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Old May 15th, 2013, 08:21 PM   #3
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Second-round TV-report: Sharapova v Morita

FRENCH OPEN (Roland Garros, Paris, France; outdoor red clay; Major)

Women’s Singles: Second round: Ayumi Morita v Maria Sharapova (Friday 1st June 2012)

+ MARIA SHARAPOVA [2] d. Ayumi Morita, 6-1 6-1

ITV4 showed only the last point of the first set and the last three games of this match, as it decided to prioritise Agnieszka Radwańska v Svetlana Kuznetsova on Court Chatrier.

From the little I saw of this match, Morita hit some nice, hard groundstrokes – two-handed on both sides – but Maria had far too much power for her, hitting three return-winners, two other groundstroke-winners, and even a volley-winner.


First set
MORITA _*_____ 1
SHARAP *_*@*@* 6


The match was second on Court Suzanne Lenglen, and started at 13:28 CEST.

Sharapova serving 0-0: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Morita serving 0-1: 0/15. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 40/30 (GP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Morita (GP #2). Held.

Sharapova serving 1-1: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Morita serving 1-2: 0/15. 0/30. 0/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Sharapova serving 3-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Morita serving 1-4: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Sharapova serving 5-1: 15/0. 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (SP #1 for Sharapova). 40/30 (SP #2 for Sharapova). ITV4 showed this point in a round-up: Morita dumped a forehand into the net on the fourth stroke. Sharapova won the first set 6-1 at 13:56 CEST (28m).


Second set
MORITA __*____ 1
SHARAP @*_*@*@ 6


Morita serving 0-0 (new balls): 0/15. 15/15. 15/30. 15/40 (BP #1). Broken.

Sharapova serving 1-0: 15/0. 30/0. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Morita serving 0-2: 15/0. 30/0. 40/0. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Sharapova serving 2-1: 15/15. 30/15. 40/15 (GP #1). Held.

Morita serving 1-3: 0/15. 0/30. 15/30. 30/30. 30/40 (BP #1). Deuce #1. Ad Morita (GP #1). Maria hit a pinpoint backhand return-winner down the line: about an inch inside the sideline. Deuce #2. Maria netted a backhand on the third stroke. Ad Morita (GP #2). Maria hit a series of crosscourt forehands, the last a winner back behind Morita. Deuce #3. Maria hit a blazing forehand return-winner down the sideline and just inside it. Ad Sharapova (BP #2). Morita dominated the rally and ripped a two-handed forehand down the line, forcing Maria to bunt a one-handed backhand wide left. Deuce #4. A long, meaty baseline-rally ended with Morita hitting a crosscourt forehand just wide. Ad Sharapova (BP #3). Morita hit a crosscourt backhand wide. Broken.

Sam Smith: “Even though she finished last year at #4 in the world, made that Wimbledon final, I felt last year she was struggling on the ball: she was trying to muscle it. She was prospecting for her game. This year, it’s all changed: the timing, the rhythm, the power – it’s all back. Even the serving’s improved; the shoulder seems to be an awful lot better. She really is back.”

Sharapova serving 4-1: Maria’s power and depth forced Morita to bunt a backhand long. 15/0. Morita blasted a wild off-backhand wide. 30/0. Kick serve out wide induced Morita to net a backhand return. 40/0 (GP #1). Double fault (second serve into the net). 40/15 (GP #2). Maria went to the net and hit a crosscourt forehand volley-winner into the open court – probably unnecessarily, as the ball from Morita looked like it was going wide. Held.

Morita serving 1-5: First serve out wide: Maria’s searing crosscourt forehand return forced Morita to net a forehand. 0/15. Second serve out wide: Maria used the angle for an acute crosscourt backhand return-winner just inside the sideline. 0/30. Deep, body-jamming first serve induced Maria to net a forehand return. 15/30. Maria netted a forehand on the fourth stroke. 30/30. Maria hit a crosscourt backhand winner back behind Morita on the fourth stroke. 30/40 (MP #1 for Sharapova). First serve out wide: Maria’s mildly awkward crosscourt backhand return induced Morita to mishit a backhand just long. Sharapova won 6-1 6-1 at 14:28 CEST (second set 32m, match 1h00m).


Maria’s press-conference

The following excerpt from Maria’s press-conference was televised in ITV4’s highlights-show:

“I was happy with the way I played today. I’d never faced my opponent before, but yeah: when she has time, she really goes for her shots, so I really wanted to try to get her on the move. I thought I played well, aggressive, and played well when I had to.”

--
Dr. Andrew Broad
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