Once again there was more fuss about a tennis dress than we actually got the chance to watch it in action: seed No.14 Maria Sharapova was defeated on the first occasion she wore her long-anticipated two-layer Nike dress.
The 2008 Australian Open champion lost the battle of two Russians and two Marias 7-6 (7-4) 3-6 6-4 as Maria Kirilenko advanced to the second round.
Sharapova, who missed last year’s Australian Open because of a shoulder injury, committed 77 unforced errors and made her earliest exit at a Grand Slam since 2003, struggling with her serve and mobility.
“A bad day’s not going to stop me from doing what I love. I’m still going to go back on the court and work hard and perform. I’ll be back here on a Saturday of the second week, so you’ll watch,” said Sharapova, who is ranked 44 spots higher than Kirilenko.
I can’t believe she lost! Such an unpleasent suprise! I mean , I thought she could fight for title or something, and she lost in the first round!!! I thought something like that can’t happen to her, but it did. And from Kirilenko ?! Gush…… Guess that much atttention about the dress again turned out to be a bad sign, just like about 2008 Wimbledon shorts. The dress is…I don’t know, it looks cool, but…The colours look more like something Serena would wear. Still, love the earings!
Honestly, out of all the first round women’s matches this was one of the ones where I thought it was most unlikely that there would be an upset. I thought that Safina had more of a chance of losing, but there you go. She’s not the player she once was. She’s making far too many errors, the serving is clearly still an issue and her shot selection at times was very confusing. She’s too good a player to have losses like this, much like Ivanovic and she has already had far too many ups and downs in her career. When she plays well she is a joy to watch and she really lights up the tour. This is a huge disappointment as I was really hoping that she would go far 🙁 All credit to Kirilenko though, she took it to Sharapova and I hope she does well throughout the remainder of the tournament.
Surprise surprise…not exactly. I knew Kiri had the game to beat Masha and she held it together and did just that. Sharapova had the easiest quarter out of all the seeds and she still lost to a shaky opponent. I’ve said it many times on here that she always has easy draws in majors and only makes her way to the second week by blasting the ball hard and grunting like a banshee against players who are at least 6-7 inches shorter than she is (also Ivanovic, except the grunt) and now look: Kiri chose her shots wisely and exposed Maria’s obvious lack of good movement. All this talk of her dress and her new $70million extension with Nike and she only wore the dress once. Pity pity pity.
In other news, I’m sad Dokic lost, Henin looks like a new Henin, Kim looks good and Dinara is just happy to be in the second round. Can’t wait for Justine/Elena round 2! (and Venus better win against Safarova)
Well, it is not surprising that Sharapova lost to Kirilenko. I think Kirilenko was neither afraid or intimidated by Sharapova’s grunting or glamour. It’s not difficult to beat Sharapova because mobility on court is a big problem for her. Not to mention she doesn’t like to move forward. I remember during her match against Gisela Dulko in Wimbledon where her weakness in footwork was totally exposed. Kudos to Kirilenko for doing a great job!
I love Kirikenko’s vocals 😀
the dress is hideous and her game is in tatters,thank goodness the hype is gone its time for real tennis.
Completely agree fyoto; it’s been time for real tennis. I’m so sick of the grunting and ball bashing and commentators talking her up to be the Navratilova of her generation. Clijsters and Henin are up to the plate to make womens tennis actual tennis again and Serena and Venus better be up to it as well. I’m also looking for Elena, Sveta, Dina, and even Jankovic and Ivanovic to step up and perform like real athletes; not headcases and drama queens who can’t hold serve and only care about money and fashion. There’s talk that Hingis wants to return and I sure hope she does; and hopefully she brings Davenport and Mary Pierce with her. This could be a great year for the revival of the late 90’s-early 00’s when the womens game was greater than the mens, seriously.
I’m a little over pretentious outfits and players, i agree ella. Its time for womens tennis to pick up their playing, and not modeling/designing. An example of this is Venus williams. It seems ever since she created Eleven, her playing skills have gone under, and heaps of early round losses. Tennis is tennis. Not a fashion parade. I mean, sure enough have a great outfit, but dont make the outfit more important and awaited than you. No one really cares. Who honestly would buy maira sharapova’s dress for tennis? No pro’s would… It is a little silly.
On a happier note, Maira K won 😀
I hope she goes far, about time her flood is over 😀 😀
Peace, Jacob x
I think Maria may have underestimated her opponent. I always saw a great potential in Kiri, but it was the nervosity which betrayed her. I think this match was a huge victory as when it comes to a mental aspect of the play she managed to vanquish all her demons by downing Sharapova. I think since her injury it’s just not the same Maria (S) we used to know and I think she should really start to work on new strategies to improve. Hard hitting will no longer do it for you, everyone is doing it and the once who champion it are the Williams and Clijsters. So not much room for Maria there, that’s for sure. Less modelling, more practice. But I hope she’ll get over it, despite killing my ears she has a lot of potential and is quite interesting 2 watch.
Jacob I agree with you about Venus. After her sister’s murder she’s been battling with deep depression and needed something outside of tennis to distract her. I believe Serena started her line about the same time as well. It’s a shame though, because I thought after V had won Wimby and US Open ’00 and ’01 that she would have more slams than Serena and it isn’t the case. V still has great tennis in her, but she has a gimpy knee and that leaves her unpredictable and vulnerable.
I’m actually not against the fashion in tennis, it’s the pretension and obvious emphasis on wealth and looks over talent that kills me. With Masha showing off personlised gold Tiffany & Co. earrings and cheaply made overpriced Nike dresses when she doesn’t play any warm up tournies it shows how much of a joke it is. How can you want to train the next generation to be top ATHLETES when you show them that personlised dresses and barrels full of endorsements is the only thing they need to worry about.
I’ve said it many times and I’ll say it again: women’s tennis has morphed into a water-well for extremely wealthy people to become even wealthier based on tall skinny girls with lackluster talent. Maria has been given easy draw after easy draw every slam she plays in. Look back at all of her slam wins and look at the field: she won when many top players were injured or regrouping from injury (Serena from knee surgery in ’04; Henin from knee surgery in ’06; Henin again from knee in ’08/Ivanovic had easy draw as well. Add Mary Carillo and the other jokers on ESPN into the mix and you have people to hype her into the echelon of the WTA. I know I’m commenting on this alot on here but I’m so frustrated with female athletes being accounted for their looks and not their talents. You have other athletes who bust their ass off and actually win tournies and here she is racking in loads of cash because she’s tall, white and has blonde hair. I don’t want women’s tennis to fall down the drain.
Jacob and Ella, I share your views. I think fashion has actually hurt women’s tennis more than it helped it. It all started quite innocently with Williams sisters and it goes on and on. And look what’s happening: Serena and Venus are nowadays more into showing off their designs rather than their game with the exception of the biggest events; Maria instead of getting over the shoulder injury does one shoot after another and looks (and plays…) more like a tennis model not a tennis player; Ana lost focus and it cost her a great deal. The latest “victim” of tennis fashion is Caroline Wozniacki who has started to follow this path. I hope she will not get sucked into it and stop working on what she’s good at.
Serena and Venus have always played to their own drum,they need outside distractions to remain balanced in this dog eat dog world.Thats why their careers have been longer than most players of their generation.I think every player should have other activities going on to keep them fresh,look at Justine she retired because she didnt have anything else going on in her life and was burnt out from tennis.
Maria has taken this fashion thing to another level trying to out dress the other players.Each time she loses early….
Serena and Venus have done their part and elevated tennis to what it is now,they did it their way and the rest are just followers.
Ella, I agree with you to an extent about the whole argument to do with fashion and women’s tennis, you make a good point. I do disagree with you though about Maria Sharapova when you say that she “has been given easy draw after easy draw every slam she plays in”.
It is immensely difficult to win one grand slam. It might even be a fluke, but to win three majors is no fluke. Sharapova is immensely talented and although her style of play may not appeal to everyone, you cannot deny that she is a great player. It is definitely not easy to beat either Serena Williams or Justine Henin in a grand slam, especially not the final of a grand slam, but she has done both. Yes, I admit that she has had some “easy” draws, but I would not think that her draw at either the US Open 2006 or the Australian Open 2008 were easy. She had to beat Amelie Mauresmo, Justine Henin twice and both Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic, who were far better players then than they clearly are now, at these tournaments. I have no doubt that she has been one of the best players of the last five and a half years and even though she may not be at her best right now she is a fighter and I think that she will be around at the top of the women’s game as long as she is healthy and motivated to compete with the other best players in the world.