14 Responses

  1. taz
    taz March 30, 2013 at 2:29 pm |

    Aww man!! Really thought Maria was going to win that for a long moment there but I knew after Serena won the second set that momentum had shifted- but hoped maria could clinch it back.. thanks for the post I wasn’t able to watch and I couldn’t gave stood waiting until the end to know what happened!

  2. Ophelia
    Ophelia March 30, 2013 at 3:06 pm |

    I have to admit, when I saw that you were doing a LiveAnalysis for this match I thought, “…Really? Even though Sharapova will get 3 games at best from Williams?” But I guess you knew something I didn’t; Sharapova was truly amazing for the first two sets. It’s a shame she couldn’t sustain her level of play (and belief) in the third set; I feel like this match could have really been something if the two of them had played well at the same time.

  3. Thomas
    Thomas March 30, 2013 at 4:13 pm |

    Ace stat count is wrong for Maria. She had an ace at 4-3 in the second set.

  4. Karen
    Karen March 30, 2013 at 6:35 pm |

    That ace that Sharapova hit reminds me of Venus’ slice serve that she uses at Wimbledon. Nasty and just shoots away from the opponent. Juan, I am not sure if you saw Nguyen tweet after the first set. She said, an I am paraphrasing here, Sharapova is playing the best tennis of her life, the unfortunate thing for her is that Serena has another 2 gears to which she can go. I agreed with her when she said it, and I think this was after Sharapova had served it out to love.

    I can always tell when Serena has upped her level in a match. The grunt that she makes is now deep throated and not in agony. She is focused and determined, but even better you start hearing the ball hit the sweet spot in her racquet. There are no more shanks and her service stands gets a lot more aggressive. She starts swaying from side to side and as my friend Marissa says, she starts to talk to her fist. It helps when you have a shot upon which you can rely, even when it is not doing what you want it to do.

    Another telling point for me is this. Sharapova wins the first set and she does not call her coach down. She loses the second set and immediately Hogstedt comes running down. He spends the whole time telling her to quit whining. He sees the body language that she is falling apart. Guess who else sees it? Her opponent.

    There is no doubt that Sharapova can hang with Serena when the ball is in play. The problem is that she has to do that not for a set but for a whole match. That is a daunting task by any standards. You have to think that Sharapova says to herself that she played as well as she ever could and she still lost.

  5. SA
    SA March 30, 2013 at 10:07 pm |

    on your second to last paragraph…can this please be the tournament that kills on-court coaching? between miami and indian wells it seems like every player that called down their coach had negative effects on their game after that coach talked to them. they are better without depending on the coach. can someone pass this along to the players please?

  6. Patrick of La Verne
    Patrick of La Verne March 30, 2013 at 10:47 pm |

    Fascinating summary, Juan Jose, but I think you gave both players a little too much credit for that first set. I thought Maria played well, but missed a lot of opportunities, and frankly, I thought Serena was way below par — only 51% first serves in, not too many service winners, on which she greatly depends, and 18 UFE’s. And she wasn’t really swinging out, I didn’t think. I thought Maria should have won the set more easily than she did.

    Hopefully I’ll get a chance to see a replay somewhere to see if I’m being too hard on the players.

    The watch was, in many respects, a repeat of the Cibulkova match, I thought, albeit at a somewhat higher level. Uninspired play by Serena for a set and a half, and then CLICK — she turned the switch, started hitting through the court, and Marcia, like Dominika, could see and feel that the switch had been turned on, and faded meekly into the background.

  7. Aube
    Aube March 30, 2013 at 11:20 pm |

    Even as as a Serebaby fan, I have to feel today for Maria,to play this brilliant for one set and a half was a joy to watch but then to realize just a set and a half later that it’s still not enough could cut both ways…

    In Maria’s case I rather believe it does cut a positive way,in other words she feels good about her form and tells herself “I’m going to be the winner next time”,but really tough ask…With Maria though we know she’ll always try…she’s not afraid to:)

    The only thing I sense about playing someone these many times and loosing is sooner or later you’ll get to win…and for a fan like me anytime they meet I’m like “ok,this time is Maria’s time” even though if I got my way her time will not come on a big stage,I’m afraid if they keep meeting this season though Maria may steal one during a grand slam…

    As for my Serebaby what can I add,JJ said everything I could think of,the refusal to loose is astounding when it comes to Serena…the more impossible it sounds, the deeper she finds it in her to pull out the victory,to my great admiration:)

    Hurray Serebaby! marvelous…fabulous!On to the next victory,I believe in you!!!Good luck the rest of the season

    You’re indeed one of a kind!!!ATTA CHAMP!!!

    Commiserations to Maria and may she also stay on fire the rest of the season,she plays very consistent nowadays so it’s safe to say she will always be a threat in every tournament she enters and we know what happens when you keep knocking on a door…

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