Originally Posted by Lachy
I've actually composed myself now, particularly about this Azarenka issue. There's no doubt it was pure gamesmanship. But the thing is, she's just ruined her image even more now. She will never be able to have marketing success like Maria and her Sugarpova because people genuinely dislike her. They dislike her because of incidents like today. Her on court demeanor makes it very easy for crowds to cheer for her opponents.
She can win this slam, win the money, have the ranking. But her win will have a lingering shadow of this stunt she pulled. It's not something people will easily forget. Her agent, surely she'd have one, would be pulling his/her hair out right now. She's only got herself to blame.
Why do you take so much solace in the fact that Azarenka isn't liked by crowds? You should focus more on Maria. They didn't even play each other in this tournament.
Anyway I think Jack89 might have made a good point about Maria spending too much energy and focus on the Venus match. It was absolutely unecessary to peak for that match, because Venus wasn't playing up to snuff at all and Maria could've just scraped past her in straights ala Rome 2012. Perhaps the two double bagels and demolition of Venus somewhat deluded herself and us (a lot of people were quick to preach the rebirth of the '08 AO steamroller form) into thinking that she was going to go on a streak of good play long enough to win this tournament (especially with Serena bombing out to Stephens). The calibre of players she's had to face though didn't prepare her at all for Li's good play, the way she played Maria today actually reminded me a bit of how Azarenka plays Maria, just with more firepower and less patience. I must say that the prospect of Rodriguez being on Li's side makes me anxious about their meetings to come.