic, where Maria seemed so utterly lost, that was the one time I genuinely thought she would never win a Slam again.
Anyway, coming into this year, I just wanted a Slam and for Maria to remain as part of the elite (the thing I'd missed the most of all in the Wilderness Years wasn't the lack of titles per se, it was mainly the fact she wasn't around in the sharp end of the big tournaments and thus I was seeing her play less on tennis's big stages) -- she managed to do both those things plus a lot more on top, so I'm more than satisfied :yeah: Of course I would've preferred her to win a few more of those finals to make the season even better, but I'll NEVER understand this line that some GM posters have been peddling all year that it's somehow better to lose in an early round than it is to lose in a final, just because it ruins your winning % in finals. As if that's one of the most important stats when assessing greatness anyway.
Oct 29th, 2012, 01:25 AM
It was an amazing year. More than I could have ever hoped for given how 2011 started and ended. RG was such a special moment for me as a tennis fan, but what I love more than anything else as a Maria fan is seeing her gut out three setters even when she's not at her best. There were a ton of those this year, and a lot of them were really high quality for a change.
The most exciting part is she will only get better.
Oct 29th, 2012, 02:03 AM
OK, Maria's 2012 in pictures for me... – part 1
AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2012
1st we had to curl up our nerves for the thriller of the Lisicki match in AO... Maria managed to beat her in 3 sets and ended celebrating like this:
Then our hearts were beating fast for the SF clash... Maria vs. Kvitova... Kvitova went into the match as the favourite on paper after eating Maria alive in Wimbledon and playing her tough all 2011 and ending the year with stron performances in YEC... But Maria stayed tough, hung in there (as she likes to say) and won in 3!!! We couldn't be happier...
On to the F... We had great expectations... Ended up a bit bitter... We saw even some tears from her... But... Nerves of being in another Slam final got to her... She wiped tears, we cried... But she gave yet again one of her amazing trophy speeches! :worship:
We move on..
FED CUP 2012 comes... And we get to see a lot of AMAZE... The most epic team pics EVER are produced on the snow on Red Square in Moscow...
We get CutePova chatting with team-mates and BFFing with Sveta..
http://i47.tinypic.com/2cz8s9y.jpg and we get one of best ever pics of Masha:
http://i49.tinypic.com/swfzix.jpg and one of best ever Masha Marat greeting... At least on pictures: http://i49.tinypic.com/2whnyvk.jpg
and ofc tired, shocked by the climate change and slightly ill Masha winning one FC match in Moscow...
Then PARIS 2012... IndoorPova, HairribbonPova, and IllPova loses to an inspired Kerber, who later ended up developing into an amazing top 10 player with great season!
European Season said bye for some time... Maria went home to USA... We hoped for new goods... Stay tuned for part 2...
Oct 29th, 2012, 02:34 AM
Maria's 2012 in pictures for me... – part 2
THE MADISON SQUARE GARDEN EXHIBITION
I have to play with Rory??
http://i47.tinypic.com/2hy16f.jpg I have to dance?? http://i49.tinypic.com/34fjjoy.jpg
INDIAN WELLS 2012 comes..
Some amazing OFF court interviews with Masha looking so relaxed and happy.. and ofc Caro's failed trick!
http://i49.tinypic.com/2qtbh9f.jpg and... »you had to do this? They made me blow on some... stick...«
Some great matches until the match with the other Masha, who seemed so inspired... Surely Maria Sharapova destroyed some of our nerves in that match and we were all on werge of sending her our future medical bills. But she managed to win! And we got some famous quotes after the match... Tough love between the ex-BFFs..
some CompassionPova for Ana (in this match and in the Kiri match and in the final Masha really had me worrying for her ankle since she was stretching it..)
and the final... Another heartbreak-er for us... She played bad, Vika outplayed her and deservingly won the title.. Masha ended being a runner-up..
aka Maria's »home« tournament.. She has a lot of friends on Florida and grew up there.. We saw a NervyPova... She struggled all tournament and ended up losing a final we all thought she'd »easily« win... Our hearts sank... We started wondering... Will she ever win a final again with this record?? Maria sounded really gutted in the trophy ceremony...
But she decided to shake it off, visited Disneyland and decided to trick us brilliantly... The tennis world gasped for a few hours (a day) and her FB exploded with comments, the news spread like a fire on websites all over the world – Maria Sharapova CUT HER HAIR!!! We were in disbelief, mourning her long hair and TM ponytail..
But 24h later she told us she didn't cut her hair... And that it was a wig for a photosession which ended being AMAZING! And we were all depressed again because all of a sudden we started loving the short hair on her...
On to Europe again..
Oct 29th, 2012, 04:06 AM
Maria's 2012 in pictures for me... – part 3
Maria enters Stuttgart... We are all thrilled, thinking – cool, she is adding another clay tounrament to prepare herself for her "worst" surface, without realizing what comes... In her first match Masha plays a bit shaky, isn't that solid.. But then comes one of best WTA matches of 2012 – her QF against Stosur... An epic 3 setter!!! An amazing fight! Masha ends up winning it 7-5 in the 3rd set...
A tough battle against Kvitova follows; we are scared since Kvitova is the indoor GOAT and because of the history of difficult matches between them... Maria prevails, wins in 2, ends Kvitova's amazing indoor record and moves into another final... against Vika.. Caution is the word... We didn't know what to expect.. Maria played yet again one of her best matches and defeated her main rival brilliantly.. She is thrilled, we are thrilled... and she wins a beautiful car... ClayPova was born in this tournament!!!! Brilliant play.
Maria struggled on the nice on tv, but not in reality- new blue clay, and lost to Serena in QFs.. Barely moved well in that match... Too tight.. Serena later won the title.
Maria is defending the title.. Will she do it? Can she do it?
She reached the final.. And the final turned out to be very.. odd... Masha was on the losing end and even was at risk of getting bagelled in the 2nd set... But somehow, with her not giving up and with Li Na getting tight.. she fought teeth and nails and.. WON! YAY! ClayPova wa there to stay!!! But what an epic match that was, full of crazy and drama... sirenes, helicopters flying, rain and more rain, muddy court and rain delay and waiting for 3h to play an epic tiebreak!!! Hats off to both girls for playing in the conditions (while the ATP elite players couldn't).. We got an amazing handhsake at the end from both Max's girls..
ROLAND GARROS 2012
Practice.. The impossible is possible.. Maria smiling next to Serena and her team.. And people guessing; is that a sunscreen? a deodorant?
We were very scared about her potential match against Serena, but Serena shocked the world by losing early in round 1... The draw was open...
From round 1 Maria had an amazing aura around her to me... I loved her dress, it made her look strong and intimidating... And I loved her jacket... And boy did she rock the 1st round!!!
And 2nd and 3rd!!! In the mean time she produced again amazing interviews off court and a stunning look aswell...
Then round 4 came... Bad weather in Paris, bad day of play for Maria, struggled a lot... But managed to win a difficult 3 set match! In which AngryPova paid a visit and had a small argument with the umpire to spice it up a bit... And in which Maria reminded us why she used to call herself »a cow on ice«.
Maria improved in her next round and showed a brilliant play in very windy conditions and in SF defeated Kvitova again... By that time Maria knew, she'd be no.1 in the next week.. The joy on her face was priceless!!! So was our joy! Finally, she managed to climb back on top, after so many years of struggling and she reached her 1st final in RG!!! On clay!!! Unbelievable..
The final came... Maria was the heavy favourtie against an inspired Sara Errani... Cannot say that some of us weren't worried, with questions- is she gonna do it, can she hold her nerve... She did!!! Amazingly.. And WON!!!!! After an hour and 29 min Maria was on her knees!!!! Again a Grand Slamp Champion!!! Winning on Roland Garros, a tournament she herself sometimes doubted that she would have one day!!! Completing a Career Grand Slam!!! After all the struggles she was trully back! And in style! Dreams do come true... We were in 9th Heaven and full of pride!!! *tears up*
http://i50.tinypic.com/se8wwk.jpg http://i46.tinypic.com/27y4bw2.jpg http://i49.tinypic.com/11sp40n.jpg
This tournament was like it was written in Heaven.. Like it was meant to be for her... I had the same feelings like I did for Roger's Roland Garros in 2009.. And it was even sweeter when Monica Seles, the player who Maria admired to watch when she was little, gave her the trophy...
http://i48.tinypic.com/sp7ypk.jpg http://i47.tinypic.com/2v2q1.jpg http://i49.tinypic.com/359n436.jpg
Oct 29th, 2012, 04:06 AM
We were proud, Russia was proud while the Russian national anthem was played in Paris... Maria was fighting back tears...
After that the 2nd best picture of the year was made in the locker room of Roland Garros..
And one of the most hilarious interviews was produced... http://i50.tinypic.com/244r1ba.jpg
Nobody sensed at that time that the ring would go off her finger in the next few days and that the engagement with Sasha Vujacic would be ended...
Oct 29th, 2012, 09:14 AM
Arguably her best season ever. While the beat downs weren't great the way she was able to shrug them off and keep plugging away was so impressive. She has not been impatient with Thomas and has just kept working hard. RG was amazing my fave tennis memory!!! Even more than her first Slam. It was just so special. The silver medal and carrying the Olympic flag for Russia was so amazing. I was so happy as well that she got back to where she belongs at the US Open. She has made some great improvements this year and I think she will do even better next year. What Serena has done this year proves that age is no barrier.
Oct 29th, 2012, 09:28 AM
Winning Roland Garros was like a dream come true.
To me, this was her best season since 2006. The only reason why 2006 is ahead, is because of the many beatdowns she got, and all the Finals she lost.
Still, I would gladly get another year like that next year, if that means 3 more titles, including a Slam.
Oct 29th, 2012, 09:50 AM
It was a great year, but it could've been SO much better if she had a clue on hardcourts :lol:
Oct 29th, 2012, 09:55 AM
Maya, your picture recap of the year is AMAZING. :hearts:
Oct 29th, 2012, 10:59 AM
amazing year, but too many beatdowns in finals, that´s true, she should have won Miami and it would be amazing year ;) but there is lots of room for impovements in her game, hopefully she will come more stronger in 2013
Oct 29th, 2012, 11:39 AM
This year was amazing. Bravo Maria!
i am SCREAMING who banned him/her? :hysteric: I need him/her in my life
Oct 29th, 2012, 02:34 PM
i am SCREAMING who banned him/her? :hysteric: I need him/her in my life
Wait WHAT?? Rapunxel has been the funniest new member we've ever got in SS. Unless he's trolling somewhere...
Back to topic. Just want to say I'm really happy. For everyone of us who went through those dark times after Montreal 08 all the way to Warsaw 09, really everything since then has been a bonus.
Fking getting emotional now so bear with me. Looking back to the days where we search high and low on youtube for that mysterious video lady just to get a glimpse of Maria's recovery from surgery. Disappointment of her not defending her AO title in 09. That little glee and excitement when she made a mini failed comeback in doubles with Vesnina in IW 09. Gutting out those insane 3 sets victories in RG 09. Every year since then, no matter how we sometimes cheer her on begrudgingly through her horrendous play, has been a bonus. She really could have just retired.
And then she went out there and gave us 2012. Full circle guys. Gonna tear up now :sad:
Oct 29th, 2012, 05:01 PM
My thoughts on Maria's 2012?
In one simple word:AMAZING
IMO Maria reached everything we could ask for in 2012. She won a slam, the most wanted, and made history with that. Won a silver medal at the Olympics and we all know how tough that was.And as cherry on top of the cake, she got back to the Nº1. It was only for 4 weeks, yes, but she did it and nothing can take away that from her.All this combined with a season with no ups and downs (yap,let's forget that loss to bine at wimby) and specially no injuries!!
And overall her tennis made progress, she is playing really well and when she has a bad day she can still beat top players so you see her level. 6 loses in important finals made it tough for us? Maybe! But I rather prefer seeing her in finals than losing in early stages.
For this, i'm very thankful. Since her injury i really got that mentally of "everything from now on is a bonus"-yes because it's already amazing the fact that she is still hitting yellow tennis balls for living- so i couldn’t imagine or ask for more.
Oh and Flagpova was one of the highlights of the season which made her even more special!!
As for 2013 we will see. Honestly I’m expecting good thins... I see maria in full committed to tennis and more important I see that desire in face, desire for winning so if she keeps this level-let’s hope she improves even more ehehe-we can expect great things from 2013, so BRING IT!!!
Many,many thanks to this woman, to her team and to all of you!!
2012, a year to remember!!
Oct 29th, 2012, 05:11 PM
Has to be Maria's best season so far. An Olympic silver, Roland Garros, all Slams collected. But her movement on court now is a major plus! excellent, better than I had hoped. And she will keep working at it.
Cant wait for 2013 to start
Oct 30th, 2012, 08:28 PM
I mean, everyone has said it... 2012 was unquestionably her best year ever. I keep remembering how things were in 2009 and 2010 after her comeback... I just never thought she'd ever be back to this point. I was prepared for her to be a shell of her former self, with getting back to the top 10 being the best goal she could realistically hope for. But then last summer happened, which gave us hope that maybe this wouldn't be the case. Sure enough, she ends up having a year like this. We've gone from being used to 3R and 4R in Slams two years ago to expecting SFs and Fs now. And now she's a part of the new Big Three... even though she's realistically the third-best of the group, at least she's in that group at all. Obviously the losses to Serena and Vika were the one negative of this year, but we really can't let that get us too disappointed. Like I've said before... we just kind of have to accept that there's one player that Maria just can't beat, and that's Serena. We don't have to feel that way about Vika, though... we know that although Vika still has the edge over her, Maria is certainly capable of beating her on occasion. But I think the main thing I'd like to see Maria improve in 2013 is the "on occasion" part... I want to see Maria beat Vika a little more next year and make the H2H a little closer. But yeah... this was a wonderful year. It's so nice to see Maria back to this level. I don't think anyone can argue that June 9 was the best day of Maria's career (and for us, her fans)... I'll never forget that day. I doubt Maria can top that, but here's hoping we'll see many more titles and another Slam (or two?) in 2013. :)
Oct 31st, 2012, 08:20 PM
Where to start?
Okay first off there's no doubt this was the best year Maria has had since her comeback. Some thoughts on 2012:
Beginning of the year. Couldn't play Brisbane due to the ankle injury, went into the AO with no match play. No one knew whether she would be 100% by the time AO started, and that led to most of us having virtually no expectations. Taking the injury into account, the way she blasted her way through the early rounds came as a huge surprise. Next thing you know, and she's in the final. Yes she lost, but considering she came into the tournament cold and just recovered from an injury, reaching the final was a pretty good.
IW & Miami - Would have been great if she won at least one of them Miami :tape: but unfortunately she didn't. Still, reaching back to back finals of two big tournaments was huge.
Clay Season - I'd be lying if I said this wasn't Maria's best clay season to date. Winning all the tournaments she played in :hearts: bar Madrid, but that's okay. The most notable win being Roland Garros obviously and wait for it...completing the CAREER GRAND SLAM. Winning a Grand Slam in combination with getting back to #1 would have meant a lot to her because in a way it would have told her she is 'back' and all her hard work paid off.
*Ignores* Wimbledon since I only seen two of her matches.
Olympics - You could tell just being a part of it all was a huge honour for Maria, let alone winning a medal.
US Open - Going by her last few performances in previous years it was really hard to predict how she would do. She did have a couple of tough matches there (vs. Petrova and Bartoli) but overall it was a good tournament for her. Reaching the Semis and playing a tight match vs. Vika were definitely positive signs.
End of Year - Wasn't playing very well in Tokyo, but then turned it around in Beijing and reached the final there. Again, she may have lost but minus that final, her level of play was encouraging heading into YEC. Finally, she reached another final in Istanbul (9th of the year) beating Aga and Vika along the way. Going unbeaten in the RR stage was nice, and of course finally managing to notch another win over Vika. Didn't play too bad in the final either, despite the loss, was good to see her put up some fight and not just fade away.
Her slam results this have been the best since her comeback, not to mention she's been really consistent this year. Reached the QF stage or further in 13 of 14 tournaments she’s played in and 9 of 14 finals (I think those are the numbers). Of course it could have been even better if she had a better record in finals/won more tournaments, but even so there's no denying that it has been one fantastic year. [Winning a Grand Slam, getting back to #1...]
Just some general comments now: Considering she had a career threatening injury and could have easily hung up her racket just goes to show what kind of person Maria is. Her love for the sport and determination to get back to the top says a lot. She's a fighter and someone who doesn't like to give up. I mean she's definitely had her fair share of tough losses and could have easily stopped playing if she wanted to. Just to see her still playing is a privilege and sometimes I realise that no matter what results she gets, I should be proud of her and what she has achieved so far (getting a little emotional now :lol::tears:)
With the amount of hours of training and hard work she put in to get back to this level, you can only imagine she will want to improve further (and there is lots to improve on :p)...I think we can look forward to see what 2013 brings.
Might add in some of my favourite pictures of the year later ;)
Nov 4th, 2012, 07:47 PM
Maria's 2012 in pictures for me... – part 4
Clay season ended... While we were all still marvelling Maria's achievement and looking for all kinds of pictures and videos from Roland Garros; the business woman in Maria Sharapova didn't rest. She and Juan, her phyisio and his family hopped on the 1st plane to Spain to visit the factory which was in the middle of doing the final touch to Sugarpova, her gummie candies... And surprised us all by paying a visit to Ferrero's academy and celebrating her win there... On he pictures she looked both happy and somehow tired/sentimental at the same time...
[credit to Maria Sharapova and IMG for the first photo]
In the mean time Maria informed us that she was selected to be a flagbearer for Russia at the Olympics in London!!!!!! First time in Russian history a female athlete was chosen to carry the flag! Our happinnes for her couldn't have been bigger! At that same time all sorts of disagreements with that from Russia and from USA came, from tennis players, other athletes to journalists and PRs of members of the parliament... I had a hard time reading that, but decided to ignore!
Grass time!!! Excitement, mixed emotions... Maria has a lot to defend.. We notice the absence of the engagement ring... We start worrying how she feels and how much energy has she left in her to perform well in Wimbledon. We want a SF appearance...
Maria on practice looks stunning, No.1 suits her a lot!
http://i47.tinypic.com/15f3pqs.jpg She meets Kim and they have a warm greeting! http://i46.tinypic.com/3359v0i.jpg
Wimbledon begins... Maria plays a bit tentative in round 1, her footwork is a bit off, but she wins comfortably so we survive for another day.. Which brings a real real thriller! That match probably took some years off of our lives... Maria plays against the grass GOAT Tsvetana Pironkova! In a nail biting match which ends because of drakness and is continued the other day she manages to beat her in 3 sets. We are relieved.
But troubles come soon! An inspired and in good serving form on that given day- Sabine Lisicki blows struggling Maria off court in two sets in round 4... Maria loses a lot of ranking points and that ends her reign on the rankings...
Masha headed home for a short vacation and preparation to the Olympics... We were left with expectations of London 2012!!!
And then ---- LONDON 2012 – the Olympic games!!!!!
Maria as other tennis players came earlier to train and adapt to the conditions.. Wimbledon got a new look – it was all in purple! The amazement started already during practice! The players weren't in their usual whites... Another amazing picture of Maria was captured there.. Totally zen sitting on and looking at the courts...
And ofc she had a lot of nice moments, that were captured on photos even before all begun; Maria filming with Novak a commercial for HEAD, which turned out to be EPIC, practicing with her teammates, having her mum around and having dinner with the Russian tennis team...
Then Day D arrived. The oppening ceremony!!! Maria surpirsed us with a few goodies on her Facebook page, posting us pictures from the village!
A lot of us felt slightly nervous as if we were carrying the flag, we wanted all to go well... For the 1st time a woman with the Russian flag! In front of a whole army of athletes... With the presidents and Royal members from all of the world watching you live on the stadium... Maria did the job solidly... We were happy and proud of her. And after that she had time to take photos with other athletes and volunteers...
And the Games begun! We were surprised a lot when we saw, no more no less, but Chelsea Handler in Maria's box! http://i47.tinypic.com/xly1vq.jpg
Masha showed a lot of emotion during all her matches! She showed a good display against Shahar Peer in round 1, defeating her convincingly, then struggled a bit with Laura's attacking game, but defeated her in straight sets, and after that the inevitable Masha thriller came... The match against the player who took her out in Wimbledon – Sabine Lisicki! It was a really nerve consuming match; full of everything – winners, errors, drama... Maria was the most expressive in ages! In the 1st set she threw her racket on the ground several times; we rarely see her do that so often... You could see it on all her behaviour that this time she wanted to win! And she did! And celebrated as fiercly as she behaved during the match! http://i50.tinypic.com/jk7qxs.jpg
In the next round she defeated Kim and got her »revenge« for Cincinnati 2010, it turend out to be their last match against each other... [we miss you Kimmy..]
Maria got to SF, she was one match away from having a guaranteed medal! And she had to face her compatriot, teammate and friend Maria Kirilenko... We were anxious, knowing that a lot of their previous matches were tight... and that Kirilenko improved on grass a lot.. Sharapova won! She had at least a silver medal in her pocket! We celebrated!
»I won a medal?« Yes, you! http://i47.tinypic.com/358w2me.jpg
In the final there was Serena Williams waiting for her! Well, we all knew it would be extremely difficult against her. But nobody expected what we got, on a slightly windy day, a rather pale Maria was blown off the court by Serena's power and lost 6:0 6:1... A very hard moment for every Sharapova's fan... But we kept up positive spirits, because our girl was standing on the podium, when Shamil Tarpischev gave the medals... Gold-Serena Williams (USA), Silver-Maria Sharapova (RUS), Bronze-Victoria Azarenka (BLR)... The ceremony itself gave a funny moment, when the flag of USA was blown away and made all the players smile a bit, even Maria who seemed rather upset and full of mixed feelings...
Maria shrug off the defeat quickly and decided to celebrate what she achieved! First time an Olympian and with a silver medal! So she went out on a dinner at Zuma in London with her team, her mum and Chelsea Handler, who supported her eagerly even during the final.
And yet again, Masha had no time to rest! She got on a plane the next day and flew to Canada....
Nov 5th, 2012, 04:23 AM
Her best season so far after her post injury! I have a goosebump after she win FO. And achieved Career GS.
But I've been disappointed in Miami and Olympic Final.