Blog Archive

Maria Sharapova Hot 2011

    One of our staff writers offers his take on Wimbledon 2011 and the women's favorites. Instead of Sharapova vs Williams, he sees Wimbledon as being between Na Li and Petra Kvitova.

    The women's singles event at Wimbledon 2011 promises to be more wide open than it has been in past years. A major reason for this is that there is not one past champion who is expected to be in Friday's draw that you can have a ton of confidence in at this point.

    According to betting odds Maria Sharapova is the favorite to win the title however Sharapova is seven years removed from her only title at the All England Club. She has participated in nine Grand Slams since returning from her shoulder injury in 2009 and has only made one semifinal in those nine tournaments. While that top result was in her most recent Grand Slam, at Wimbledon specifically she has not even made it passed the fourth round since 2006.

    The second favorite to win the title is Serena Williams and she is the returning champion at the event. However the American faltered in the second round of the grass court tournament in Eastbourne as Williams suffered defeat to Vera Zvonareva, a player the American has not had many troubles with in the past.

    You have to question Williams' ability to win Wimbledon right now following such a prolonged absence from the WTA Tour although she could work things out with a couple easy early round matches at the All England Club.

    Venus Williams is among the favorites as well but you can't have tons of confidence in the elder Williams sister either. Like Serena, Venus is returning from a significant absence from tour and in the AEGON International she suffered defeat to Daniela Hantuchova, a player that the former world number one had defeated in ten previous meetings.

    Williams was in better match-condition at this time last season and she still suffered a quarterfinal loss to Tsvetana Pironkova at the All England Club. If anything you could expect a worse result this season as the American is not getting younger and her conditioning at this point in her career is more questionable than ever.

    Caroline Wozniacki is the world number one and due to that she should be a player that the pundits should have some confidence in. However the Dane's Grand Slam results are not as distinguished as her ranking implies and it's been nearly two years since her solo Grand Slam final appearance from the 2009 US Open. At the recently completed French Open Wozniacki suffered a third round defeat, a discrediting loss for the world number one and if Grand Slam success is to happen for the Dane, as I think it will someday, when exactly that will come is not clear.

    She's definitely a threat on tour as her titles keep adding up with WTA Copenhagen over the weekend another example but she just has not brought the same calibre tennis to all of the Grand Slams yet and that is a legitimate reason not to hold confidence in the 20 year old.

    Victoria Azarenka is another player who is among the favorites but, like Wozniacki, Azarenka underachieves in the majors. She has not won a quarterfinal match in a Grand Slam draw in her career yet despite making that round four times. That makes her entirely inexperienced deep in Grand Slams and it's hard to have confidence in her to win Wimbledon as a result.

    The two favorites that I have the most confidence in are Na Li and Petra Kvitova.

    Li's credentials are now obvious as she won the 2011 French Open earlier this month but she also made the final of the Australian Open early in the season. That makes her 13-1 in Grand Slam matches in 2011, the best winning percentage of all players on tour.

    Kvitova, like Li, has to have a lot confidence heading into Wimbledon as the Czech player, who is into the semifinals of the current grass court Eastbourne draw and may win the title there, made the Wimbledon semis last year. She did that by defeating Caroline Wozniacki and Victoria Azarenka en route, wins that seemed improbable at the time.

    Kvitova, who won a Premier Mandatory title in Madrid earlier this season, was also incredibly dangerous in the Roland Garros draw - more dangerous than many might think. She was the only player after the first round to take a set off of Na Li at the French Open as Kvitova extended the eventual champion to three sets in the round of 16 before falling.

    That was the final ahead of the final and after that there was no one left in Paris who could challenge Li.

    It's not yet known where Na Li and Petra Kvitova will fall in the draw in relation to one another as they are seeded third (Li) and eighth (Kvitova). However I do believe that they will both win their matches until they meet one another whether in the quarters, semifinals, or final. If one of them should suffer an earlier round upset, then the other one becomes the title favorite.

    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova
    Maria Sharapova

    Name : Maria Sharapova
    Birthdate : April 19, 1987
    Birthplace : Nyagan, Russia (Siberian Region)
    Height : 6' (1.83 m)
    Weight : 130 lbs. (59 kg)
    Nationality : Russia
    Plays : Right-handed
    Best Known As : 17-year-old singles champion of Wimbledon 2004

    Maria Yuryevna Sharápova (born April 19, 1987) is a Russian professional tennis player who is a former World No. 1. As of May 12, 2008, she is the second-ranked female player in the world and the top ranked Russian female player. At the end of 2006, she was the world's highest-paid female athlete.

    Sharapova has won three Grand Slam singles titles. In 2004, she beat Serena Williams to take the Wimbledon title at the age of 17. Two years later, she defeated Justine Henin in the final of the 2006 U.S. Open. At the 2008 Australian Open, she beat Ana Ivanović in the final. Sharapova has been ranked in the top 10 since winning Wimbledon, the longest of any current female tennis player. On Monday 19th May 2008 Sharapova will reclaim the world number 1 ranking due to the sudden retirement of Justine Henin.

    Maria is coached by her father Yuri Sharapov and Robert Lansdorp. Maria's mother's name is Yelena. Maria Sharapova started playting tennis when she was four years old, at six she participated in an exhibition match in Moscow that featured Martina Navratilova. Maria Sharapova began training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, USA, at age nine, which required a two-year separation from her mother due to visa restrictions and financial difficulties. Maria's interests include fashion, singing, dancing and going to the movies... Favorites include Mona Lisa Smile, Something's Gotta Give and Love Actually. Maria also enjoys reading books within the Sherlock Holmes and Pippi Longstocking series. Maria likes Russian and Thai food. Maria's favorite dessert is French crepes with Nutella... Maria Sharapova's favorite drinks are orangina and virgin strawberry daiquiris. Maria Sharapova signed with IMG Models in November 2003. After winning the 2004 WTA year ending championships Maria received a $1,000,000 as well as a Porsche Cayenne S. Following her 2004 Wimbledon win over Serena Williams she appeared on NBC's Today Show, Live with Regis and Kelly, the Mike and Mike Show on ESPN Radio, Entertainment Tonight, Inside Edition, ESPN's SportsCenter, Fox and Friends, ESPN's Cold Pizza, the CBS Early Show, MTV's TRL, featured in Inside Edition, Access Hollywood and the WTA Magazine Show.

    Maria announced 18th of september that she is launching a $210,000 scholarship programme for students from Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus. The programme is a joint initiative of the Maria Sharapova Foundation and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), where she serves as Goodwill Ambassador. The scholarships will enable 12 talented young people from Chernobyl-affected regions to follow a full course of studies at two leading universities in Belarus.

    Maria's foundation has already contributed $100,000 to youth-oriented projects in the regions of Belarus, the Russian Federation, and Ukraine affected by the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.

    Maria was expected to travel to Belarus to launch the scholarship programme in person this month, but was forced to postpone her visit in order to receive medical treatment for a shoulder injury that prevented her from participating in the Beijing Olympics and the US Open. Her visit is now planned for 2009.

    "It has always been my dream to contribute to the recovery of a region where I have a personal connection," said Maria, who has family roots in Gomel, Belarus. "Enabling talented young people to pursue higher education is part of a broader effort to build a brighter future for the region."

    "UNDP is honoured to count Maria Sharapova among its Goodwill Ambassadors," commented Kemal Derviş, UNDP Administrator. "Her engagement helps to convey a message of optimism to young people in a once-blighted region where a return to normal life is now a realistic prospect."

    The Maria Sharapova Foundation Scholarship for Youth from the Chernobyl-Affected Areas of Belarus -- as the programme is called -- will award five-year scholarships consisting of annual cash grants to 12 students at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts and the Belarusian State University. The programme aims to assist talented students who might otherwise not have an opportunity to attend university. The Maria Sharapova Foundation will select the scholarship winners from shortlists prepared by the universities, working together with UNDP and the Ministry of Emergencies of Belarus, which is responsible for Chernobyl programmes. Three incoming students will be awarded scholarships each year, over an initial four-year period. It is the first instance in Belarus in which an international non-government organization will provide support of this type to education. The first scholarship recipients will begin their studies in September 2009.

Total Pageviews