Ekaterina Makerova


On Saturday, Serena Williams (above) defeated Aggie Radwanska, in a waltz, needing only fifteen games.

Yesterday, if she was to defeat world #2 Maria Sharapova, who has not beaten Serena since 2004, then she would have won the 4 most recent most meaningful titles, counting Wimbledon, The Olympics, The US Open, and the championship contested here in Istanbul, in which the top 8 players in the world participated in a double elimination format prior to the semi-finals and finals.  Serena showed her dominance all week by beating Kerber, Azarenka, and Na, all in 2 straight sets in the RR and then dusted the world #4 from Poland in straights in the semis.  Sharapova was the latest victim, falling 6-4, 6-3 to the most dominant #3 of all time.  Sharapova pushed back and dug in to the best of her ability, in one service game that spanned more than 10 minutes during the first set, she held despite a torrent of winners from Williams, especially return winners.  But this match was not close.  Serena broke in Masha’s 2nd service game, and in her 3rd game, Sharapova  clawed for dear life to stay alive, as consecutive breaks there would have been committed to stone.  Serena also broke early in the 2nd set, so it’s not really like we were sitting there wondering who was going to win this match.  Sharapova’s best moments were purely survivalist, keeping things closer than they should have been, the way she could not at the Wimbledon Olympiad, where Serena handed her her ass in 55 minutes, 6-0, 6-1.

In fact, we felt the score line was not indicative of the facts.  Serena was imposing, completely controlling the baseline, and dictating a lot of points on Maria’s serve, both first and second.  And Serena out-winnered Sharapova 40-13.  To be frank, this one seemed like batting practice for Williams.  So this week’s work, 5 matches, 10 sets, straight money.  We’d like to hold up Serena as exhibit A in the lesson in the basic but all important and never read tennis bible.  Hold your serve.  Serena had 11 aces today, and 11 the other day, against Azarenka when the match was decided by only a few points.  We’ve said for months, too, that Azarenka is the best consistent point player in the game.  But she doesn’t have the serve.  In a match in which the points were 69-57, Serena hit 11 aces and 0 doubles.  Azarenka hit no aces and had 9 doubles.  Ladies and gentlemen, that was your match.  It’s not just that she has the big serve, but also the proficiency, the high percentages and mistake free, clean and fast business like service games that no other woman in the sport can put up.

Azarenka is a very strong #1, certainly with no Serena in the picture, but as is, is really not that bad of a number one considering the Jankovics and Wozniackis.   She’s a major champion and clear cut 1B, worthy of her position.  Personally, we feel that she looked a bit tired this week, despite a command performance against Na Li in which she broke serve 5 times in a row.  We felt that just from a probability point of view that Azarenka would have had a decent chance in the finals, knowing how hard she would be to play and beat twice in a row in a few days time.  But Serena has the bigger game, which has carried her to grand success after a never before round 1 major loss, which she suffered at Roland Garros.  Some parallel might be seen between her hiring Patrick Mourataglou of the academy by that same name in Paris.  Mourataglou also coaches Grigor Dimitrov, and seems to have helped the young 1-hander to improve.  We’d also chalk some of Serena’s incredible run up to her getting onto faster courts.  Azarenka is great of combinations, the best there is, but needs the longer points that come more on clay and Plexicushion.  She will get her chances on those surfaces and will probably prove out.  But Serena owns the better surfaces, and deserves to be favored heading into all of the majors.

Now revel in these stats.  9 straight against Sharapova.  Also, Sharapova has not taken a set off Serena since 2008.  Ho hum.  12-0 in her last 12 versus the top 1 or 2 player.  An obscene unbeaten streak against the world #1 & #2 dating back to August of 2007.  Serena ends the year on a ridiculous 31-1 tear, taking her 3rd career WTA Championships, and becoming the oldest woman ever at 31 years of age to win the coveted year end title.

Serena finishes the year with a mark of 59-4 and 7 titles.  Her last loss was to Angelique Kerber in Cincinnati.  The last time she was pushed to 3 sets was by Azarenka in the US Open final.  Serena also did not drop a set at the Olympics, where she dropped only 14 games in 5 matches, crushing Azarenka in the semis 6-1, 6-2, and Sharapova in the gold medal match, 6-0, 6-1.

Serena ended the year with a staggering .937 winning percentage, having only lost to Wozniacki, Razzano, Makarova, and Kerber.  All is well in the women’s game, with Serena again ascending to dominant, with Sharapova winning a major this year and reclaiming a spot near the top, and with the rise of Azarenka, who we consider to be the best player in tennis, shot to shot.  And Radwanska is an adequate #4, someone not likely to beat the players ahead of her but not likely to lose to the ones below her.  The Radwanska style, in effect, a better Wozniacki, but one who will not rise higher because the girls ahead of her are just better players across the board, and there is no way to gimmick your way to victories over the Serenas, Azarenkas, and Sharapovas of the world.

We’d expect players like Stosur, Kvitova, and Na to also take their places ahead of Radwanska as well in the new year, should they play to their fullest potential.  For the first time since Serena’s unfortunate World Cup Soccer spectator accident in 2010 and subsequent health problems, the women’s game is all quality at the top, and the rankings are more or less reflective of the true state of the women’s game, devoid of pretenders and paper champions.

We were also very happy to see that Serena’s nemesis, obsessed racist foot fault Nazi, Eva Asderaki, was able to chair at an event without becoming the center of attention, for a change.  So all really is right in the women’s game (Though Lindsay Davenport can allocate the checks better when pre-grading the players for their matches on TTC.  We are often annoyed at how freely she’s been handing out checks, especially to bad volleyers.), heading toward Melbourne in 2013 where Azarenka will try to defend her crown, and where Serena will be looking for her 16th singles major.

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Juan Martin Del Potro (foreground) holding the one major trophy in his possession which he won from down two sets to one versus Roger Federer (background) at the US Open in 2009.

Azarenka:  – 290

Radwanska:  + 230

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Wozniacki:  – 140

Clijsters:  + 120

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Del Potro:  + 260

Federer:  – 340

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Djokovic:  – 900

Ferrer:  + 600

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Murray:  – 1200

Nishikori:  + 750

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Berdych:  + 300

Nadal:  – 400

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Makarova:  + 325

Sharapova:  – 450

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Errani:  + 650

Kvitova:  -1000

………..

Let’s start at the top.  Radwanska has improved a great deal in the last year.  We’ve been impressed, and have begun to view her in a bit of a different light.  She still has severe limitations in terms of the weaponry, and almost went home very early when Mattek-Sands stepped to her in round one.  The two played an epic first set breaker which Sands took 12-10, but then Sands peetered out.  That’s the rightful outcome.  Radwanska has the better body, better speed and footwork, and the better overall game.  But even on this slower than clay, disgusting blue Plexicushion, the American got to net and dominated up there and with her touch, for about an hour and twenty minutes.  That is Radwanska’s blueprint for victory, after all.  We highly doubt that’s happening against Azarenka, who will probably end this year as the world #2.

Azarenka is mauling people.  She can get everything back that Radwanska can, and she can also hit winners off the forehand and generate offense with her first serve.  She is winning a major in the near future, and she is winning this match tonight, though we aren’t betting against Kvitova this week.  Azarenka may have second claim to the next few majors, but Kvitova is the best player in the world right now, bar none, and she has first dibs.  We are kicking ourselves right now for not taking her in the pre-tournament phase at + 250, but more on her later.  Azarenka has taken 5 of the last six in the head to head with Radwanska, does everything better, stronger, and with a little flair.  We hate negative money lines, but even so, Azarenka is money in the bank at -290.

We are not Clijsters fans, hate the counter punch style, hate the belly fat, the pasty skin, the hairy neck, the whole deal.  But we respect her.  She is the defending champion here, and will be until she no longer is.  And not a sprained ankle, not 4 MP’s for Li Na, none of it makes a difference until she loses.  For that matter, we are still waiting for her to lose at the US Open, where she has quite a match streak going.  Did we respect the recent track record?  No.  But you can throw it out the window with Clijsters because she has stepped on the court and out of oblivion and won majors before and very few people have done that.  That said, as far as Belgians go, we’d take Henin and her beautiful style over Clijsters ugly grunt work.  But tonight, Clijsters is more beautiful than Wozniacki when it comes to tennis.  She is 2-0 lifetime versus Wozniacki, who, we’ll mention again, is nothing if not over-rated.  But maybe the ankle bothers Clijsters and maybe Wozniacki is going to outrun her tonight, but we’ll believe it when we see it.  We don’t like taking injured tennis players, so we aren’t touching this one, but Clijsters is gonna be tough out no matter what, and we’d even like to see her win because Wozniacki hasn’t earned her ranking.

Speaking of injuries, Roger has played some good tennis, hasn’t he?  But we actually don’t like him too much in this spot.  Remember, we always look for the positive money lines, and we don’t like injuries in one on one contests.  Also, the image of Del Potro, all the way back, and taking Nadal to 5 sets on very slow clay this fall in Davis Cup looms large.  This guy is a big time player.  He has the power to hit through this awful, gritty, tacky, gross court.  And he gives Roger lots of trouble when on, like he did in the SF at RG in 2009 and in the Final of the USO in 2009.  Del Potro is a better player than Tsonga and Berdych, the guys who took Roger out in major quarter-finals.  We are playing Del Potro tonight, and we’d say if he wins, he will have a better shot against Nadal than Federer would in the semi-final.

The other matches don’t excite us.  We think Berdych might be worth a lark at + 300 but really, we can’t see him winning.  Betting against Djokovic would be suicidal.  Kvitova as well.  Makarova may have a little shot.  She also may suffer a letdown.  And Murray seems too strong for Nishikori.  We shall see.

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Ryan Sweeting (above).

Nineteen year old New Jersey native Christina McHale looked on her way to another tough first round loss today, after a great start that saw her grab a 6-2 lead.  When she lost the second set 6-1, we thought she was in big trouble.  Her opponent, Ekaterina Makarova, the 28th seed, and a good grass courter, is someone who we’ll admit, we thought was sure to win today.  It’s not that we love her so much.  Moreso, we tend to hate McHale’s safe baseline game.  But McHale, who had the edge in conditioning, won an extended 3rd set 8-6, and was able to save 3 break points at 7-6, love-40.

McHale’s serve, not a strength of her game, has definitely improved.  After the match, McHale credited the USTA, namely Patrick McEnroe, for impressing upon her the need to serve bigger.  To that end, McHale had 9 aces today, and served well throughout a tense third set.  She faced only 7 break points, what we consider a low number for the women, with 3 coming in the final game, and she saved 4 of 7 of those opportunities for Makarova.  We have trouble hating on Americans, but we have to be honest.  McHale’s stay at home game is not our style.  Case in point, she won only 3 points at net in 2 hours and 6 minutes. 

Still a great outcome for the young American, who probably worried a lot of people the way she blew her first round match at Roland Garros when she was up 5-0 in the 3rd set and lost 9-7 to Sara Errani.  For McHale, today’s win was her second career win at a major.  She advanced to the 2nd round at Flushing in 2009 with a straight set win over Polona Hercog.  McHale will face the winner of Morita/Paszek in the second round.

Also today, world #66 Ryan Sweeting, an American by way of the Bahamas, notched his 3rd ever major match victory in stunning fashion.  The lanky, 6’5 Floridian, who won his first ever ATP level event in Houston this spring, came from down 2 sets to zero to defeat Pablo Andujar, 3-6, 4-6, 6-1, 7-6 (1), 6-1 in 3 hours and 44 minutes.  Sweeting turned this match around with a great winner to unforced error ratio (54/35), a great percentage at net (74% on 23/31 approaches), and by returning better and serving better on both first and second balls. 

Sweeting won nearly half of the points on Andujar’s serve, who looked a bit out of sorts on the grass.  The Spaniard was passed constantly in the final 3 sets, and did not have the muscle to hit through the court against Sweeting on the baseline.  The win will set up a second round encounter with defending champion Rafael Nadal, who defeated journeyman American Michael Russell today in straight, easy sets.

For Sweeting, the result is incredibly encouraging.  Some guys take forever to get a win from 2 sets down (see James Blake).  Obviously, Sweeting has the ability to problem solve on court, which is not an American stregth right now, to be kind.

The matchup will be a rematch of their 2nd round meeting in Melbourne which Nadal won, 2, 1, and 1.  Nadal also rolled Sweeting at Indian Wells, 3 and 1.

We were disappointed to see Donald Young fall to Alex Bogomolov in 4 sets today.  And while we don’t believe in moral victories, Alison Riske played well, as we expected, in losing a 3 setter to defending runner-up, Vera Zvonareva. 

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Canadian wunderkind Milos Raonic (above).

When play commences on the lawns next week, tennis fans will be treated to some very good matchups.  With the Wimbledon draws announced today, we figured we’d let you know what to look out for in the first couple of rounds.  Ladies first:

 

Ladies Singles–1st Round

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(15) Jelena Jankovic vs. Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez

Akgul Amanmuradova vs. (23) Venus Williams

Alison Riske (USA) vs. (2) Vera Zvonareva

(6) Francesca Schiavone vs. Jelena Dokic

Christina McHale (USA) vs. Ekaterina Makarova

(18) Ana Ivanovic vs. Melanie Oudin (USA)

Coco Vandeweghe (USA) vs. Eleni Danilidou

Aravane Rezai vs. Serena Williams

Laura Robson vs. Angelique Kerber

(5) Maria Sharapova vs. Anna Chakvetadze

 

Mens Singles 1st Round

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Ryan Sweeting (USA) vs. Pablo Andujar

Fabio Fognini vs. Milos Raonic

Donald Young (USA) vs. Alex Bogomolov Jr. (USA)

Radek Stepanek vs. Fernando Verdasco

Tobias Kamke vs. Blaz Kavcic

Sergiy Stakhovsky vs. Daniel Cox (GBR)

Ivan Ljubicic vs. Marin Cilic

Ivo Karlovic vs. Janko Tipsarevic

Alexander Dolgopolov Jr. vs. Fernando Gonzalez

John Isner vs. Nicolas Mahut

David Nalbandian vs. Julian Reister

Robin Soderling vs. Philipp Petzschner

Kei Nishikori vs. Lleyton Hewitt

Marcos Baghdatis vs. James Blake

…..

The women’s draw features Mary Joe Fernandez’s rag tag crew of hack Fed Cuppers, in Oudin, McHale, and Vandeweghe.  Oudin should get dusted by Ivanovic, who, should she lose, should probably hang it up already.  Coco’s got a glimmer of hope against Danilidou.  McHale should get shredded by Makarova.  FYI, Vania King, who has played well, is in the main draw, as is Alison Riske, who has a very tall order in Vera Z.  Who knows?  Grass is Riske’s best surface, and maybe the Pensylvania product gets lucky.  Zvonareva looked dead during her QF at Eastbourne versus Stosur, after winning 8 of the first 12 games and virtually having the match in the bag.  Zvonareva has played a lot of tennis this year.  Could that bode well for the American who should be installed on our FC squad, especially considering America’s woeful state of affairs and relegation from the World Group?  Journeywoman American by way of Russia Varvara Lepchenko did upset 18th seed Flavia Pennetta at Roland Garros, so we’ll give her a bit of a chance here against 19th seed, Yanina Wickmayer.  Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez, one of the few women with the stones to consistently attack, has a great shot to upset Jelena Jankovic.  The Spaniard is 2-1 lifetime versus the gutless, annoying Serb.  Also, it would be nice to see young Brit Laura Robson win her first round match with Kerber.  Kerber will be favored.

Not to run on about the men, but we do feel it’s high time that Ryan Sweeting, with his ranking up to 66th, notch his first ever match win on grass.  We’re very interested to see our boy, young beast Milos Raonic on the grass.  The possibility of a 3rd round match between Raonic and Nadal would make for appointment television.  As would a possible Del Potro/Nadal round of 16 affair.  Nice to see DP in the top 25 again (24).  Tommy Haas looks for his first win of the year, and we welcome him back, as well as David Nalbandian, who won 2 rounds at Halle.  We also welcome back Chilean ball crusher Fernando Gonzalez who might be a big problem for Dolgopolov, who seems to adjust poorly to specialty surfaces.  We love Stepanek, a nice net player, as an upset special in round 1.  We’d love to see James Blake do something in the spot versus Baghdatis, but Blake is even more disappointing than usual at Wimbledon.  Things look good for former boys champ Donald Young, in a very winnable 1st round match versus another American Alex Bogolomov.  We always love watching talented 1-hander Segiy Stakhovsky, who gets diminutive British hack Daniel Cox in round 1.  We hope Soderling has a good run here but it wouldn’t shock us if Philipp Petzschner, a very good grass courter and last year’s doubles champ gave him a good go.  Our favorite techno tennis player, Janko Tipsarevic has his hands full with ace machine Ivo Karlovic.  We might put a few dinari on Dr. Ivo.  It would be a good time for Marin Cilic to wake up, though we don’t have much confidence in that.

And in maybe the most celebrated first round rematch ever, we look for Giant John Isner, whose ranking has fell to near 50, to get back on track and take care for Mahut before it gets to 70-68 in the 5th.  Isner has weathered the clay season, and can not be faulted for taking Nadal to 5 hard sets at Roland Garros in round 1.  We look for him to have a great summer starting here, and carrying over to the American summer hardcourt season.

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The Williams sisters confer during a practice session on the grass at Eastbourne (above).

Earlier today, defending Wimbledon champion Serena Williams, in her first action in more than 11 months, came from a set down to defeat Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova, 1-6, 6-3, 6-4 in 2 hours and 4 minutes, in the first round of the AEGON Championships in Eastbourne, in East Sussex, UK.  On points, the match could barely have been closer, with Serena finishing with only 1 more point than Pironkova (80-79).  But Williams served bigger and better, finishing with 7 aces, two coming during a pivotal game at the business end of the 2nd set when Williams was down love thirty.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NVSGDQKrDJ4

Serena follows her sister Venus into the 2nd around, who played her first match since being forced to retire in the 2nd round the Australian Open–the 1st and only time she has ever retired in a major.  For Venus, the opponent was the same–German Andrea Petkovic, who has benefited from the paucity of talent in the wake of the injuries to the Williams sisters and all of the other displaced talent in the women’s game.  Venus took the match, also in close fashion, 7-5, 5-7, 6-3.  Venus will face Ana Ivanovic in the 2nd round, whom she is 6-1 against lifetime, and 2-0 against on grass.  Ivanovic has only managed to take 3 sets of Williams in 7 matches, and she may never get a better opportunity to beat her then right now, before the grass court queen has regained her footing.  Ivanovic is coming off a semi-final showing in Birmingham, where she lost to Hantuchova.  The match marked the former French champ’s 1st semi-final of the year.

Venus’s half of the draw does look promising beyond Ivanovic as well.  She has a winning, lopsided record against most all, including a 10-0 record against Hantuchova, an 8-0 record against Schiavone, and a 5-1 record versus Radwanska.  The defending champ, Ekatarina Makarova is also in Venus’s half, as well as Kvitova and Li.  Surprisingly,Venus has yet to beat either.

As for Serena’s return rematch luck, she gets #1 seed Vera Zvonareva in the 2nd round, in a rematch of last year’s Wimbledon singles final.  The winner has a good likelihood of facing Pavlyuchenkova or Stosur in the quarters, and Azarenka or Bartoli in the semis.

The sisters are not entered in the doubles competition here at Eastbourne.  We’d take that as somewhat of a sign that they will only play singles next week at SW-19.  Neither sister has ever won here at Eastbourne, as usually, they don’t play much between Roland Garros and Wimbledon.  No American has won here since Chanda Rubin successfully defended her title in 2003, scoring back to back titles, 1st versus Myskina and then versus Conchita Martinez.

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We don’t have a lot to say about tomorrow’s action, especially on the women’s side, where we are having a lot of trouble making sense of it.  As for the men, sure we wanted Nadal/Verdasco in this matchup, but we also wanted Nadal/Raonic down under, when it was Ferrer who punched Raonic’s and Rafa’s ticket. 

Nadal:  – 4000

Ljubicic:  + 2000

Sure Nadal deserves to be a large favorite, but if you are like us, looking for positives for the dog, keep in mind that Ljubicic (above) came from behind to beat Nadal on a very slow hardcourt last spring, and that these Babolat balls are still popping like ping pong balls.  This match could have some Isner/Nadal in it, and we respect the work the big Croat has done on his conditioning and overall game.  We’ll say it.  We left him for dead when he changed his racquets.  But he has worked hard, and is now almost sage, and we think he respects very much his opportunity.

Andy Murray is set to give his right ankle a go, and is favored over hard hitting Serb Viktor Troiki.  Here are the odds:

Murray:  – 240

Troicki:  + 180

Troicki is a big hitter, but one that Djokovic is totally dialed in to.  They practice together a lot, and the Djoker has dropped a few bagels on his countryman and some very one sided scorelines during his streak.  We’d like to see Murray play uninhibited tennis and move on tomorrow.

Simon:  + 220

Soderling:  – 300

It will kill us to see the Swede lose this one.  We are counting on the Rafa/Robin quarter, for obvious reasons.  But Simon can not be underestimated.  He’s also the type who can stomach a long match quite easily.  Soderling is a big favorite here.  Gun to our head, and at these rates we’d pick Simon.  Let’s hope Soderling’s serving bombs from the word go.

Falla:  + 190

Chela:  – 250

Chela seems to have captured the magic this fortknight.  We like his length.  They are both clay courters, but Chela is way more dangerous, and has been serving darts.  We’d take him.

And for the ladies:

Li:  + 135

Kvitova:  – 165

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Makarova:  + 550

Azarenka:  – 1000

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Sharapova:  – 300

Radwanska:  + 220

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Petkovic: – 300

Kirilinko:  + 220

Not that we know much, but in 3 of four, we like the dogs.  We just don’t see these favorites as being that well established.  Sharapova has played great, and on paper, she kills Radwanska.  But Radwanska is going to try to grind it out, and Mash doesn’t slide, and we just don’t know that this doesn’t have upset written all over it.  Obviously, the best favorite on the women’s side tomorrow, even if it’s an awful bet, is Azarenka.

Some of the best action tomorrow, may be the conclusion of Ferrer-Monfils, with the winner slated for Roger.

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Victorious Victoria Azarenka hugs coach Sam Sumyk (above).

World # 18, Belarussian Victoria Azarenka, who lost her only 2 finals this year, found the third time to be a charm this afternoon, as she defeated world # 15 Maria Sharapova, flashing the fine hardcourt form that won her 3 titles in 2009, when she burst onto the scene and into the top 10.

Azarenka came in as the slight underdog today, as Sharapova has played great all week, dispatching the always tough Elena Dementieva Friday night in 3 sets, and then taking three sets to defeat Agnieszka Radwanska last night, coming from behind after being blitzed by Radwanska in the first set.  Sharapova, who won a Wimbledon and French Open warmup event, and who lost narrowly to the eventual champion, Serena Williams, at Wimbledon, has had a lot of buzz lately surrounding her game because her errors–including her double faults–are way down, and her big first and second serve appear to be back.

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https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com/2010/06/12/sharapova-gets-by-american-riske-in-birmingham-semi/

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It was great to see Sharapova serving with her old, elongated service motion.  She won many easy points this week on her serve, and notably got much mustard on her second serve in Friday’s match versus countrywoman Dementieva, playing in her first tournament since injuring her calf at Roland Garros.  Several times in that close match Sharapova boomed deep, hard second serves that helped her get out of trouble.  A great sign, especially against Dementieva, whose return game is the hallmark of her tennis.  Sharapova served well all week until today, when she faced 11 break points and gave up 5 breaks.

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Perhaps the long matches this weekend, and the quick turnaround between a tough 3 setter last night and today’s noontime start in California, was too much for Maria.  That, and Azarenka,of course, who just seemed to have more jump in her legs and way more pop off the ground in today’s final.  Azarenka outhit a seemingly healthy Sharapova today.  Quite an accomplishment for the 2010 Bank of the West Champion, who whipped American Melanie Oudin earlier in the week, and who handled top seeded Sam Stosur easily in straights yesterday afternoon.  Azarenka also defeated last year’s champion, Marion Bartoli during her run this week. 

Azarenka has had a difficult year compared to last, when she won Brisbane, Memphis, and Key Biscayne–her biggest victory to date.  In addition to not winning any titles before today, Azarenka had a miserable clay court season, capped by her upset loss to Gisela Dulko at Roland Garros.

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Azarenka seemed to find her form on the grass, losing in the Eastbourne final to Ekaterina Makerova, before a very disappointing 3rd round Wimbledon loss to Petra Kvitova, in which Azarenka seemed to quit in the second set, losing 7-5, 6-0.

But the hardcourts suit Azarenka best, as she displayed today, winning 20 more points than Sharapova in blowout fashion, on her way to a 6-4, 6-1 win in 1 hour and 27 minutes.  Azarenka, who turned 21 yesterday, picked up a check for her win worth nearly $220,000.

Great week for “Vica”, as Sharapova referred to the champ in very familar terms during the trophy presentation ceremony.  Today’s title make 4 in Azarenka’s career, all on hards.

–Crack (https://crackbillionair.wordpress.com)

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