When Patty Schnyder took the Acura Classic final to a third set, I was filled with hope, but that was dashed quickly when Maria Sharapova dialed every part of her game up a notch and blew Schnyder away, 6-0 to defend her 2006 title. During the first half of the first set, Schnyder's game was error-filled (except for her serve); after that, it was actually pretty good. In their other six meetings, including that excruciating (may I never have to see it again) 2007 French Open match, their matches have been very close. Not this time.
Patty Schnyder has won only one Tier I tournament in her career, and she has been a finalist in four Tier I tournaments. She was a finalist twice in what has become "her" tournament--the Family Circle Cup. The first time, she was unseeded, and beat all the top players in the world to get to the final, where she was beaten by another unseeded player, Iva Majoli. The second time, 2006, I was there: She fell in three sets to Nadia Petrova, after having taken out defending champion Justine Henin. For a player of Schnyder's skill to have only one Tier I win is a real shame. I could write paragraphs about this subject, but I won't. As a diehard Schnyder fan, I find these Tier I final losses hard to take.
On another note, Sharapova's new service motion seems to suit her just fine, and she has a good chance of defending her U.S. Open title.
Final score today: Sharapova def. Schnyder, 6-2, 3-6, 6-0