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Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Has Sharapova found her form back?


I see that Sharapova had a great week in the Bank of the west classic tournament in California as she reached the final. Yes, in the final, she was shown the exit door by another player, who also seems to have found her form back Azarenka, but it doesn't take away the fact that three time grand slam champion Sharapova seems to be finding her form back.

Sharapova had been troubled by a shoulder problem in 2007 and 2008, though ironically, she perhaps played her best tennis in a grand slam at the Australian open in 08, when she was struggling with her shoulder. Finally, a MRI scan revealed a rotator cuff tear and she had to undergo a surgery in 08.  It looked grim for Sharapova and there were even rumours that she would quit from tennis, but thankfully, she came back to play tennis during the clay court season in  2009,

Since her return, it is crystal clear that her serve has let her down. Sharapova's main strength has always been her serve. She uses her height to good effect, as she gets the kick off the courts  to  get free points, but since she has come back from the injury, her serve has been erratic. Yes, she still gets lots of free points with her serve, but has been making lots of double faults too. Sharapova is also known for her baseline play with  power, precision and depth in her shots, but even that seemed to be letting her down as she was making lots of un-forced errors.

In the last few months though, she has shown signs of returning back to her best. At the French open, she gave Henin a run for her money, in the Eastbourne grass court tournament, one of her serves touched 121 miles per hour, she had her chances against the eventual champion Serena Williams at Wimbledon, though in the end, Serena was too good for her and last week, she reached the final of the Bank of the west classic tournament.

Sharapova still looks short of her best as when she was at her best in the Australian open in 08, she even showed a bit of variety  in her game. In that grand slam in Australia, she was coming to the net, using drop shots and slice back hands, but a player can play those shots, only when he, or she is supremely confident .

Sharapova is the highest paid female athlete in the world, but there is no doubting the fact that unlike say Kournikova, she is very serious about her tennis and wants to win more grand slams. She is a fierce competitor on a tennis court and with hard courts being her favourite surface, I do expect her to do well at the US open.

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