Sharapova is Relevant Again, Wins First Tournament in 2014
Maria Sharapova has come a long way, four months exactly, to get back to this level of play.
In a place Maria Sharapova has done well, she claimed her third Porsche Grand Prix title yesterday. She completed a week of play that saw her play some of her best tennis as she defeated Ana Ivanovic 3-6, 6-4, 6-1 in Stuttgart, Germany.
This 30th career title was Maria’s first of the year. Shoulder surgery had cost her four months.
“It was a very tough year for me,” said Sharapova.
Ivanovic didnt intend to make it any easier. She ran off the first five games of the opening set, but Maria, who has had to battle physical injuries a lot in recent years, held her ground, and list the set respectfully 6-3.
“I just tried to hang in there.” Sharapova explained. “Somehow I turned it around.
Down 3-1 in the second, Sharapova raised her level to meet the unrushing storm. Iva had mixed up her attack to great results but she could not sustain it. Maria evened the match at a set a piece.
“In the second set she definitely went for those big shots and she made some amazing points,” Ana resignedly recalled.
Sharapova from that point on was the player who won two French and U.S Opens. She rallied back and Ana could not do anything once she took the foot off the gas.
“She’s just a great player,” Ivanovic said. “You need to use your opportunities.”
Sharapova came back last year but it has taken quite a while for her to regain her form. Sitting on top of the blue porsche, flowers in hand, she looked pleased with the effort.
Serena Williams still is the top player in the women’s game but with Wimbledon and the U.S. Open upcoming, a healthy Sharapova may provide a real renewal of this rivalry that has been owned by Serena in recent years.