Maria Sharapova is No. 2 in the world, but she entered the Sony Ericsson Open final in Miami on Saturday 0-2 in finals in 2012, and with a career 0-3 record in Miami finals.
She was facing a player she had beaten the last six times in a row, Aggie Radwanska.
Time to get tight.
Sharapova committed 45 unforced errors, dropping serve on both the last game of the first and second set to lose 7-5, 6-4.
Radwanska didn’t lose a set the entire event, including a defeat of former No. 1 Venus Williams.
“I lost against her the last few times, but today was a very tight match too, and I think I was better for just a couple of points each set,” Radwanska said. “Maria is a really good player — a top player, second in the world right now. So I had pretty much nothing to lose. I was focusing on my serve, and I’m very happy I didn’t lose my serve — I think it was actually the biggest key in this match.”
Radwanska for her part made only 10 unforced errors during the match.
“She didn’t give me many errors,” Sharapova said. “When I had my chances at break point, I didn’t take them. When she had them, she did. It was just one of those days. I definitely didn’t return well either — when I had second serve opportunities and she’s serving at 70 m.p.h. and I’m not winning those points, there’s something wrong with that.”
Radwanska improved to 26-4 on the season, while Sharapova has lost five of her last seven finals.
“It’s always tough, because you do a really good job to get there,” Sharapova said. “It’s obviously always the toughest round.”
For Radwanska, in the midst of a career-best year — perhaps after getting a better serve — the sky is the limit for the mentally-tough Pole.
“It’s a great feeling to win a tournament like Miami — it’s the biggest one after the Grand Slams,” Radwanska said. “You have to play six very good matches to win this tournament. And today I was playing really well from the beginning until the end.”
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