Thursday, June 25, 2009

How Do You Solve A Problem Like Maria?

I can't help it. I've tried, and I can't help it. I really, really like Maria Sharapova.
Off court, I think she's a bit of an idiot. I'm not a fan of her personality or her bandying of herself about on the endorsement circus - sex sells, said Michael Stich (spit spit), and Sharapova is up there as one of the biggest glamazons of the tennis tour.
But I can't help it. When I see her on court, I often can't help but go for her.
It's the same thing as I get with Lleyton Hewitt. It's the grit, the determination, the fighting spirit - I can't stand either of them off court, but on court, when they're grinding it out, you can't help but cheer for them most of the time. They don't give up. They believe. They fight.
Sure, it doesn't always work. Sharapova lost yesterday to Dulko. But you can't help but think that she believed in her chances right up to the very last point.
People have been talking about how she's on the way out after coming back and, you know, not immediately winning everything she's played. Personally, I think the media is insane. Sharapova's results since that layoff have been great. The abbreviated service motion might be compromising her a bit, but mostly I think that once she plays herself back into the tour she's going to be as big a force as she's ever been.
And it's not because she's talented, because she is - but so are a lot of people, a lot of journeymen and journeywomen that have never made it to the top. What makes Maria Maria is her grit and her determination. She could be ranked nine millionth in the world and still believe in herself - sure, she gets beaten sometimes, but I think for the majority of players, they're still going to be asking themselves how to solve a problem like Maria for quite some time.
I cannot finish up today without some words for my man the Maestro, who was absolutely supreme today against Guillermo Garcia-Lopez: and I have to share some humorous words of a friend of mine. 'Roger's chest hair is not a carpet,' said she, 'it is a rich tapestry.'
Yeah, I had to share that.
But his game was absolutely sublime. The wizard, Monsieur le Fed, is gliding here. He is a thing of beauty to watch, and I feel privileged to watch him. And his clothes. And his rich tapestry, occasionally emerging on changeovers.
Today's Results
The Championships (Wimbledon)
Men's Draw
Roger Federer def. Guillermo Garcia-Lopez, 6-2 6-2 6-4
Marin Cilic def. Sam Querrey, 4-6 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-7 (4-7) 6-4
Tommy Haas def. Michael Llodra, 4-3 retired
Novak Djokovic def. Simon Greul, 7-5 6-1 6-4
Mardy Fish def. Janko Tipsarevic, 6-4 3-6 6-1 6-4
Robin Soderling def. Marcel Granollers, 4-6 7-6 (9-7) 6-4 7-5
Fernando Verdasco def. Kristof Vliegen, 7-6 (7-3) 6-7 (3-7) 7-6 (7-4) 6-4
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga def. Simone Bolelli, walkover
Tommy Robredo def. Stefan Koubek, 3-6 4-6 6-4 7-6 (7-5) 6-1
Ivo Karlovic def. Steve Darcis, 7-5 6-3 6-4
Daniel Gimeno-Traver def. Taylor Dent, 7-5 7-6 (8-6) 4-6 6-7 (3-7) 6-4
Dudi Sela def. Rainer Schuettler, 7-6 (7-3) 6-3 6-2
Nicolas Almagro def. Karol Beck, 6-4 7-6 (7-2) 3-6 3-6 7-5
Philipp Kohlschreiber def. Ivo Minar, 6-4 3-6 4-6 6-2 8-6
Igor Andreev def. Vince Spadea, 6-3 7-5 6-2
Albert Montanes def. Guillermo Canas, 6-4 6-3 4-6 6-3
Women's Singles
Gisela Dulko def. Maria Sharapova, 6-2 3-6 6-4
Serena Williams def. Jarmila Groth, 6-2 6-1
Elena Dementieva def. Aravane Rezai, 6-1 6-3
Victoria Azarenka def. Ioana Raluca Olaru, 6-0 6-0
Marion Bartoli def. Timea Bacsinszky, 7-5 6-1
Daniela Hantuchova def. Jie Zheng, 6-3 7-5
Roberta Vinci def. Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, 6-4 7-6 (8-6)
Virginie Razzano def. Jill Craybas, 6-3 6-0
Dominika Cibulkova def. Urszul Radwanska, 6-2 6-4
Regina Kulikova def. Alisa Kleybanova, 0-6 6-4 6-1
Francesca Schiavone def. Michelle Larcher de Brito, 7-6 (7-2) 7-6 (7-4)
Sorana Cirstea def. Sania Mirza, 6-4 6-4
Elena Vesnina def. Vera Dushevina, 6-3 6-4
Nadia Petrova def. Shahar Peer, 6-3 6-2
Vera Zvonareva def. Mathilde Johansson, 6-1 6-3
Ai Sugiyama def. Arantxa Parra Santonja, 7-6 (7-5) 6-3

No comments: