Maria Sharapova (above) on a practice court at Wimbledon.

Maria Sharapova, as an unlikely kid, burst on to the scene at Wimbledon, and blew Serena Williams off centre court to take the 2004 Ladies Championship.  In her US Open victory, she overpowered Justine Henin and blew her off Arthur Ashe.  Since shoulder injuries have befallen her, the once mighty serve is gone, to the point where she throws in 21 doubles against Melanie Oudin–a hard fall from grace for a fierce champion. 

At this point, she may actually have the best chance to win on clay, where the serve is neutralized.  And it would be quite a coup for Maria to tough her way through the French Open–the only major she hasn’t won.  But Lucie Safarova, can we say, best known as Tomas Berdych’s ugly girlfriend, got the better of Maria today, 6-4, 6-3 in the first round of the Madrid Open.

Maria’s woes on serve continued.  She won only 32 of 60 points while serving, threw in 4 doubles, and was broken in 4 of 9 service games.  Brad Gilbert, our least favorite pocket square and jeans tennis announcer, and erstwhile coach–when he can confuse someone into coaching them, has repeatedly lobbied to work with Maria, calling her serve “an easy fix.”

Well, if it’s so easy, then why didn’t BG fix his own serve?  He had to be the worst top ten player I have ever seen.  Anyway, at least Maria still looks hot in a bikini.  Take a look.

While we don’t care much for her dog, we sure don’t mind her pussy cat.  Sorry, Yuri.

–Crack (