Maria Sharapova's bid to end her long wait for a second Wimbledon crown came crashing to a halt on Monday, while Kim Clijsters' final appearance at the grass-court grand slam also finished in round four.
Maria Sharapova beat Li Na in three sets to defend her Italian Open title in Rome on Sunday in a bizarre match played in sometimes heavy rain and amid the distraction of football fans gathering nearby.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Some thoughts on Thursday's women's semifinals at the Australian Open, where Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka advanced with three-set victories to set up a final in which the winner will become the WTA's new No. 1 ...
In terms of age, just two years separate Australian Open finalists Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. But in terms of what the two young women have achieved in their tennis careers so far, they are poles apart.
It is a noise that has become synonymous with watching top-level tennis -- the sound of ear-splitting shrieks and grunts as star players battle against each other in a bid to claim the sport's biggest prizes.
1. Sharapova wins battle of ex-No. 1s: We'll get to injury-mania in a bit. But first, a toast to the winners of the "his" and "hers" titles at the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. Overall, the first year of this "mixed" event was a success.
Put aside the Novak Djokovic-Rafael Nadal storyline for a moment. It's one of the sport's most compelling developments in years, perhaps to come to a head at the French Open, but from this corner, the best story of the Rome Masters was Maria Sharapova's stirring triumph.
1. Ring in the old: It was a good week for players in need in strong results. Some of you wondered why Maria Sharapova would take a pass on the well-paying Dubai event to enter Memphis. Perhaps the answer: to bolster her confidence and get in some matches and pick up some appearance-fee bounty in the process. She did all three at the Regions Morgan Keegan event, winning her first title of 2010. Other highlights from the bank of the Mississippi: Ernests Gulbis, a top 10 prospect not long ago, put together some nice wins and reached the semis. Nicole Vaidisova, whose career has been in the abyss, won a main draw match for the first time in a long time. In Dubai, Venus Williams, perhaps still stung by a disappointing loss in the Aussie Open quarters, won her 42nd career title, beating Victoria Azarenka in the finals. Don't count her out yet. Michael Llodra won both the singles and doubles in Marseille. David Nalbandian returned in Buenos Aires. Juan Carlos Ferrero, suddenly resurgent,
Tour officials would have you believe that the 2009 Grand Slam season was another compelling, fun-filled display of women's tennis, but it was hardly that. It was a mess. If there was an overriding theme, it was something along the lines of "I'm An Emotional Wreck."
What do you think Maria Sharapova should do? Bring her father, Yuri, back to the box? This can't be about the serve only, Elena Dementieva has been in the top 10 without a proper serve for ages. Sharapova risks ending up in the Martina Hingis/Daniela Hantuchova category: at their best when they are "only 17" and unable to repeat their earlier results after age 20. By the way, if Sharapova's career history holds up then she should win the 2010 French Open. -- Don, Europe
1. Where does the Nadal-Federer passion play go from here? You'd be hard-pressed to name a more gripping and textured rivalry in professional sports. One versus two. Lefty versus righty. Grit versus polish. Nouveau versus classic. Will versus Grace, as it were. In 2008, Nadal beat Federer all four times they met --including their spellbinding Wimbledon final -- and assumed the No. l ranking in the process. Yet Federer recovered and enter 2009 within a single Major title of tying Pete Sampras' record. So long as both remain healthy, Rafa-Roger the best theater in tennis, no matter what happens.
If Nadal went straight from Paris to Wimbledon, skipped any grass court warm-ups, and lost to Ivan Navarro (ATP #133) or Joseph Sirianni (ATP #154), you would question his judgement ... I hope. Same for Ivanovic and Sharapova? -- Gerry Gollin, Redlands, CA
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Maria Sharapova has some unfinished business at the Australian Open. In last year's final, she was flat-out embarrassed by Serena Williams. No surprise, then, that Sharapova has targeted this event since.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Is it me, or is that the best anybody has seen Maria Sharapova play since she won Wimbledon? It is not easy beating Justine Henin 6-0 in a set. Sharapova was hitting powerful backhands with great angle. Also, it seems her serve is a lot better. Maybe, the shoulder injury really did affect her in 2007. I would say she is the favorite to win going on her current form. What do you think? -- Bob Diepold, Charlotte, N.C.
What's wrong with this picture? On the men's side, you have Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal -- great ambassadors for the sport, always gentlemanly and giving credit where it's due. You have Andy Roddick, always good for a nice witty comment or two even in defeat, and as far as I know, none of the other top 10 players have been accused of gamesmanship.
Move over Chrissie and Greg: tennis queen Maria Sharapova has confessed to having a crush on one of the world's top golfers. And the coveted title of being Sharapova's object of desire isn't going to Tiger Woods.
She looked pretty, Maria Sharapova did -- pretty damn uncomfortable. With on-court conditions resembling the inside of a kiln, Sharapova was basted in sweat, alternately flushed and pale, during her first-round Australian Open match last week. While the top-seeded Russian overcame a feisty opponent, France's Camille Pin, and temperatures that reached 116° on the court, after the match she called on tournament organizers to rethink the event's Extreme Heat Policy, which outlines conditions for suspending a match before it begins but does not allow for a match in progress to be suspended. "It's inhumanly possible to play three hours in that kind of heat," she said.
SI.com: She's backupdated: Sat Jan 27 2007 00:39:00
Here are five things we learned watching Serena Williams put a comprehensive beating on Maria Sharapova this afternoon in the Australian Open final:
Maria Sharapova was a promising 16-year-old phenom in 2003 when TIME magazine picked her as "Who's Next" in tennis. After making it that year to the fourth round in her first appearance at Wimbledon, the 6-foot-tall, attractive, blond Russian was instantly compared to Anna Kournikova.