Re: MADRID 2013 Mission: Snatch That #500!!!
I think we also need to look at ourselves and admit that we are spoiled by Maria's success. I recognized the same symptoms at the Caro forum a few years ago. I know that Caro is no Sharapova, but the reactions to disappointments was much the same. Now there is reason for disappointment of course, but at the beginning it was, "wow, Caro you're doing great. Perhaps she can get into the top 10!" Than when she got into the top 10 we wanted her in the top five. After that number one. we continually kept on raising the bar and when she failed to deliver on our final ambition, that ever elusive slam win we got frustrated and started talking about her as though her not winning a slam meant that she was a failure. But if we would have had the good sense to think back a few years we would have realized that she was not a failure but that she had in fact already far exceeded our initial expectations. But that comes when you are spoiled by success. At the start you are pleased with doing very good, but there comes a point when even doing great is not good enough anymore in the eyes of the fans of a successful player. We want more, more, more!!! And if she fails to deliver we somehow put the blame on her but not our own inflated expectations.
The Maria story is very different from Caro's of course, and she IS a better player. But just think back to three or four years ago. How many of her fans wouldn't have signed for a Sharapova half as good as the one we have now? Her winning the FO and getting back to #1 was nothing short of a miracle. Very few (if any) other players could have come back from where she was to where she is now. We shouldn't forget that. Of course we want more. Of course we want her to beat Serena. Of course we want her to win another major. But at the same time we should keep in mind that the only reason why we keep raising the bar is that she's already exceeded by far what we would have considered a success a few years ago and that it's not fair of us to demand that she lives up to our expectations which continue to get higher and higher for ever and ever. Hoping we can always do. I'm sure that she herself keeps raising the bar of her own expectations as well. But everyone, no matter how great, has his or her limits. And if she fails to deliver on some of her or our own ambitions for her we shouldn't be disappointed IN her but FOR her because we know that she's trying as hard as she can. Her having a mental block against Serena is not the same as not giving it a 100%. She is, and I'm sure that she is as frustrated about it as any of us, probably more so in fact.
Maria Sharapova, Li Na, Agnieszka Radwanska, Sorana Cirstea