Sunday, 20 January 2013

Maria quickly so time for Yarra cruise

So far if match practice was what Sharapova needed then she is in desperate short supply.  Could Belgium's Kirsten Flipkens be the answer to her prayers or did Maria simply get a kick out of handing out these thrashings and denying the public decent length tennis matches in the process?

I suspect so.  Flipkens has made steady progress up the rankings and now is safely tucked away at 43, and together with a group of players in the bracket 30-50 collects a fair amount of prize money without causing much bother to the tennis records of the elite, of which Maria knows herself to be one.  In fact Maria believes she is number one in everything.

Kirsten created a stir around Melbourne Park when the news broke that she led in the match.  However, the world's media returned to other duties such as documenting what Obama is having for his next meal once Sharapova levelled at 1-1 in the first set.

The inevitable break of the vulnerable Flipkens serve (actually so far vulnerable is a description applicable to any Sharapova opponent) extended the Russian lead to 2-1 and then the longest game in which Maria has taken part this tournament thrilled the audience.  Maria teased us for several minutes into believing that she could actually drop a service game, even stretching the con as far as a break point save.

Enough of the games and more of the quality shots that were the reason for what turned out to be another first set massacre at the hands of the vicious Sharapova who fools no one with her softly spoken off court persona.  6-1 and an early finish to day session tennis activity on Rod Laver Arena assured.

Scoreboard success for Kirsten in set two didn't quite hit the dizzy heights of the first set where she could at least hang her hat on that one game.  Maria wanted another zero to add to her collection and she showed no discrimination as to who would supply it.

Sharapova was not particularly good with her first serve accuracy but it didn't matter a bit.  She belted her usual number of winners cross court and down both lines, and hardly made a mistake.  Kirsten was punished for no reason other than turning up.

Sharapova 6-1 6-0 and ominous as she always is, but this year a lot more scary.

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