Radwanska Needs to Get in Sharapova’s Face: Sony Miami Women’s Final Preview
by Jeremy Davis | March 30th, 2012, 10:15 pm

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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36 Comments for Radwanska Needs to Get in Sharapova’s Face: Sony Miami Women’s Final Preview

Eric Says:

Haha. This is one of the best tx posts I remember reading.

I disagree with the call, but then, I was surprised how easily she beat Bartoli. Anyway, we’ll see. (Actually, I probably won’t, since I hate watching Shriekapova, but maybe I will watch it on mute.)

Ron Wilson Says:

She should purchase a serve and then she might have a chance.

MD Says:

Yeah, well, good luck with all that. “Meaningful = choking double faults.” I have no idea how to decode this odd sentence, given the innocuous remark from Sharapova that it seems to be based on.

So Sharapova, by far the most impossible player to ruffle in the WTA, by far the most steely-nerved player no matter what the score, isn’t a “winner”? Doesn’t know how to close? Can be mentally gamed? And Aggie “Isn’t she back in Poland already” Rad can do this gamesmanship on her? If AgRad wins it will because she outplayed Sharapova, skillwise, and because she didn’t cave and get flustered (read “choke”) like she usually does.

Kimmi Says:

I agree with rob. sharpova will be allover aggie serve, i dont think she will have many moments to rally.

dari Says:

Ok, done with gym in time to see most of first set.
I like both these two, couldn’t be more opposite and am enjoying the match. Imagine if Aga had a serve…

dari Says:

It looks like she is getting some good serves in on Maria, though.

Kimberly Says:

sloppy game by sharapova. she needs to stay tough this service game and not give anything away

jane Says:

Very close match thus far: not much to separate them.

dari Says:

Couple of good returns and gets and Aga gets the set. That has to he so frustrating that Maria was doing quite well on serve to until then

Kimmi Says:

i am surprise sharapova cant Tee off on radwanka serve, maybe her serve is not as easy to attack as it looks?

jane Says:

It’s true Kimmi, because usually Sharapova’s return is a weapon.

Andrea Says:

A fairly one sided post from tennis-x! Let me guess…you think Maria is going to choke?

She’s not making it easy on herself. Lots of forehand errors. But like Jane says still pretty close.

jane Says:

Andrea, Jeremy always writes these sort of “inflammatory” or sarcastic posts, and mainly (only?) about women’s tennis.

But he forgot to make a joke about the match between Aggie and Sharpie at the USO years ago, when Aggie’s shoe squeaks were an issue, lol.

What I can’t get over is how easily Aggie has held throughout the match, hence she’s won 70 points to Sharapova’s 59 so far. Maria cannot make hardly any inroads into her serve, which suggests to me that she will indeed emerge the winner, unless things change.

Maria serving to stay in it now at 4-5.

Kimmi Says:

match points..go aggie..win it

Kimmi Says:

she wins on the first one. didnt give her a chance. what a figher she is. CHAMPION in Miami indeed!

jane Says:

Congrats to Aggie: well fought, good win.

Kimmi Says:

sharapova has been serving behind all the time. she seem to get nervous when the sets reach the end..both sets she gets broken when serving to stay.

dari Says:

no double fault-itis but Maria just couldn’t hit past Aga or figure her out. Maria was cracking on her serve game at the tail end of each set
Congrats to radwanska. Killer out wide serve, tremendous retrieving and some great variety. Well done!

mat4 Says:

The time I found a link, it was match point.

I am, of course, disappointed with the result. Although I like craft, elegance and competitive will when I watch men, in whole honesty I tend to favour corporal features when I chose my favs among the ladies.

So I hope Maria would win this year for the first time. She has finished runner-up too often in the last few months.

Roger de Vries Says:

Women’s tennis is currently making a mockery out of tennis as a whole. This era of top female players should count themselves lucky to be in an era where the men’s game is doing better than ever, otherwise who would seriously go to watch this crap? This is not me bashing women in general, why would I, I understand this is the current nature of the game but the WTA should stand up and do something about the ridiculous shrieking culture and hope more players come on tour who have not been practicing 98% on the baseline bashing or defending the ball, who have the talent to play all round and can hit volleys.

I used to like women’s tennis in the 90’s and with
Henin and some others it was still doable, but now..l it just pisses me off, the change of technology and feminism has not been good for the game of tennis, that’s for sure, hoping things will change… It’s just embarrassing for tennis.

Roger de Vries Says:

Oops, I don’t mean I hope to see feminism change backwards, lol. I mean you can see women are now also chosen in families to become a sportswoman once they are decent players, and so you see many produced players.

You can also see the amount of players that are one-dimensional in the amount of players that are dealing with lots of nerves. It’s in the nature of the women’s game to be up and down but it’s really been extreme, partly due to having no plan B.

Ajet Says:

well, may be masha can cut down on shrieking and then may be she’ll actually be able to devote more energy towards playing wining point in the match! and not to forget, may be masha’s shriekin is pissing off her rivals even more and they go all out against her vindictively and mercilessly!

however, masha was on e of my fave gals on tour and it’s sad to see her losing finals after finals. previously she could even beat serena on her day, and now she can’t even beat azarenkas or radwanskas!

alison hodge Says:

maybe the queen of screams has lost her mojo?

Ajet Says:

yeah alison, you’re probaby right that may be masha’s lost her mojo well and truly. i also felt when she lost to kvitova in wimby that something(most probabaly her real game) was amiss.

Eric Says:

Starting to think Maria has a finals problem. She has lost 8 of her last 10 finals – although winning two masters events (Rome & Cincy) last year ain’t bad.

RCM Says:

I don’t get why the “shrieking” bothers people and the “grunting” from the men doesn’t? I suppose I’ve just gotten accustomed to the sounds of Azarenka and Sharapova. On the other hand, some of those “grunts” from the men sound as though they are straining to accomplish a different physical feat. Surprisingly good match today. Let’s see if Radwanska can strengthen her game when she goes “back to Poland”.

alison hodge Says:

Ajet it could be that shes turning into the female version of rafa(minus the but picking of course),i mean getting to that certain point in her career,starting to have doubts at certain moments,but like rafa shes also a fighter,and does not give up.

Ajet Says:


rafa and maria have no comparison. rafa’s a supreme fighter and far more talented! maria much lesser! rafa’s losing to just none other than djoker(man of the year), murray(man of his day) and fed(man of all times), the three clear best guys apart from rafa himself! but maria is clarly a 3-times slam winner and she shouldn’t be losing to these one-slmmers r non-slammers in such pathetic fashion! moreover, the scores are humilating in case of maria’s losses unlike rafa’s, which have great respectability!

btw, why’re you talking abbout rafa’s butt picking alison? you’re a rafa fan, and looking at what’s being hurled at rafa at the moment from his haters, you shouldn’t add fuel to their burning desire to lambast and demean and disrespect rafa by yourself mentioning the butt- picking stuff.

have a nice day sweetie. :)

Andrea Says:

If she could have controlled that forehand, she might have won. Broke down in every crucial moment. Congrats to radwanska….solid win. Kept her cool

alison hodge Says:

Ajet yeah your dead right ill take that comment on board in the last paragraph of your post,although thats one of the many comments that dont bother me so much,as for maria i dont know the answer,but shes deffinetly not the player she was,but at least shes still putting herslf in contention,so thats a positive thing,hope you also have a nice day,or evening depending on the time of day,take care.

Ajet Says:

i am an owl who remains awake in night and sleeps with morning sun! btw its 2.05 clock late night here! sun will come out in just less than 3 hours and i’ll be back to bed as soon as the sunlight falls! :D

alison hodge Says:

Ajet its 10.20pm saturday evening here,i very rarely go to bed till about midnight or i would never sleep,even when i have to get up at 6.ooam the next day to go to work,when i am on holiday or have a day of,i will stay up till about 3or 4 in the morning but only when the tennis is on,when im working i have to abstain though or otherwise id be too knackered to concentrate.

Super Says:

This was a great final. If this match is an indicator of women’s tennis, then it’s an exciting time.

If you can look past the shrieking, I think you’ll see that things have improved quite a lot on the WTA the last year or so.

Raj Says:

I am not a fan of Sharapova..but this article is very bad against her.

Ya, she is becoming lady Nadal.

Miss you Henin!

RZ Says:

RCM, I don’t like grunting, which I find it very annoying, but I can sit through a good match featuring grunting. I absolutely cannot stand screaming/screeching/shrieking and will not watch any match featuring it. To me, the higher octaves are absolutely grating and beyond annoying.

Deaf Fan Says:

Return the grunt with a grunt.

When Tennis fans hear a player grunt or scream, everyone should imitate the noise they hear.

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