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Wimbledon 2011: Maria Sharapova on verge of being 17 again

02 Jul 2011, 13:12 IST
Maria Sharapova won the Wimbledon in 2004

Maria Sharapova won the Wimbledon in 2004

Maria Sharapova has made it to the Wimbledon final again after 7 years and she believes she is a more mature person this time around. As a 17 year old, she was fortunate to have experienced the achievement that many players long for their entire career. She has gone through a period of time of good and bad times since then and that has made her value this moment much more than ever before. However, she is not making exceptional preparations for this match and is visibly calm. On whether she would undertake any superstitions before the match she said, “Maybe a little longer nap this afternoon, that’s about it. Nothing special. I love to sleep. I’m pretty good with that.”

The Russian has improved her game over the last month and a half. She looked in good shape at the French Open as well but she has brought that good shape to its desired conclusion only at the Wimbledon. The competition at Wimbledon was greater and the match against Sabine Lisicki saw her negate her opponent’s determined resistance. Sharapova has a few problems to tackle still before she takes on Kvitova but that is all about the nerves. The semi-final saw her making over 10 double faults but that did not deter her from making stunning ground strokes.

A part of Maria’s character is reflected in her attitude on court. She serves without any compromise and even her second serves are aggressive and not cautious. This makes for the greater number of double faults but the fact that it does not interfere with her larger game is a slight positive. She will do well to avoid those double faults at the same time. She has been finding her range on the ground strokes pretty well and a flurry of winners is what we will be expecting from her.

Maria Sharapova is the darling of most Tennis fans around the world and a victory at the Wimbledon this year is likely to stir up suppressed emotions. The chronic shoulder injury that changed the path of her career being one of the challenges she has had to overcome. “When I was injured, with all the time I had [off], I did a good job of keeping myself busy. I had the time to reflect on what I’d already achieved. But I was always looking towards the future rather than the past. I was trying to envisage myself getting back out there.”

Expectation will be high when Maria Sharapova takes center court on Saturday. The grandeur of the occasion is likely to dawn upon her then as well; maybe she won’t be as calm as we saw her. However the prospect of her making another Wimbledon final is pleasant. She is still 24 and will contribute a lot more to women’s Tennis in the coming future.

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