2014/10/01

Maria Sharapova Advances to Third Round at Wimbledon

 

(June 26, 2014) WIMBLEDON - Maria Sharapova has lost only for games in her campaign for a second Wimbledon title. Sharapova wiped out Swiss qualifier Timea Bacsinsky 6-2, 6-1 to reach the third round at the All England Club in 60 minutes.

“Because it’s so quick from one (surface) to another, the first couple of matches are really crucial in just working on so many things as a grass court player, just trying to make that transition and trying to do it as quick as possible,” Sharapova said.

Sharapova last won Wimbledon 10 years ago in a final against Serena Williams. Should both women hold form, they will be on a collision course in the quarterfinals.

“I haven’t had a chance to watch too many of her matches,” Sharapova said referring to Serena Williams.  “But it doesn’t really matter.  I mean, she’s been here.  She’s done it many, many times.

“If we do get to the stage of playing against each other, first of all, I’ll be happy to be in that stage, in the quarterfinal stage, facing against her on one of the courts.

“You know, we played each other many times.  I haven’t had the best results against her.  I always look forward to that opportunity and the challenge to play against the best, try something a little bit different to try to get a win out there.”

Last year the No. 5 player lost to world No.131 Michelle Larcher de Brito in the second round.

“I think after last year, everyone is maybe a little bit more cautious,” Sharapova said. “You can’t just forget about it overnight. It’s always in the back of your mind a little bit. I’m sure happy to get through an extra round than I did last year.”

Sharapova next plays American Alison Riske, No.44 in the world.

“I feel like her game matches up with grass extremely well. She stays down really low, hits really flat from both sides, has had steady results on the surface.” Sharapova said. “It’s going to be a challenge.”

 

Share

Sharapova Drops Only One Game in Opening Win at Wimbledon

Sharapova

(June 24, 2014) WIMBLEDON – French Open champion and 2004 Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova demolished British wild card Samantha Murray 6-1, 6-0 on Tuesday in a first-round match at Wimbledon.

“There’s always a bit more tension coming into the first round of a Grand Slam,” Sharapova said.  “It was such a quick turnaround.  Just a couple weeks ago you’re on the clay, coming onto the grass, with the new grass and new surface, it’s a different feeling.

“It was obviously a bit slower start than I wanted, but happy overall with how I progressed through the match, which was the important key.

“It was certainly a slow start.  I wish I didn’t make those errors.

“But I think as the match progressed, I got more comfortable, found my toss a little bit better.  I think my percentage went up, which was quite important considering she did want to play an aggressive game off of the second serves.”

Sharapova could potentially face five-time Wimbledon champ Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.

Other women advancing on Tuesday included third-seeded Simona Halep, fourth seed Agnieszka Radwanska, Ana Ivanovic, Caroline Wozniacki and No. 13 Eugenie Bouchard.

As the losing women’s finalist last year and the champion now retired, Sabine Lisicki filled in for the retired Marion Bartoli in playing the first match on Centre Court. The 19th seed won handily 6-1, 6-2 over Julia Glushko.

There were a few upsets on the women’s side which included (7) Jelena Jankovic, (14) Sara Errani, (21) Roberta Vinci, (26) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, (28) Svetlana Kuznetsova and (.29) Sorana Cirstea.

Karen Pestaina at Wimbledon.

RESULTS – JUNE 23, 2014
Women’s
Singles – First Round
(1) Serena Williams (USA) d. Anna Tatishvili (USA) 61 62
(3) Simona Halep (ROU) d. Teliana Pereira (BRA) 62 62
(4) Agnieszka Radwanska (POL) d. (Q) Andreea Mitu (ROU) 62 61
(5) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (WC) Samantha Murray (GBR) 61 60
Kaia Kanepi (EST) d. (7) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 63 62
(9) Angelique Kerber (GER) d. Urszula Radwanska (POL) 62 64
(11) Ana Ivanovic (SRB) d. Francesca Schiavone (ITA) 76(64) 64
(13) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. Daniela Hantuchova (SVK) 75 75
Caroline Garcia (FRA) d. (14) Sara Errani (ITA) 26 76(3) 75
(15) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. Zhang Shuai (CHN) 61 62
(16) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 63 60
(19) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Julia Glushko (ISR) 62 61
(20) Andrea Petkovic (GER) d. Katarzyna Piter (POL) 61 64
Donna Vekic (CRO) d. (21) Roberta Vinci (ITA) 64 46 64
(24) Kirsten Flipkens (BEL) d. (Q) Tamira Paszek  (AUT) 64 67(3) 62
(25) Alizé Cornet (FRA) d. Anna Schmiedlova (SVK) 46 64 62
Alison Riske (USA) d. (26) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 46 75 61
(Q) Michelle Larcher de Brito (POR) d. (28) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 36 63 61
(Q) Victoria Duval (USA) d. (29) Sorana Cirstea (ROU) 64 36 61
(31) Klara Koukalova (CZE) d. (WC) Taylor Townsend (USA) 75 62
Madison Keys (USA) d. Monica Puig (PUR) 63 63
Camila Giorgi (ITA) d. Alexandra Cadantu (ROU) 61 76(5)
Karolina Pliskova (CZE) d. Karin Knapp (ITA) 67(4) 64 108
Varvara Lepchenko (USA) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 67(6) 62 62
Heather Watson (GBR) d. Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) 63 62
Petra Cetkovska (CZE) d. Jovana Jaksic (SRB) 62 46 75
Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) d. (WC) Kristyna Pliskova (CZE) 36 64 86
Zheng Jie (CHN) d. Annika Beck (GER) 61 63
Belinda Bencic (SUI) d. Magdalena Rybarikova (SVK) 26 63 63
Irina-Camelia Begu (ROU) d. Virginie Razzano (FRA) 16 64 75
Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. Christina McHale (USA) 63 63
Lourdes Domínguez Lino (ESP) d. Petra Martic (CRO) 60 61
(Q) Timea Bacsinszky (SUI) d. Sharon Fichman (CAN) 61 63
(Q) Lesia Tsurenko  (UKR) d. Dinah Pfizenmaier (GER) 63 60
(WC) Sílvia Soler-Espinosa (ESP) d. Olga Govortsova (BLR) 62 63

Suspended due to darkness
Zarina Diyas (KAZ) leads Kristina Mladenovic (FRA) 76(4)
(WC) Tara Moore (GBR) is tied with (WC) Vera Zvonareva (RUS) 46 76(3)

Share

Maria Sharapova Wins Second French Open Title

(June 7, 2014) Once describing her movement on clay courts as that of a “cow on ice,” Maria Sharapova has now captured the most important clay court title for a second time in three years by defeating No. 4 seed Simona Halep 6-4, 6-7(5), 6-4 for the French Open title on Saturday. The victory marks her fifth major tournament victory – 2012, 2014 French Opens, 2008 Australian Open, 2006 US. Open and 2004 Wimbledon.

The win is 27-year-old’s 32nd tournament win. She will move up to No. 5 in the world when the next rankings come out on Monday and Halep who made her first major final appearance will rise to No. 3.

Coming into last year’s French Open Halep was ranked No. 57 in the world.

Sharapova went down a break in the first set but rebounded to win it. In the second set Sharapova broke Halep twice as she was serving for the set, but lost the last four points of the tiebreak, after leading 5-3 to lose it and be extended to a third set. In the third set both women exchanged breaks early, but the Russian gained the ultimate break of serve in the ninth game of the set, which she backed up with an emphatic hold.

Sharapova had to rally from a set down in three straight matches on the way to the final, beating Sam Stosur, Garbine Murguruza and Eugenie Bouchard.

“This is the toughest Grand Slam final I’ve ever played,” Sharapova said on court after the match. “Really, this tournament means so much to me. It’s a tournament, when I was young and growing up, I wanted to win.

“To think that I’ve won it two times is, I don’t know. So emotional right now, I can’t even talk.”

“To be in your first Grand Slam final is an incredible achievement,” Sharapova said. “You’ve had an amazing two weeks, and this is just the first step. I think you’ll have an incredible career.”

“It’s my first Grand Slam speech, so emotionally it’s really difficult for me,” Halep said to the crowd during the trophy ceremony, after the match. “But I wish to have many more. But of course this one will be very special for me all my life.”

“I had two incredible weeks here. It was an amazing tournament for me,” Halep continued. “I played my best. And I’m really happy that you guys came every match to support me and today also you were amazing.”

Halep was trying to become the second Romanian player to win Roland Garros. The first, Viriginia Ruzici who won in 1978, is Halep’s manager.

Sharapova is now the first Russian player to win a major twice.

The match which lasted 3 hours and 2 minutes was the longest French Open women’s final since 1996 when Steffi Graf defeated Arantxa Sanchez 10-8 in the third set. It was also the first women’s final in Paris to go the full three sets since Jennifer Capriati beat Kim Clijsters 12-10 in the third in 2001.

“If somebody had told me that I’d win at some stage in my career that I’d have more Roland Garros titles than any other Grand Slam, I’d probably go get drunk” Sharapova said. Or tell them to get drunk, one or the other.

“Yeah, it’s really amazing.  I feel that I worked to get to this position.  There’s nothing else.  There is no substitute in these titles.  You can’t just go out there and just do it without putting in the effort, putting in the work.

“You’re not just born being a natural clay court player.  Okay, maybe if you’re Nadal.  But certainly not me.  I didn’t grow up on it; didn’t play on it.  I just took it upon myself to make myself better on it.

“There is no one else that was going to do that for me.  I had to do the work.”

“I think I had good tactics today,” Halep said in her post-match news conference.  “I opened the angles.  Also, I was hitting the ball strong.

“But, yeah, she did what she’s doing always, like to hit the balls very strong.  The serve was really, she had a good kick, and it was difficult for me to return.

“Yeah, she was moving really well.  I think it was a good, very good match today, a good final.  I didn’t expect three sets, three hours, but it happened, and I’m really happy that I could stay very long time on court.

“The atmosphere was incredible.  Of course, forever I will not forget this match.”

Sharapova’s win marks her 32nd career title. She now is second place on the all-time prize money list  surpassing Venus Williams. Serena Williams sits atop the all-time earnings list.

Sharapova now has 10 clay court titles, second among active players to Serena Williams with 11. Her record improves to 19-1 on clay this season and 54-4 since the start of 2012. She now has 20 straight wins in three-set matches on clay.

 

 

Share

Maria Sharapova Reaches Third Straight French Open Final

Sharapova fh

(June 5, 2014) Maria Sharapova is into her third straight French Open final, defeating young Canadian Eugenie Bouchard 4-6, 7-5, 6-2 on Thursday in Paris.

Sharapova, the seventh seed dropped the first set in her third straight match in Paris now owns a 8-4 record in majors when she loses the first set. The Russian is on a 19-match win streak in three set matches.

Sharapova won the French Open in 2012 and lost in last year’s final to Serena Williams.

The 18th seed Bouchard who will move to No. 12 when the new rankings come out next week. Bouchard is the only player this year to reach the semifinals of both the Australian and French Opens..

“I think it was a tough battle, which is what I expected, Bouchard said in press.  I mean, I felt the whole match I didn’t play as well as I have played earlier in the tournament.

“You know, it’s always disappointing to be a little bit off.  I felt like I was trying to do what I wanted to do, which was be aggressive, go for my shots.  But often I constructed the point well and then didn’t finish it as well as I could.”

“It’s not how you finish a first set, it’s how you finish the last set,” Sharapova said.

“I didn’t feel that I was playing my best,” Sharapova said. “I fought, I scrambled, and I found a way to win.”

Sharapova will play fourth seed Simona Halep of Romania who defeated 28th-seed Andrea Petkovic of Germany 6-2, 7-5(5).

“I played really well here, a few good matches,” Halep said. “But next round will be very tough. I know Maria. She’s a great champion.”

Sharapova has never lost to Halep, she’s 3-0.

By reaching the final, Sharapova will be ranked No. 6 next week and Halep will move up to No. 3.

 

Share

Maria Sharapova and Eugenie Bouchard to Meet in French Open Semifinals

Maria-Sharapova-with-Media-Rogers-Cup-Montreal-20122-600x400

(June 3, 2014) No. 7 Maria Sharapova and 18th seeded Eugenie Bouchard advanced to the semifinals of the French Open on Tuesday. Sharapova beat the woman who knocked Serena Williams, Garbine Muguruza 1-6, 7-5, 6-1. Bouchard defeated Carla Suarez Navarro 7-6, 2-6, 7-5

 

For Sharapova it’s her fourth straight French Open semi and for Bouchard it’s her second straight grand slam semi.

Sharapova has won 25 of last 26 clay-court three-set matches, including 18 straight.

“It was so tough losing in the final last year, being the defending champion,” Sharapova said. “This year, to come back, I have the extra motivation to go further, and to be back on (this) stage is a really nice feeling.”

 

More to follow…

Share

Maria Sharapova Rallies Past Sam Stosur at French Open

 

(June 1, 2014) Maria Sharapova rebounded from losing the first set to move into the French Open quarterfinals on Saturday 3-6, 6-4, 6-0 over Sam Stosur. Sharpaova won the last nine games to close out the match.

After losing the first set, Sharapova who trailed 4-3 in the second won 22 of 25 points to take command of the match over the 19th seed.

“It was so difficult in the beginning, Samantha was playing so well, but I got energy from the crowd,” Sharapova said about her comeback.

“I’m so happy to be back in the quarter-finals, it’s such a special tournament for me. “It’s a big step but when you get there it will get more difficult. Hopefully I will raise my level.”

No. 7 Sharapova is looking for her second Roland Garro title. She won back in 2012 and last year was a losing finalist to Serena Williams.

With Serena Williams ousted from the tournament in the second round, Sharapova will face the woman who beat her in the quarterfinals, Garbine Muguruza of Spain. Garbine Muguruza defeated French woman Pauline Parmentier 6-4, 6-2.

 

ROLAND GARROS

Women’s Results – Sunday, June 1, 2014
Singles – Fourth Round
(7) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. (19) Samantha Stosur (AUS) 36 64 60
(18) Eugenie Bouchard (CAN) d. (8) Angelique Kerber (GER) 61 62
(14) Carla Suárez Navarro (ESP) d. Ajla Tomljanovic (CRO) 63 63
Garbiñe Muguruza (ESP) d. (WC) Pauline Parmentier (FRA) 64 62

More to follow…

Share

Maria Sharapova Rallies to Win Her First Madrid Open Title

 

(May 11, 2014) Last year’s Madrid Open bridesmaid is this year’s bride as last year’s losing finalist Maria Sharapova rebounded from being dominated in the first set 6-1 to claim her first Madrid Open title over Simona Halep, 1-6, 6-2, 6-3.

 

“What a week,” Sharapova said emphatically. “Last year I lost in the finals and I really wanted to go one extra step this year, and it’s just been such a fantastic week. Simona and I had played a couple of times before, but she’s really on a different level now. I don’t know how I pulled it off. In the first set I wasn’t doing much to hurt her, and that’s the tennis she’s capable of playing – I knew I had to do some different things after the first set to win this match.”
“I don’t have regrets because it was an amazing week for me and it was my biggest final,” said the Romanian Halep. “But I’m really happy that I could play the final here in Madrid. I played really well all week and I beat top players and I played a very high level of tennis. Maria is a great player and a great champion. She played really well, and I think she deserved to win this title. ”

 

“I don’t take any finals for granted, and every tournament means a lot to me,” Sharapova continued. “I came close last year, and I didn’t have a great first set today, but I knew it wasn’t over until the last point was played.”

 

For No. 9 Sharapova the victory marks her 31st WTA title of her career. It extends her current won streak on a lay court to 11. She also captured a tournament in Stuttgart this year.

 

She has now won 46 of her last 49 matches on clay, with all three of the losses coming to No. 1 Serena Williams.

 

The 27-year-old Russian will see her ranking rise to No. 7 and Halep will remain at No. 5. Next stop for both women on the tour will be Rome which began on Sunday.

Share

Maria Sharapova Three-Peats in Stuttgart

 

(April 27, 2014) It was a three-peat for Maria Sharapova in Stuttgart on Sunday. Sharapova came back from 3-6, 1-3 down to stop Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 to win her third straight Porsche Grand Prix crown. She is now on a 13-match winning streak at the event.

It’s the Russian’s 30th career WTA title, the first of 2014. She is now third in titles among active players behind Serena and Venus Williams. With her eighth WTA clay court title win, Sharapova now trails just Anabel Medina Garrigues (10), Serena Williams (10) and Venus Williams (9) for most WTA clay court titles among current players.

“For the first half of the match I thought it might not be my day today, but somehow I turned it around,” Sharapova said. I had quite a slow beginning to the year, but me and my team have been working hard to get in the position to win titles again, and I’m so happy to be able to do it in Stuttgart.”

“From the first moment it was always a close match. It was always a few close balls to decide each game, and it went on the whole match. In the second set she definitely went for those big shots, though, and she made some amazing point,” Ivanovic said. “She’s just a great player, and that’s what happens when you play against great players in big matches like this. You need to use your opportunities.”

Sharapova joined boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov in the winner’s circle on Sunday. Dimitrov won the title in Bucharest, his third career ATP title.

Share

Grigor Dimitrov Wins Bucharest Title

Dimitrov waves

(April 27, 2014) No. 1 seed Grigor Dimitrov knocked out defending champion Lukas Rosol of the Czech Republic 7-6 (2), 6-1 on Sunday to win the Nastase Tiriac Trophy for his third career ATP World tour title.

The world No. 16 completed the tournament without losing a set.

Domitrov joined his girlfriend in the winner’s circle on the same day as Maria Sharapova won the Stuttgart title for the third time in a row.

“It feels good to have won. I lifted my game, not having been happy with my previous matches in the tournament,” Dimitrov said. “I knew I had to lift my level, especially after the first set. Lukas is a very good winner, who hit some outstanding winners. It was a pleasure to play in front of Ilie Nastase and other greats.

“I have worked really hard to start winning titles. I have put in enough effort, time and sacrifices to get here.”

“A run to a final was very good,” said last year’s winner Rosol. “It was a perfect week. If you had told me I would have reached the semi-finals at the start of the week, I would have taken it. Grigor was just amazing today. I played good tennis, but Grigor was better on the court and I had no answer. I am sure he will break into the Top 10 very soon.”

The 22-year-old Bulgarian will rise to a career high No. of 13 in the Emirates ATP Rankings on Monday.

Share

Sharapova Inks a New Sponsorship Deal

Maria Sharapova photo ©John Russo for Supergoop!

Maria Sharapova photo ©John Russo for Supergoop!

(April 11, 2014) NEW YORK, NY – IMG Tennis announced a new global partnership deal for its client Maria Sharapova with Supergoop!, a skincare line solely dedicated to a healthy approach to broad spectrum sun protection. In addition to signing on as Supergoop’s brand ambassador, Sharapova will become a co-owner of the company with Founder and CEO Holly Thaggard.

Sharapova’s investment supports her ongoing agenda of expanding her business platform, which already includes Sugarpova launched in 2012.

‘’I couldn’t be more excited about my partnering with Supergoop!, a brand I trust to protect my face and body from sun damage. I am a huge fan of the products and my belief in Supergoop’s commitment to offering innovative and smart sunscreen solutions for people of all ages is what’s made me want to invest in the company and help with its long term growth,’’ said four-time Grand Slam Champion Sharapova.

The line was launched in 2007 by Thaggard, Supergoop! Supergoop! products are available at retailers such as Sephora, Nordstrom, Space NK, and Amazon.com, among many others.

“Skin cancer is diagnosed more frequently than all of the leading cancers combined, yet it’s primarily preventable. To date, there has not been a broad reaching voice for UV education and we’ve finally found our megaphone in Maria,” said Thaggard. “Maria is the ideal choice to own and champion this position and we value her as our ambassador of ‘suncare as skincare’.”

A former World No.1 and only one of six women in the Open Era to have won all four Grand Slam titles, Sharapova has been ranked by Forbes magazine as the highest paid female athlete in the world for a record nine years. Supergoop! joins Sharapova’s family of partners which include Nike, Porsche, Evian, TAG Heuer, Samsung, Head and Cole Haan.

In the last twelve months, IMG Tennis has signed a number of partners for its clients including global deals with Peugeot and Seiko (Novak Djokovic); Delta Airlines (Kei Nishikori); Crown Hotels and Doing Li Energy (Li Na); Longines, Peugeot and Thomas Sabo (Sabine Lisicki); Banc de Sabadell and Peugeot for the ATP event in Barcelona and Claro and Itau for the Rio Open, among many others.

Share