Saturday, August 14, 2010

Sharapova to contend for Cincinnati title

Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova ran out of fuel in the third set of her semifinal match against Maria Sharapova tonight in Cincinnati. Pavlyuchenkova, faced with multiple break points against her, double-faulted several of them away. This is a disturbing pattern in Pavlyuchenkova's otherwise inventive, excellent game, and something she needs to work on.

It wasn't Sharapova's best night, either. She made repeated groundstroke errors, but was able to take control at the end, when it mattered. In a sometimes entertaining, sometimes frustrating, match that lasted over two and a half hours, Sharapova took the victory at 6-4 (Pavlyuchenkova double-faulted twice to get broken at 4-all), 3-6, 6-2. She will play Kim Clijsters in tomorrow's final.


Overhead Spin said...

If Kim is on her game, she takes this match tomorrow. Pavs really needs to work on her serve if she wants to play in the big leagues. almost 15 double faults throughout the match. Just not acceptable.

However, her groundies when on are a joy to watch, especially on the backhand side.

Sharapova looked done and dusted and I just cannot see her outlasting Clijsters in the heat tomorrow night. She just looked like she was about to fall over in exhaustion and again she was flexing her shoulders.

Diane said...

I think they were both really tired. If Pavlyuchenkova hadn't messed up her serve (again), she would have won the match.

I agree--once Pavlyuchenkova fixes the service inconsistency, she'll be a big contender.

Anonymous said...

I also think that Pavlyuchenkova needs to step up nearer to the baseline (!) when returning serve -- especially on a second serve and especially on Sharipova's second serve, which is usually a sitter.

I'm also in the camp that Clijsters should take this, and I'll be quite happy if she does. I am so not a fan of Sharipova. I am so not a fan of every match of hers on tv being the "Maria Show" in which 80% of the camera time is her front and center, her in slo-mo, her shoving the ball up her dress..... boring, boring, boring. /complaint

Go, Kim.

who doesn't have her Blogger sign-in info handy

Diane said...

I, too, thought it was odd that Pavlyuchenkova stayed so far back for Sharapova's second serve, Rebecca.

Ben said...

Think you hot the nail on the head there in regards to Pavlyuchenkova - she lost the physical endurance battle yesterday, and it is something she needs to work on.

Improving this, and as Diane mentions her serve, she will be a force to be reckoned with.

Diane said...

One thing that has really improved is her movement, so there is obvious progress. I just hope she doesn't get stuck on serving inconsistently the way so many tour players have.