Sunday, April 29, 2012

Sharapova wins Stuttgart championship

World number 2 Maria Sharapova won her first title of the season today, as she defeated world number 1 Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4 for the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix singles title. It was Sharapova's 25th title, she got the keys to a new Porsche, and she sent a pretty strong message to her peers. The former world number 1 could do no wrong today as she served up a storm, hit precise groundstrokes--confounding her opponent from both sides--and showed off some deft volleying.

Azarenka, for her part, had to deal with a wrist injury, though it was unclear how serious the problem was.

Sharapova quickly went up 3-0 in the first set, and at 3-1, she emerged the winner of a mutil-deuce game by hitting two consecutive aces. She hit a total of eight aces, and made only thirteen unforced errors, while hitting 31 winners.

After the beat-down Sharapova received from Azarenka in the Australian Open final, today's win had to feel especially good.

"I had lost the last few previous encounters with Victoria, so I was extremely motivated today," Sharapova added. "When I got the chance to go out and play her again I knew I had to change a few things. Before I was maybe a little bit impatient and went for a bit too much sometimes, but this time I was really patient. I was aggressive but consistent when I had to be against her."

Czech tennis, I should add, is alive and well, despite Petra Kvitova's loss in the semifinals. Iveta Benesova and Barbora Zahlavova Strycova won the doubles title. The Czech team, seeded 5th, defeated Julia Goerges and Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-4, 7-5. This is the tenth title for the Benesova-Zahlavova Strycova team.

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