Saturday, May 11, 2013

And so they meet again

Once, when asked about her so-called rivalry with Anna Kournikova, Martina Hingis replied "What rivalry? I win all the matches."

I bring this up because I am so tired of reading headlines about "Serena Williams and her rival, Maria Sharapova." This is not 2004, and there is no rivalry between Serena and anyone at this time. Williams has a 12-2 record against Sharapova, and Sharapova hasn't beaten her since the WTA Championships in Los Angeles eight and a half years ago.

The Russian star will get another chance tomorrow, however, when she and Williams vie for the Madrid title. Sharapova defeated Ana Ivanovic in today's semifinals, and Williams defeated Sara Errani. Sharapova's victory marked her 500th career match win.

Because of an odd twist in Sharapova's career, red clay is now probably the best surface for her to play against Williams. The neutralizing quality of red clay makes it the world number 1's least advantageous surface, while Sharapova--the 2012 French Open champion--has come a long way in learning how to compete on clay. Should Sharapova win tomorrow's final, she would become the world number 1.

And speaking of all things Williams, we could get a Venus vs. Serena 2nd round match in Rome next week. Serena has a bye in the first round, and Venus plays Laura Robson.


Omair said...

Well, Sharapova herself admitted that in order to be called this a rivalry she needed to win a few matches first ;) I think it was before their Stanford match in 2011.
But yes, the media and its hype ;)

Anonymous said...

The only really win by Masha over Serena was at Wimbledon, in 2004. At the year-ending championships, Serena was injured. She played anyway, just pushing her serve over the net. Nonetheless, she got it to a third set, which she led, amazingly, 4-0. Then Sharapova ran off six straight games. A sign of the Russian's terrific focus, but not a true measure of her ability to compete with Williams.