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Sunday, December 12, 2004

Sharapova's breakout season

In 2003, Maria Sharapova won some small tournaments, but many looked to the future expecting big things from her. She started solidly in 2004, but arrived at Wimbledon never having beaten a player ranked in the top five.
That changed at the All-England Club as Sharapova beat Lindsay Davenport, then ranked No. 5, in the semifinals, and then knocked off Serena Williams to win her first Grand Slam.

Maria Sharapova

Sharapova's title in the year-ending WTA Championships (where she again beat Serena in the final) turned a good year into a great year for the Siberian-born player, who moved to Florida when she was seven-years-old. Maria two major triumphs should do wonders for her mindset heading into 2005.
Another confidence builder has to be her Asian experience in the fall of 2004.
After a less-than-awesome post Wimbledon summer, and a disappointing third-round loss to Mary Pierce at the U.S. Open, Maria Sharapova played tournaments in Beijing, where she lost in the semifinals to Kuznetsova, and Seoul and Tokyo, where she won titles.

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