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Old Nov 4th, 2012, 06:47 PM   #36
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Re: Your thoughts of Maria's 2012 :)

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!
She meets Kim and they have a warm greeting!
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!
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!
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!
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....
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