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Friday, June 29, 2007

Maria Sharapova moves into third round

Maria Sharapova advanced to the third round at Wimbledon yesterday with an almost effortless 6-0 6-3 victory over Severine Bremond.

Maria Sharapova Wimbledon - 2007

Maria, who won Wimbledon at the age of 17 in 2004, never looked seriously troubled on a windswept Centre Court and earned a third-round tie against Ai Sugiyama from Japan. Sharapova said afterwards that her injured shoulder, which kept her out of action for two months earlier this season, was "holding up". Asked if it would last the full two weeks of the tournament, she said "I don't Know, we'll see. I'll tell you when I am done playing here. I played a really solid first set and it was really hard with the conditions because the wind was swirling" Maria Sharapova said.

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Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Maria Sharapova "swans" into second round

Maria Sharapova is resigned to an agonising Wimbledon fortnight, convinced not even chronic shoulder pain can stop her advance on a second All England Club title.

Maria Sharapova Wimbledon - 2007

Maria, after a 6-1 7-5 win against Chinese Taipei's Yung-Jan Chan, admitted her sore right shoulder would not improve until she was able to rest and strengthen it. "As long as the doctors give me a green light, I'll play," the world No. 2 said.

"After I took the MRI after the Miami tournament (in March), the doctor said, 'You have a pretty serious injury'. "Some days are better than others. During this tournament I will have to be on anti-inflammatories, especially in these conditions when it's so cold, the balls are heavy. "It's in my hands to manage it as much as I can." Maria Sharapova is using psychology to combat the pain as she bids for a third major. "Knowing that I've won here before and taking that to the court again is important. I know I can do it," she said.

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Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Maria Sharapova backs home town for 2014 Olympics bid

Maria Sharapova has backed her former Russian home town to win the right to host the 2014 Winter Olympics, saying she began her tennis career in Sochi after nearly becoming a figure skater.

Maria Sharapova

The 2004 Wimbledon champion was born in Siberia in 1987 before moving to Sochi two years later and spending the next five years in the Black Sea resort.

"Sochi has a big place in my heart... I started my tennis career there," Sharapova told Reuters television ahead of next week's vote to determine the host city. At its July 4 session in Guatemala, the International Olympic Committee (IOC) will name the 2014 hosts in a three-way race between Sochi, the Austrian city of Salzburg and South Korea's Pyeongchang. "This is just an incredible opportunity for the athletes who play winter sports," said U.S. Open champion Sharapova, who was made an ambassador for Sochi's Olympic bid earlier this year.

"The Olympics used to be my favourite to watch. I probably watch more Olympics (sport) than I watch actual tennis matches. "I used to love figure skating and gymnastics because they were two very popular sports in Russia and I always wanted to be a figure skater when I was young so this is actually pretty coincidental," she added. "So I am very honoured to be a part of it and be an ambassador for it." The Florida-based Russian said she was trying to convince all her friends to come and visit Sochi. "My message is to get around the world how great the place really is and it would be an incredible legacy to bring the Winter Olympics to our country, considering our country's achievements in winter sports," she said.

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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Maria Sharapova Interview - June 23

Q. You've had a week off, got some grass court matches in, probably two more than you wanted in one day. But can you tell us about the shoulder? How much better is it? Can you stand up there and hit 110 miles an hour serves right now?

Maria Sharapova Interview - June 23, 2007

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I can. Some days are better than others. It's still not exactly where I want it to be. But I've said that in the last few weeks and I've been able to play good and steady.I'm happy that I got to play. My goal in Birmingham was to play as many matches as I can, and I did that. After playing that many matches in a couple days my shoulder held up well. That was a really good sign.It's always good to get a few days off, just practice on the courts here before we start.

Q. Will you compensate for that by maybe taking a little pace off the serve, try to be more careful with the location of the first serve?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I wouldn't say -- I don't have the strongest or the biggest serve on tour. I do rely a lot on placement most times. It depends who I play, what I feel will be necessary.But I've always thought that placement is more important than speed, especially in my case.

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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Maria Sharapova cruises into semis

Maria Sharapova won her all-Russian battle with Anna Chakvetadze to reach the French Open semi-finals for the first time. The second seed, a 6-3 6-4 winner, will now face Ana Ivanovic in the last four.

Maria Sharapova vs Anna Chakvetadze

Maria Sharapova drew first blood when she broke in the sixth game and then survived four break-back chances in the next game before holding for a 5-2 lead. She went on to take the first set 6-3 and when she broke in the first game of the second set she looked set to easy to victory. However, Chakvetadze was in no mood to lay down and broke back immediately - it was to be her only success of the Maria serve which stood up well given her recent shoulder injury.

The score moved on 4-3 at which point Sharapova moved up a gear to break once more before serving out for victory in an hour and 18 minutes. Asked if she was surprised to be in the last four for the first time, Sharapova replied: "I wouldn't say that. "I didn't come off court and go, 'Wow, I'm in the semi-finals'. "I have believed in myself with every round. I'm more proud and excited than surprised."

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Monday, June 04, 2007

Maria Sharapova survives to reach quarter-finals at French Open

Maria Sharapova survived two match points before overcoming Switzerland's Patty Schnyder 3-6 6-4 9-7 in a gripping fourth-round match on Sunday.

Maria Sharapova vs Patty Schnyder

Schnyder served for the match three times before dropping serve in the last game, bowing out by sending a forehand wide after two hours and 37 minutes of a tight contest that could have gone either way. The Russian, who has been playing through pain at this year's Roland Garros after her recent shoulder problems, held her nerve to claim a sensational 3-6 6-4 9-7 triumph, after more than two-and-a-half hours' play on Suzanne Lenglen court.
Maria Sharapova saved match points in the 10th and 14th games of the last set, only to clinch victory on the first of her own in the 16th and final game. "It's pretty hard being a tennis player and Mother Theresa at the same time and that's just the way it is," the 20 year-old Russian said. Sharapova, who has never got past the quarter-finals at the Paris grand slam, will next play Russia's Anna Chakvetadze after the ninth seed beat Lucie Safarova 6-4 0-6 6-2.

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Friday, June 01, 2007

Maria Sharapova through to 3rd Round in Paris

Maria Sharapova reached the third round of the French Open on Thursday, crushing American Jill Craybas 6-2 6-1. The Russian, however, says she feels like “a cow on ice” on Paris clay courts.

Maria Sharapova on French Open

Second seed Maria needed just over an hour to see off Jill Craybas. The American won two games in the first set, but at 2-2 the Russian took nine games in a row only to make a stop at 5-0 in the second set on the way to a 6-2 6-1 win. Maria, however, admits she still does not feel comfortable on clay. “I feel like a cow on ice. Especially on clay,” the Russian said. “I don’t play on clay for the other ten months of the year. It’s not as natural for me.

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