Sharapova Shrieked-Down by Azarenka in Miami Final
by Staff | April 2nd, 2011, 6:33 pm

Maria Sharapova remained winless in three career Miami finals on Saturday after being out-hit and out-grunted by Belarus’ 21-year-old Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 6-4 in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open.

In trying to amp-up her power baseline game, Sharapova committed 43 unforced errors and held serve only once.

Azarenka led 6-1, 4-0 before Sharapova finally rallied.

“It’s a bit too late to pick up the pace when you’re down a set and 4-0. I wish I picked it up earlier,” Sharapova said. “Against a player like her you have to have that level from the start or she’s going to go with it and only get better.”

The contest was tough on the ears as two of the WTA’s loudest shriekers vied for dominance.

“Maria is such a great fighter, I knew she was going to fight to the end,” Azarenka said. “She came up with great tennis at the end, and I had to hang in there. That’s what paid off.”

Azarenka claimed her second Miami title after beating Serena Williams in the 2009 final. Azarenka is projected to rise to a career-high No. 6 ranking. Sharapova is expected to return to the Top 10 for the first time in two years.

Sharapova also finished runner-up in Miami in 2005 (l. to Kim Clijsters) and 2006 (l. to Svetlana Kuznetsova).

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5 Comments for Sharapova Shrieked-Down by Azarenka in Miami Final

dari Says:

Enjoyed watching the match, no problems with the grunting:)
I thought vika played extremely controlled aggression and.probably better defense than I remember. Congrats to her! ready for Maria to clean it up and take a title.

jim Says:

Maria is on the borderline of annoying to watch..when azarenka is on i just turn the channel, i refuse to watch her play.

that crap she does is not grunting or anything related to physical exertion. what she is doing is to distract her opponent period, and should be cheating.

i blame the WTA for not growing a set and putting a stop to that exaggerated garbage. you dont grunt on a slice, and you dont grunt until your opponent hits their return shot, its BS and i wont watch it.

Skorocel Says:

I only saw a couple of rallies towards the end of the match, but it sounded like two cats mating ;-) Unbelievable where the woman’s tennis has gone these days…

woodman Says:

Maria fell backwards into this final and did not deserve to be there. She is washed up. Petkova looked like she took a dive… I guess Nike has to do what it takes to prop up Maria to justify that $75M investment.

jim Says:

no, maria isnt washed up, she is a mental giant on the court and an extremely powerful hitter. i dont think she makes top 5 in the game today because straight power just wont cut it long term.

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