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Old Jun 12th, 2005, 05:45 PM   #136
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Sharapova: "I'M Feeling Good"

By Ian Laybourn, PA Sport



Maria Sharapova says she is in top shape to defend her Wimbledon crown.

The 18-year-old Russian wound up her preparations in style when she successfully defended her DFS Classic title in Birmingham, the grass-court tournament which launched her career 12 months ago.

Sharapova, who will now have a week off before Wimbledon, was not at her best as she dropped a set for the third time in the tournament but finished strongly to gain a 6-2 4-6 6-1 victory against third seed Jelena Jankovic, of Serbia and Montenegro.

“I haven’t been playing my best tennis but I still managed to get through and I felt really comfortable as the matches went on,” she said.

“Having to battle out some tough matches and not feeling your best but still managing to win the tournament is a great feeling, I’m really happy.

“I’ve played five good matches, where opponents have pushed me and I still came through. I’m going to take that experience and confidence into Wimbledon.”

Sharapova’s latest Birmingham triumph was her 10th WTA Tour title in two years and her third of 2005, with the promise of many more to come.

She went away with a £17,000 winner’s cheque which took her prize money for the year through the one million dollar barrier and provided some loose change ahead of this week’s planned shopping spree in London.

For the second successive match, however, the world number two watched her opponent tail away after being afflicted by injury.

Tatania Golovin was hampered by a foot injury in her semi-final on Saturday and the 20-year-old Jankovic needed a medical time-out to have treatment on her right thigh at the end of the second set.

And, like Golovin, Jankovic won just one game on the resumption as Sharapova breezed through the second set in just 25 minutes.

“I started feeling my left leg towards the end of the second set,” explained Jankovic. “It was getting stiff and it was tough to bend, especially on my serve.

“I didn’t have any power to continue and that’s why it was 6-1 in the final set.”

Both players struggled at times in the cold and windy conditions and, although Sharapova always looked capable of pulling out the big shot to avert a crisis, she appeared to lose concentration in the second set.

Jankovic, who beat Serena Williams earlier this year, dropped just six points on her serve in the second set to level the match but faded badly when she began to feel the effects of her thigh strain and succumbed to the Wimbledon champion for the third time in as many meetings.

“If I play my best tennis I can beat her but I wasn’t playing even close to the level I can play at,” she added.

Sharapova is almost over the cold that affected her performances in the previous two days but found it difficult to cope with the sudden drop in temperature and is still troubled slightly by a thigh strain.

“Conditions were heavier and the ball didn’t fly as much in the air,” she said.

“But I don’t think I could have done much more. I played a really good first set and we were on serve in the second until she broke me with an aggressive game.

“If she could have played at that level for the whole three sets it might have been different but in the third she made a few errors and let me back in it.”

Meanwhile, Sharapova dropped a hint that she could be back at Edgbaston next year in a bid to complete a hat-trick of DFS Classic wins.

The tournament traditionally falls between the French Open and Wimbledon and could fit perfectly into her plans to make the transition from clay to grass.

“It’s hard to say, but I hope so,” she said. “It always depends on how I feel physically after the French and how much time I have to prepare.

“But I usually like a week off before the Grand Slams.”
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Old Jun 12th, 2005, 10:25 PM   #137
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Nice article, thanx for posting !!
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Old Jun 12th, 2005, 11:36 PM   #138
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BIRMINGHAM, England (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova fired a warning to her Wimbledon rivals on Sunday, out-gunning Jelena Jankovic 6-2 4-6 6-1 to win the DFS Classic for the second year running.

It was at this sedate setting in England's second city last year that she began a journey that culminated in her fairytale crowning as champion at the grasscourt grand slam.

The fact that she has repeated the first half of that double despite suffering from a cold and aching limbs augurs well for her return to the All England Club.

"I've played five tough matches with opponents pushing me and I came through, so I'm going to take a lot of confidence from that," said the 18-year-old world number two who was pushed to a deciding set for the third time this week.

As against Australia's Samantha Stosur and Eleni Daniilidou of Greece in previous rounds, however, she found the extra gears when she needed and never looked in danger of losing.

"I just went for my shots in the third set, and tried not to worry too much," said Sharapova after claiming her 10th career title and 17th consecutive victory on grass.

"It's a great feeling to win here again, I've not felt my best but I've battled through."

The third-seeded Jankovic, who had reached the final without dropping a set, was overwhelmed in the opening set as she vainly attempted to match Sharapova's baseline power.

All she ended up doing was loading the bullets for the Russian to fire them whizzing past her into the corners.

She proved she has some useful grasscourt tools in the second set, however. After the first six games all went with serve she produced some inspired tennis to break Sharapova.

The Russian shot some angry glances at her watching father Yuri, momentarily looking a little confused as errors began flying off her racket.

Jankovic punished Sharapova's inability to put away a simple volley as she held for 5-3 with a rasping backhand winner.

Sharapova recovered from 0-30 down to win the next game but Jankovic would not be denied a third set, serving out confidently to take the set 6-4.

Jankovic, the world number 20, needed treatment on a thigh strain at the start of the third set and after returning to the court she quickly came under a barrage of power play.

Hitting the ball with renewed vigor, Sharapova clenched her fists and screamed "come on" after breaking to lead 3-1.

Another belting forehand winner two games later produced a second break and Sharapova made no mistake, serving out the match to claim the $31,000 first prize.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #139
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How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

Photo By Susan Mullane By Richard Pagliaro
06/15/2005

Seven-time Wimbledon winner Pete Sampras called Centre Court at the All England Club a "tennis cathedral." Defending Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, who smacks shots with enough force to shatter stained glass and punctuates potent blasts with shrieks that reverberate like a siren during a sermon, shares that reverence for the grand stage of the grass court Grand Slam.


"If I could win 10 Wimbledons and not another Grand Slam, I'd take that," Sharapova told the media before launching defense of her Birmingham title. "It's amazing. It's the best tournament in the world."

A year ago, Sharapova played perhaps the best match of her career at Centre Court, Wimbledon. Serena Williams ran ragged trying to reclaim the real estate she'd ruled like her own backyard in amassing a 20-match Wimbledon winning streak, but a superior Sharapova simply shoved her aside to take control of the most precious turf in tennis. In a stirring performance of power and poise, the 13th-seeded Sharapova overpowered, overwhelmed and, ultimately, dethroned the two-time defending champion with a 6-1, 6-4 triumph in the Wimbledon final to become the youngest champion since a 16-year-old Martina Hingis raised the Rosewater Dish in 1997.

Since her 2004 Wimbledon victory, Sharapova has surged to the second spot in the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour rankings, earned endorsement deals the way John McEnroe once collected code violations and stopped traffic everywhere from the Sunset Strip to I-95 with her larger than life image plastered on billboards.

But here's the question: Can she successfully defend her crown?

The 18-year-old Sharapova doesn't need to dissect the draw to find this year's favorite. She sees her in the reflection in her title trophy.

"I have a better chance than anybody on grass because it's my favorite surface and because it suits my game," Sharapova says. "And I love it."

Twenty-time Wimbledon champion Billie Jean King believes Sharapova has the skills to establish a successful long-time love affair with Wimbledon.

"Maria Sharapova can win multiple Wimbledons," says King, who first saw Sharapova play in the Wimbledon juniors and signed her to play World TeamTennis at age 14. "As long as she wants it, and obviously has no huge injury issues, she can absolutely win multiple Wimbledons because she has the game for grass."

Sharapova's stinging flat shots force opponents to bend low to dig out knee-high shots while hitting off their heels. Her blistering backhand crosscourt can batter foes into submission, or she can use that shot to open up the court before taking the backhand down the line. Stalking the baseline ready to pounce on any short shot, Sharapova takes the ball early to rob reaction time from opponents. The seeds for Sharapova's grass court game were planted on courts coast-to-coast under the guidance of some of the most experienced coaches in the country. Sharapova has trained at Nick Bollettieri's academy in Bradenton, Fla., since the age of 9; she has worked with Robert Lansdorp in Rolling Hills Estates, Calif., to refine her strokes since she was 11; and, recently, she has improved her serve studying with serving specialist Phil Dent, a former Australian Open runner-up and father of serve- and-volleyer Taylor Dent.

Lansdorp, assessing Sharapova's grass court guile, says, "Maria likes to play against pace herself, and she hits the ball with so much pace the points aren't going to last that long on a grass court. Another important reason (for her success) is her serve is a lot better on grass simply because it moves more."

Says Bollettieri, "Maria hits the ball so early, so hard and so flat it's tough to recover when she takes that first big strike against you. It's awful tough because the balls don't bounce really high on grass; so she forces you to try to rally off a flat, hard, low ball. You're trying to hang in against someone who hits consistently hard and flat, she's backing you up and the ball isn't coming up. Good luck to you."

In addition to an audacious arsenal of baseline blasts, Sharapova's court sense - her feel for playing probing, deep drives before pulling the trigger and going for the kill - athleticism and aggressive attitude are all assets on the All England Club's lawn courts.

"I'm very big on the idea that Wimbledon is won by jocks," ESPN analyst Mary Carillo says. "Grass rewards everything Maria Sharapova does well. She moves well for someone her height. She's got a good instinct for the kill shot. She hits hard and flat, which is obviously very hard to track down on grass. She's looking to play bold points, one after another. And that combination plays well at Wimbledon."

Sharapova's declarative first strike ability often gives her the last word in grass court rallies against even the hardest hitters in the game. With a sharp sense for shot sequence, Sharapova showed her ability to abruptly alter the course of crosscourt rallies by changing directions and delivering down the line shots off both sides in her victories over some of the hardest hitters in the sport - Daniela Hantuchova, Davenport and Serena Williams - en route to the 2004 title.

"Your crosscourt is your bread-and-butter shot, and your down-the-line is your money shot," says Lansdorp, who has also worked with Tracy Austin, Sampras and Davenport, and is a master of teaching the fast, flat ground strokes. "So you have to be able hit the down the line. It's not a trial-and-error situation; you have to hit that shot. So when you see Maria changing direction in a match, that's something we've worked on for years: Set it up with a deep shot, then short angle, short angle, short angle and then crank it down the line for a winner. Maria is very good at setting up that opportunity and making the shot. People don't realize it's almost eight years of me feeding her fast and her working on that shot."

The owner of a 31-6 record before beginning her grass court season in Birmingham earlier this month, Sharapova's struggles - with the exception of Serena's gritty comeback from match points down in the Australian Open semifinals and Davenport's 6-0, 6-0 shutout in the Indian Wells semifinals - have come primarily against players who can alter speeds and spins on slower surfaces and make her hit on the run or from awkward positions on court.

Exerting enough elasticity to retrieve shots often out of reach to others, Kim Clijsters conquered windy conditions and the second-seeded Sharapova in the Miami final. Justine Henin-Hardenne swept Sharapova in successive straight set clay court wins in Berlin and Roland Garros. Patty Schnyder fed Sharapova heavy topspin, slithering slices and a lethal dose of junk in beating her in the Rome semifinals. But Sharapova shrugs off these setbacks as if they're an itchy shawl. She reached the semifinals in six of the first eight events she played this season, winning at Tokyo and Doha consecutively.

"My favorite part of Sharapova is she seems to have a very sound idea of what to hold on to and what to let go of, in terms of her game and her future," Carillo says. "She takes a hit, she loses that match to Serena (in the Australian Open semifinals) and she comes right back, almost right away, and starts winning all over again."

The body language of some top players can serve as a physical scoreboard, with sagging shoulders and hanging heads revealing service breaks and cracked confidence. When Sharapova turns her back to the court to collect her thoughts before each serve, it's as if she has already convinced herself, her racquet and the ball of the point that will be played out before she turns around to actually serve.

"If you turn on the television during a Sharapova match, you can't tell the score by looking at her body language," King says. "Her body language is always very positive. I think that's huge, particularly on grass, where things happen so fast, because it keeps her attitude right, but it also sends a message to the opponent that she's got that intense quality on every point. She showed that in winning Wimbledon last year."

Defending a major title may well be one of the toughest tasks in tennis, but Sharapova suggests that coping with pressure is like adapting to unruly grass court bounces; it comes with the territory.

"I have never really taken pressure too seriously because it is always part of the sport," she says. "I'm the defending champion at Wimbledon; so there is extra pressure. But pressure drives me and I enjoy it."

There are several contenders capable of detouring Sharapova's run to another Wimbledon final. Though Davenport has not won a major since the 2000 Australian Open, she has advanced to at least the quarterfinals in seven of her last eight Grand Slam events. More importantly, Davenport's destruction of Sharapova in Indian Wells was her first win over the 6-foot Russian in three meetings. The dilemma Davenport faces is trying to win running rallies with the faster Sharapova and conquering the self-doubt she has shown in losing her last three major finals.

Discounting Serena Williams at a major is as wise as ruling out a star sighting while strolling the Hollywood Walk of Fame. But by the time Wimbledon begins it will be two months since Serena's last match victory. Since her stirring run to her seventh Grand Slam tournament title, Serena has struggled to finish what she starts, retiring or conceding a walkover in three of 13 matches and looking disinterested on occasion. The inferno of intensity that once burned within, sometimes seems to flicker like the flame of a matchstick in Serena, but if she shows up in shape, she'll surely be motivated to reclaim the major the Williams sisters owned for four consecutive years before Sharapova snatched it away.

The resurgent Clijsters, a Wimbledon semifinalist in 2003, two-time Wimbledon semifinalist Amelie Mauresmo, Australian Open quarterfinalist Alicia Molik, 2004 Wimbledon junior runner-up Ana Ivanovic and hard-hitting Nicole Vaidisova are all capable of playing deep into the draw.

Several observers point to reigning Roland Garros champion Henin-Hardenne, who can complete a career Grand Slam by winning The Championships, as the most capable contender for the Wimbledon crown. While she can't match Sharapova's pure power, Henin-Hardenne is a much better mover, possesses the variety to take Sharapova out of her strike zone and is an all-court player who can attack the net. What's more, she played the Wimbledon final before, extending then-defending champion Venus Williams to three sets in 2001.

"Every day is a new day at the office," King says. "It depends how your game is going on that particular day. If Lindsay's first strike of the ball is better than Maria's that day, then Lindsay is probably going to win. But if Maria's first strike is better that day, then Maria is probably going to win. "Ideally, [to beat Sharapova], you'd want someone who can vary the spin and vary the shot, as well as be very, very quick: a Henin-Hardenne or a Serena. You've got to be in great shape because (Sharapova) is going to just keep pounding you. So fitness is a factor. You have to stay very, very focused every single ball. If you start letting up just a little with her, she's going to take it to you. And we know from watching her she will take it to you."

Given the chance to do that at Wimbledon, Sharapova could well take home another title.
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Old Jun 14th, 2005, 10:08 PM   #140
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I love the ESPN interview you posted, GL!
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 02:54 PM   #141
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Pretty Sharapova must win ugly to defend Wimbledon title
Has only a slight chance to overtake Davenport for No. 1

By Matthew Cronin
Maria Sharapova wants to prove she's No 1 in the rankings beside being the top female athlete in star power.
After she won Wimbledon last year in astounding fashion, Maria Sharapova no longer had to defend herself against the dreaded Anna Kournikova comparison: that she was just another pretty blonde Russian with a negligible game and questionable motivation.

But the ambitious Sharapova has a much greater hurdle to climb now: whether she has the will and will develop the know-how to become an all-time great player.

She's will ascend to No. 1 with one significant Lindsay Davenport hiccup at Wimbledon, but also one wet and soggy loss in London away from slipping back to No. 3.

She's never had to defend a major title and, although she's played three Grand Slams since she wowed Serena Williams for the '04 Wimbledon crown, the pressure on her to prove that her title run wasn't a one-off will be immense. Sharapova has certainly played well at times during the year since then, but has also slumped.

She's still developing, particularly her footwork, volleying and point construction. But her fan base is impatient and some of her critics are just waiting for her to take a fall.

"It's normal that people expect you to win, but it's impossible to win everything," said Sharapova, who's 36-6 this year. "You want to win every time, but people have to respect the fact that you are human."

WIMBLEDON DEFENSE IS HUGE
Defending her Wimbledon title is extremely important to her, so much so that when asked if she was given a choice between grabbing the No. 1 ranking and defending her crown, she replied without hesitation, "Wimbledon."

That may be because Sharapova was speaking from the grounds at the Big W, the place where she proved to herself and everyone else that her drive to become the best wasn't just some flighty teenage dream. She was good, rising player before then, but one without serious credentials.

But, after coming back from a set down against '99 champion Davenport in the semis and then making the boastful, two-time champion Serena Williams look weak and confused in the final, she suddenly owned a Fortune 500 resume. All she could think about was her tennis glory, while her handlers saw gold in the endorser's pocket and cashed in a big way. She's now earning an estimated $20 million per year, the vast majority of that in sponsorships. With a namesake perfume and gracing dozens of advertisements from Canon to Motorola, she's makes race car driver Danica Patrick's portfolio look like that of a Girl Scout posing for a school uniform catalog.

But the 18-year-old Sharapova says she's always kept her priorities straight.

"When we first met [my agent], I said that my number one priority was tennis," she said. "Everything else came after tennis. We thought about the way we wanted to be marketed, but then I won Wimbledon at such a young age and everything went so fast. It was a surprise and I guess everyone got excited."

Sometimes giggly and fun loving, other times deadly serious and confrontational, the girl from Siberia has a pretty decent understanding of her role in society given that she never received a formal education.

"I've always wanted to be a top player," Sharapova said. "That's been my dream. But what comes with it can be celebrity and even if it has nothing to do with tennis, it's part of what I do I have to accept it. If I don't want to be a tennis player, I wouldn't have to accept these things and be that level of celebrity. It's something that comes with sport."

But celebrity has had its price on court, as the other elite players saw her as a big target after she won Wimbledon. Sharapova had a mediocre summer on slow hard courts after her London glory and it was only once she got indoors on quicker surface that she was able to pound the other elite players again, winning the year-end WTA Championships with impressive knockouts of Svetlana Kuznetsova, Anastasia Myskina and Serena.

2005 HASN'T BEEN THE YEAR MARIA WANTED
Because of that, she came into 2005 as the pre-anointed No. 1 but, at the Australian Open, she suffered a major setback, when she fell 2-6, 7-5, 8-6 defeat to eventual champion Serena in the semifinals when Sharapova held three match points. Speaking about the defeat a month later after she won titles in Tokyo and Doha, Sharapova was a little surprised she wasn't able to close out the Serena match, but figured it wouldn't happen again.

"I didn't take my opportunities," said Sharapova" "You have to take chances in tennis and if you don't, you lose. I was sad, but I know the better player always wins, even if I'm up match points. There are a lot of matches I've looked back at that were so devastating to lose when they happened. But now I look back and say it was good to lose a match, because I'm a better player because learned from them."

Sharapova was correct in thinking she wouldn't choke another major lead again, but what likely didn't cross her mind was that in a three-and-a-half-month period between March and mid-June, she'd only win one other crown - last week's mid-sized title on grass in Birmingham, where she scored two decent, but not eye-popping win over Tatiana Golovin and Jelena Jankovic in the semis and final.

It's important to note that during Sharapova's rapid rise up the charts that the Belgians, Justine Henin-Hardenne and Kim Clijsters, were largely absent from the tour with injuries. Since they came back in March, those two have combined for every significant title except for one, the Italian Open, which was won by Amelie Mauresmo.

Sharapova did hand Henin-Hardenne her only loss of the year in the quarterfinals of Miami, but was out-run by Clijsters in the final. After failing to reach even a semifinal on clay going into Roland Garros, the tall free swinger looked like she had started to figure out the vagaries of clay until she met Henin-Hardenne in the quarterfinals, who spun around like an off-balance top.

Former No. 1 Henin-Hardenne has only dropped one match this year and the '01 Wimbledon finalist is sure to make a strong run at the All-England Club. Given how much variety the Belgian has, Sharapova has a right to be afraid. But she's not and seems to be gunning for her, thinking that the green blades will play in her favor.

"I'm not worried about playing her," Sharapova said. "I know women tennis is very competitive. I played her on her favorite surface and where she plays her best and that's still a bit of a challenge for me. She had a little advantage of that. On grass, everything is faster, points are shorter and serving and returning well are the keys there. A lot of players will be tough at Wimbledon."

Has only a slight chance to overtake Davenport for No. 1

Lindsay Davenport tries for what may be her last shot at a Slam title at Wimbledon.
In order for Sharapova to become No. 1 at Wimbledon, she'll very likely have to defend her title and hope that Davenport falls before the semifinals. That will be a tough task given that the 28-year-old American realizes this is likely her last shot at a Wimbledon crown. Moreover, Henin-Hardenne is itching to become the first player since Serena to go back to back in Paris and London, Clijsters is aiming to prove that she's now mature enough to win a Slam and Serena has been looking to avenge her Wimbledon defeat to teenager who stole her much-beloved headlines for a year now.

Sharapova can't afford to play pretty if she wants to end Wimbledon at the top. She's going to have stain her knees green once again and gain some unsightly wins when her game isn't clicking. She's sure to look pretty holding up the winner's plate once more, but that will mean displaying a top-ranked player's game when everyone is aiming at her.

Now will see if the already more accomplished and self-assured Sharapova can hold the No. 1 brand both off-court and on.

"It would be great honor [to become No. 1]," Sharapova said. "You don't have anywhere else to go after that. When you become No. 1, you're the best. That would mean a lot to me. To win Grand Slams and become No. 1, that's what you wake up for."
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 03:39 PM   #142
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stupid article, very negative, you must like it then Goldenlox....
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 03:51 PM   #143
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Queen Maria
stupid article, very negative, you must like it then Goldenlox....
I don't see it as negative. It's neutral. It has some good quotes from Maria.

"It would be great honor [to become No. 1]," Sharapova said. "You don't have anywhere else to go after that. When you become No. 1, you're the best. That would mean a lot to me. To win Grand Slams and become No. 1, that's what you wake up for."

"When we first met [my agent], I said that my number one priority was tennis," she said. "Everything else came after tennis. We thought about the way we wanted to be marketed, but then I won Wimbledon at such a young age and everything went so fast. It was a surprise and I guess everyone got excited."

"I've always wanted to be a top player," Sharapova said. "That's been my dream. But what comes with it can be celebrity and even if it has nothing to do with tennis, it's part of what I do I have to accept it. If I don't want to be a tennis player, I wouldn't have to accept these things and be that level of celebrity. It's something that comes with sport."

"It's normal that people expect you to win, but it's impossible to win everything," said Sharapova, who's 36-6 this year. "You want to win every time, but people have to respect the fact that you are human."

"I'm not worried about playing her," Sharapova said. "I know women tennis is very competitive. I played her on her favorite surface and where she plays her best and that's still a bit of a challenge for me. She had a little advantage of that. On grass, everything is faster, points are shorter and serving and returning well are the keys there. A lot of players will be tough at Wimbledon."
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:09 PM   #144
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"Sharapova has certainly played well at times during the year since then, but has also slumped."

:retard:

She hasn't lost before a quarter final all year. What a major disaster.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 04:18 PM   #145
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This is what Cronin is saying - But the ambitious Sharapova has a much greater hurdle to climb now: whether she has the will and will develop the know-how to become an all-time great player.
That's not negative. Maria is doing great. The question is, can she become an all-time great.
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 05:15 PM   #146
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Sharapova eyes No. 1

By LANCE HORNBY -- Toronto Sun

Her limp is gone and the sniffles are subsiding, leaving Russian tennis queen Maria Sharapova healthy and ready to defend her Wimbledon title next week.

In a somewhat difficult warm-up for the famed tournament, Sharapova fought through a thigh injury and a bad cold en route to winning the DFS Classic grasscourt tournament in chilly Birmingham, England, on the weekend. After disposing of Jelena Jankovic 6-2, 4-6, 6-1 in the final -- the third time in the tournament she was stretched to three sets -- Sharapova headed to London, site of her breakthrough victory in 2004, in a positive frame of mind.

"Everything's okay now," Sharapova said yesterday on a conference call from the All England Lawn and Tennis Club. "I think my thigh was just soreness from playing on the grass. I played five more matches after the injury."

Sharapova, who tentatively is scheduled to play in the Rogers Cup at Toronto in August, enters Wimbledon trailing Lindsay Davenport by 262 points for the world's No. 1 ranking.

"I don't have any butterflies yet, just a lot of excitement about being back on the Wimbledon grounds," Sharapova said. "It brings back a lot of good memories. A lot has changed on and off the court for me (since 2004). I've got so much more experience, I've met amazing people in different industries and I've been able to give back charity-wise."

The sport's 18-year-old pin-up girl has 10 career titles to her credit, including three this year, and has a 17-match winning streak on grass.

"The bounces are so different on grass," Sharapova said of the coming challenge. "It's very low and the ball is quick and the points are shorter.

"The level of women's tennis is very high right now. Anyone in the top 20 or 30 is a tough opponent. It would be amazing to be No. 1, but I have to get there first."
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 06:21 PM   #147
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sensible........she's so....sensible!
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 06:21 PM   #148
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btw, thanx for the article GL
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Old Jun 15th, 2005, 11:39 PM   #149
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Edward.
"Sharapova has certainly played well at times during the year since then, but has also slumped."

:retard:

She hasn't lost before a quarter final all year. What a major disaster.
Agreed that comment is ridiculous, but otherwise a decent article
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Old Jun 17th, 2005, 06:07 AM   #150
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Forbes published the list of Top 100 celebrities.
Mashs took the spot number 57.
Not bad for 18 years old.
http://www.forbes.com/
http://www.forbes.com/free_forbes/2005/0704/116.html

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