Super-Intense Serena Sends Sharapova South; Aggie Awaits at Aussie Open
by Staff | January 26th, 2016, 9:14 am

If you blinked you might have missed Tuesday’s women’s action at the Australian Open, where the Serena vs. Maria “blockbuster” missed the “block” and was simply a “bust,” and Aggie Radwanska likewise made mincemeat of an opponent.
No. 5 seed Maria Sharapova briefly looked like she was possibly going to turn around her lopsided “rivalry” with Serena Williams — until she didn’t.

The Russian took a 2-0 break lead in the first set, showing a bit of variety outside of her regular scream-as-loud-as-you-can-and-hit-the-ball-as-hard-as-you-can game plan, but then things began to return to the norm. Sharapova did have break points at 4-4, but when she failed to convert, the American ran off seven games in a row en route to a 6-4, 6-1 rout.

“It was super intense,” Serena said after winning her 18th straight against the Russian. “She’s an incredibly intense, focused player who was No. 1 and won so many Grand Slams for a reason. When you’re playing someone who’s so great, you have to come out with a lot of fire and intensity.”

Williams called a doctor onto the court after the first set, attributing it to food poisoning she suffered a few days prior, but in the second set almost baked the Russian a going-away bagel in the rising Melbourne temperatures.

The world No. 1 will next meet the No. 4 seed Radwanska who rolled past Carla Suarez Navarro 6-1, 6-3.

“She’s a great defender and a great girl,” Williams said of the Pole. “I’m going to do my best, and I have nothing to lose.”

Radwanska said she had little interest in scouting the Williams-Sharapova match.

“Well, to be honest, I know those two very well,” Radwanska said. “[To watch] doesn’t really matter to be honest.”

Williams is gunning for a seventh Aussie Open title, which would tie Steffi Graf’s record of 22 Grand Slam titles.

Quarterfinals matches on Wednesday in Melbourne will be (7) Angelique Kerber vs. (14) Victoria Azarenka, and the all-unseeded Johanna Konta of Britain vs. China’s Shuai Zhang.

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35 Comments for Super-Intense Serena Sends Sharapova South; Aggie Awaits at Aussie Open

Gypsy Gal Says:

I dont think Agie will be able to live with Serenas power hitting….

RZ Says:

I agree GG but hopefully the ninja will be able steal a set.

RZ Says:

A picture is worth 1000 words…thought this summed up the Serena-Shriekapova match very well.

Chrisford1 Says:

The Venus-Maria strategy of tennis has not worked out well over the past 6-7 years. Namely:
1. Play low IQ tennis.
2. Scream as loud as you can.
3. Bash the ball as hard as you can.

In fact, I think one reason why Serena turns Maria into Doormatopova is her long history of getting the better of Maria’s darker skinned just as tall and just as dumb on a tennis court clone – her sister Venus.

The game has moved on and Venus and Maria are too set in their ways to smarten up and try to change. That window of opportunity closed long ago. Still, don’t feel too bad for either Venus or Maria. Venus is pretty smart off the court and has built some successful business ventures and had true glory years in the late 90s and early 2000s. Maria, despite being Serena’s doggy sans collar, managed to get 4 Slams when Serena was injured or knocked off by another player after Maria won a couple 11 years ago. And we all know that the WTA turned Maria into the premium marketable player and Maria always makes more money than Serena, every year..

Tennis Vagabond Says:

In a way, similar to the Novak/Rafa matches of 2011, where the dominant player can match the losing player’s greatest strength- and do so much more.
In that case, it was running. In this case, its ball mashing.

Ben Pronin Says:

The biggest difference between Serena and Sharapova is movement. Serena covers the court so much better it’s actually hilarious to watch sometimes. Sharapova hits a great angle, Serena can get to it and make something happen. Serena hits a so-so angle, and Sharapova is lunging at the ball as if though it’s a full court away.

jane Says:

this just strikes me as the roddick vs federer rivalry of the WTA.

RZ Says:

Agree with both Ben and Jane. Serena just does most things better than Maria.

Another issue is that Sharapova’s strengths (out-hitting, out-willing, and out-screaming opponents) don’t work on Serena, who can hit back just as hard if not harder and has the competitive will to match (if not surpass) her. Also, some of the things Sharapova seems to have been working on, such as adding the drop shot, don’t work well in this match up because Serena doesn’t give her enough balls that could be turned into drop shots, and Serena has excellent movement to get to the few that can.

J-Kath Says:

Anybody wonder what Johanna Konta might do? She has a strange Marion Bartello type service stance…but otherwise she is focused and blooming well good?

RZ Says:

@J-Kath – unfortunately I’ve never had the chance to see her play, but one of the tennis bloggers said that he thinks she plays just like Petkovic, who had made the top 10 and only dropped out due to injury issues. So if that is what her game is like, no reason why she couldn’t keep moving up in the rankings into the top 20 at least.

Humble Rafa Says:

On the basis of respecting human decency and human rights, Shreikapova-Big Lady matches have to be banned.

Sarah Says:

Come on Angie, you can beat the cow!!!

Sarah Says:

Congrats Angie!!!

FedExpress Says:

hahahahaha. kerber, radwanska, konta

serena couldnt have had it easier. just like the us open. what a joke this wta is

Wog Boy Says:

” just like the us open. ”

It might as well finish like the us open..

Sarah Says:

lol WB, this one was good

KINGAJ11 Says:

LOVE when Serena snaps that Russian twig in half

Gypsy Gal Says:

LOL Dare i hope that two Brits Andy and Jo can both go on to win the whole thing?….

Anyway its fantastic to see Brits on the male and female side going deep in a GS….

Gypsy Gal Says:

Calling people cows is a bit uncalled for….

Margot Says:

Typical bloody match between these two. David like a ferocious little terrier, but Andy proving too strong in the end.
@Wog Boy
Completely agree about Milos and Gael, but did read somewhere that Gael got all those junior slams because, at the time, he was a lot bigger and stronger than the others and had quite an advantage.
He’s a weird body shape- massive upper body and very skinny little legs.
Don’t forget Jamie :)

Gypsy Gal Says:

Margot i am so proud of both ;-))….

But i dont like predictions….

FedExpress Says:

murrays path into the final has been a joke

danica Says:

Maria’s undoing against Serena was her lack of movement. She just stands there and wait to hit the ball back. She needs to move around the court because Serena is not a great mover either. Vinci outplayed her because she was present everywhere on that court.

As for Konta, congrats! Where was she all these years?! I have seen just a bit of her match and what I liked is that she doesn’t hit the ball in haste and immediately but rather waits a second longer to see in which direction her opponent moves. Then she hits the ball the opposite way.

J-Kath Says:

Danica….she is so focused….enuf so, I dare to hope she’ll get to the final

…..the two Murrays progressing as well…waiting to see if Andy gets the big serving Canadian or the flying Frenchman.

Wog Boy Says:

Agree about Maria, I just have a feeling she doesn’t know how to run, her legs are all over the place, and arms are going like a windmill when she runs, not a pretty picture.

Wog Boy Says:

About Johhana Konta, all Aussies are talented players particulary if they are born in Sydney..;)

Gypsy Gal Says:

Wogboy was she born in Sydney,so was Laura Robson i believe?….

Agree about Maria,not a fan but i do like that fighting spirit she has,and the never say die attitude….

Wog Boy Says:

Yes, there is something magic in Sydney, apart of the most expensive real estate in the world..

mat4 Says:

It’s interesting to notice that, while there were a lot of debates about weak eras in men’s tennis — at the beginning of the century, or even now — nobody mentions it about women’s tennis.

Why? Is there a tacit consensus that the era is indeed weak, or, Serena being American, no one dares to put her results in context? Because, if I remember well, she was regularly beaten by Justine Hénin when she was at her peak, and that same Sharapova used to be quite a formidable opponent before her shoulder injury.

Gypsy Gal Says:

Mat4 many have said how pathetic the WTA,and that Serena is so dominant due to lack of competition,so i think that would amount to the same thing,and i do miss Henin and Clijsters on tour as they relished playing Williams and were not intimidated by her,but Sharapova aint beat Williams in 18 trys now,whether the shoulder had anything to do with it who knows,but as Wogboy said she never was the best mover anyway….

Sarah Says:

Hi Mat4, I wish I would have an answer, what is really happening there. What I do not understand is: why are so many in a hurry to afirm, that she is the GOAT…only due to her longevivity?

P.S. I am super scared of tomorrows match :)

Tennis Vagabond Says:

Mat4, Serena was never regularly beaten by Justine. That’s a myth. Serena was 8-6 against Williams. There was only one year in which Henin regularly beat her, 2007 (3 wins) (the year Serena started ranked in the 80’s). So for the other 9 or 10 years of their rivalry, Serena was 8-3.

During the years of their rivalry, Henin won 7 slams, Williams 12.

Henin was surely an all time great, and a rival, but Serena was clearly better over their time on tour together.

To the weak era of women’s tennis: I have to agree. I think when you had Capriati part II, Clijsters, Henin, Mauresmo, Sharapova, Davenport and a stronger Venus, plus Serena, that was a strong era- but that’s going back 5 years. Since then the main challengers have been (outside Sharapove) Dinara Safina, Jankovic, Ivanovic, Wozniaki, Azarenka, Radwanska… there are no all time greats in that group, in my opinion.

I think that Serena has now dominated 3 or more eras of women’s tennis, and in some of them had stiff competition, in some of them not so much.

Tennis Vagabond Says:

I obviously shouldn’t have used the word ‘never’. For 1 year, Serena was regularly beaten by Henin.

Van Persie Says:

I think Steffi Graf is the greatest ever

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