Write an Article

5 reasons why Serena Williams has bossed Maria Sharapova for over 10 years


5 reasons why Serena Williams has bossed Maria Sharapova for over 10 years

Serena Williams of the United States shakes hands at the net after her straight sets victory against Maria Sharapova of Russia during their semi final round match during day 11 at the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Cente on March 27, 2014 in Key Biscayne, Florida.

Serena Williams of the United States shakes hands at the net after her straight sets victory against Maria Sharapova of Russia during their semi final round match during day 11 at the Sony Open at Crandon Park Tennis Cente on March 27, 2014 in Key Biscayne, Florida.

The last time Maria Sharapova defeated Serena Williams was nearly a decade ago. In the Wimbledon final of 2004, a 17-year-old Sharapova beat Williams to win her maiden Major. That same year, she won for the second time against the American at the Tour Championships in Los Angeles, in the process seemingly establishing an upper hand in their rivalry.

But that victory was Sharapova’s last success against Williams and their so-called rivalry, much touted back then, has been reduced to a one-sided domination by the American. And though the Russian has tried everything to stem Williams’s ruthless mastery over her – and has on a few occasions even come close to halting it – she has never been able to mount a significant impression on her opponent in the 15 matches the two have played since then.

Here’s a look at some of the reasons why Maria Sharapova has been unable to get past Serena Williams in their last 15 matches:

1. Inconsistent serve

The biggest contributor to the lopsided result in Williams’ favour over Sharapova has been the serve. Specifically, the erratic serving of the Russian, which has often seen her struggle to win her own service games, no matter how easily she may be breaking her opponent’s serve. While it is relatively easier for Sharapova to get past her other opponents despite her topsy-turvy serving, the very same factors allow Williams the opportunity though  to attack Sharapova at her most vulnerable.

2. Power

Although both Williams and Sharapova are out-and-out baseline players who rarely come to the net to attack, Williams has the distinct advantage in terms of taking control over the rallies, with more force and power than Sharapova. For most parts during the course of a match – even in their Miami semi-final – Williams is able to dictate terms to her younger opponent, which helps her to gain more confidence as the match progresses.

3. Better control

Serena Williams’ game, more often than not, looks brutal to the discerning eye. But within this brutality lies camouflaged the sheer control of her shots that has managed to stymie Sharapova time and again. It has been a predictable trajectory in all the Maria Sharapova-Serena Williams match-ups till now. We’ve frequently watched Serena let out one perfectly controlled shot after another leaving Maria helpless at the other end, unable to do anything except watch the ball whiz by her.

4. Dealing with pressure

If at all Serena Williams does find herself trailing in a match, there’s every possibility of her making a turnaround for the better, many times all the way to her winning the match. Her shots take a more lethal turn when under pressure, which allows her to browbeat her opponent into submission. Against Sharapova too, Williams has been successful for precisely this reason: she has refused to give up whenever she has trailed Sharapova in terms of the score. But conversely, the same cannot be said about Sharapova who often fails to regroup, with her shot-making becoming even more wayward after suffering setbacks, be it after holding the initial advantage over Williams or with Williams dominating her from the outset.

5. Movement

Another hindering factor for Maria Sharapova against Serena Williams is her movement that the latter seems to invariably manipulate to her advantage. Even if Sharapova starts the match well against Williams, as it proceeds, her movement starts to regress which allows Williams to creep into the game and thereafter continue to exploit her advantage for the remainder of the duration of the match. Over the course of years, despite the extensive video analysis that Sharapova has used to understand the minutiae of Williams’ game and break it down, her inability to watch out for her surprisingly swift movement on court has been a major Achilles’ heel for Sharapova, substantiated by each of Williams’ victories over her.

US Open qualifying: Ramkumar Ramanathan bows out in first round Saketh Myneni, Sania Mirza and Leander Paes are the three Indians winning this week.
Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to become doubles partners for the upcoming Laver Cup Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal have a combined 31 Grand Slam titles between them.
US Open 2016: Top 5 favorites to win the Women's Singles title With only five days to go before the US Open commences, let's take a look at five favorites to win the Women's singles title.
8 things that happened for the first time ever at the 2016 Rio Olympics Rio 2016 was the showpiece where many incidents took place for the very first time.
Rio Olympic medal winner Rajeev Ram claims Hinduism helped him The partnership of Rajeev Ram and Venus Williams effectively ended India's hopes for a Gold medal in the Mixed Doubles event at Rio.
What does Serena Williams need to do to remain World No. 1? We analyse the points behind Serena Williams and what she will need to do at the US Open to keep her No. 1 crown.
5 best US Open finals of all time A sneak-peek at 5 of the best US Open finals in Open era !!
Venus Williams is an amazing player and a fantastic competitor, says Rajeev Ram American Rajeev Ram shares his experience on pairing up with Venus Williams and winning silver at the 2016 Rio Olympics
How much do you know about the US Open? Take our quiz! Who holds which record, and who won when? Here's a quick US Open quiz ahead of the American Grand Slam.
US Open qualifying: Saketh Myneni enters second round Myneni is one of two Indians playing the US Open qualifying.
50 unforgettable images from the 2016 Rio Olympics A riveting compilation of the most memorable scenes witnessed at the just-concluded sporting extravaganza in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro.
Brisbane International 2017: Rafael Nadal to replace Roger Federer This is Nadal's debut at the Brisbane International.
Borg, McEnroe renew rivalry as Laver Cup captains
Federer plans January return in Australia
Serena Williams and Kerber qualify for Tour finals
Berdych pulls out of US Open due to appendicitis
Sania becomes sole World No.1 in women's doubles
Memorable moments of Rio 2016 Games
Tennis - Murray dominates in Rio, outsider Puig arrives on big stage
Cilic ends Murray win streak in Cincinnati final
Fetching more content...
Related articles