In the final of the Sony Ericsson Open, Victoria Azarenka‘s powerful tennis made Maria Sharapova‘s error-prone game surface and the Belarus went first to a 6-1 4-0 lead, and then all the way to a 6-1 6-4 victory for her second title at the tournament in three years.
Sharapova made 43 unforced errors and held serve only once in the entire match. However, after the match Azarenka pointed out how her good selection of shots forced Sharapova to make mistakes: “I think I had the right tactics. She likes to swing big and when she has time it’s very heavy and coming fast. So I was trying to take time away and not let her do that… I think she was missing a lot because of my game.”
By virtue of winning the $4,5-million event, Azarenka earned $700,000 and a return to her career best ranking of No.6. Sharapova will be back in Top 10, from her current No.13.
Azarenka has won her sixth career title, while Sharapova now has a 0-3 win-loss record in the finals of Miami.
Yes it would’ve been great if Maria had won Miami BUT that wasn’t her big goal as revealed by her coach, Thomas Hogstedt right before Masha played Azarenka. According to him: He’s very optimistic that Sharapova is ready to step up and win a fourth Grand Slam title, estimating she’ll be in 100% fighting form by Wimbledon time.
SO, looks like the real game plan is for Maria to go deep in enough tournaments to improve her ranking so by the time Wimbledon rolls around in 2 months, she won’t have to face the elite players early (like Serena in the 4th round last year).
Not likely Maria will make a serious effort at trying to win the French Open. Probably, her gameplan is simply to play well enough on clay and stay healthy for her all-out campaign at Wimbledon — the site of her first slam victory.
Helen, thanks for sharing that info, I am not suprised Maria is going for Wimbledon, as grass his probably her strongest surface!
I am not shocked Vika won, just because from the QF on wards, she has been playing amazing tennis,she played like a player ready to win a Grand Slam, and I hope she can, especially if it is Rolan Garros!
And I do believe she should be considerd a strong contendor for RG.
And, sorry Marija, have to make mention! Novak Djokovic! What an amazing run. You would be proud of your fellow Serb I presume 😉
Too bad for Maria, but I’m not that suprised. At least her ranking has increased- she’s finally in the top 10. As for her Wimbledon plans, I think if she continues this way she’ll be one of the favourites, since very few players are good on grass, and unfortunately how it seems to me, it will probably be without Williams sisters, or at least without them in form. :/
Helen, I’d say it wasn’t her big goal, but it was her goal. She said she was disappointed for losing yet another Miami final, but was happy with how much her form had improved.
Sam, stunning season for Djokovic, he’s such a great player, but also an amazing personality. We’re all proud of him.
Mirjana, now with this Miami final, Sharapova has established herself as top contender for Wimbledon, I agree. If nothing unpredictable happens…
Well, without a serve, I’m not convinced that Wimbledon is the easiest tournament to win.
I agree with Gregoire, bad serve will get her into a lot of trouble at Wimbledon. I don’t think she has a huge chance to win out there. There might not be any Williams but they are not the biggest threat at the present situation. I think players like Clijsters, Wozniacki and Zvonareva will be very tough for her to beat.