What separated Sharapova and Makarova today was, indeed, Maria’s superior pace, her smarter point construction, and her bigger serve. The most telling stat was forced errors: Sharapova commited just nine, while pushing Makarova to make 25; clearly she was controlling the action. But Sharapova didn't win on that stat alone. She won because after a long rally at 15-all on her serve in the middle of the second set, she took a very good Makarova approach and found the one foot of room down the sideline for the winning pass. She won because, after drilling a sitter backhand into the net to give Makarova a break point at 4-2 in the first set, she shrugged it off and followed it up with an ace. She won because, after Makarova handed her a game point at 4-2 in the second, she took advantage with a big serve and a big forehand on the next point to hold. She won because, when Makarova broke to take a lead early the second set, the lower-ranked player double-faulted twice rather than seizing the moment.