You’ve heard the term that “Bad things come in threes.”
Rafael Nadal, who has finished runner-up at the Sony Ericsson Open three times without winning it, pulled out of his semifinal on Friday citing a knee injury. He had just come off a THREE set victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. Three baby.
Now three-time Miami runner-up Maria Sharapova, never capturing a Sony Ericsson Open title, steps up for the final against Aggie Radwanska. The prediction? Lots of shrieking, lots of scrambling from Aggie, and bad luck for Masha.
Sharapova needed three sets in the semifinals to put away the puff-ball-hitting Caroline Wozniacki (or “Carolina” as ESPN’s SportsCenter has “nicknamed” her). Radwanska for her part gained the final for the most part due to an injury to the big-hitting Marion Bartoli.
Sharapova has won seven of her eight meetings with Radwanska. What should Radwanska do?
“I’m just going to try to play aggressive and mix everything,” Radwanska said. “We’ll see what’s going to work.”
We like it.
Go into Woz-mode, throw in some junk, spank some winners, hit some drop shots (Masha is not exactly an Olympic sprinter running forward), and keep the slugging Russian guessing. Make it a chess match. Bump into her during the changeover, drink from her water bottle, wink at her dad, egg on the crowd, stand on the service line to return serve.
Bring out the Sharapova double-fault-itis. Masha is 4-0 in Miami semifinals, bit 0-3 in finals. She can’t close. Only closers get coffee. Coffee’s for closers.
Masha is ready to choke this one. As a Bradenton, Fla., resident for so long this is her “home tournament.”
“It would just be meaningful to me because I have come to this tournament for so many years, ever since I was a young girl,” Sharapova said. “I have always just dreamt of playing on this court let alone being in the finals of it. It would just be really meaningful to me.”=
Meaningful = choking double faults.
Radwanska can beat some big hitters, she beat Venus en route to the final. Time for Aggie, who has already been vocal about the absurd volume of grunting on the WTA tour, to get in Sharapova’s face and make this win happen.
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