Maria Sharapova continued her disappointing end-result at the Miami Masters after the Russian thread a one-set lead in the Championship match and allowed opponent Serena Williams to rally from behind and led the World No. 2. 1 to register a 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 victory. The World No. 2 has now dropped her fifth final match at the Premier Mandatory event. While Serena's record sixth triumph at the Sony Open elevated her above the legendary Steffi Graf who is a five-time champion in Miami, Sharapova still does not have a clue on how to tackle her American nemesis.
Although Sharapova, after the match admitted that Serena played a great match, and expects to play more with her this season, the 25-year-old does not sound thrilled. This is perhaps for a good reason as the Russian star has lost to Serena for 11 consecutive times. In fact, Sharapova has not beaten the 31-year-old veteran since 2004 when the Russian defeated the 15-time Grand Slam winner at the Los Angeles finals. Earlier, that year Sharapova had defied the American for the first time in her career at the Wimbledon finals.
However, the equation has changed drastically in favor of Serena, and Sharapova continuously finds herself in a position where she is at the receiving end of the powerful groudstrokes performed by the American.During the latest meeting at the Sony Open, the Russian who played quite flawlessly for an hour in the beginning found herself losing steam with her serve as well as the groundstrokes. Sharapova also lost the last ten games to hand over the title she so wanted to win.
While there is no doubt that Sharapova is one of the best players in the world today, one probable reason why Serena has dominated the Russian is simply because the American plays better. During the last enounter, Sharapova was able to take the first set quite comfortably as she was aided by the unrestrained errors made by the right-handed veteran, even though the winners were coming from the racquet of the Russian. Serena had committed more than 20 unforced errors after the first set but was able to check it as the match progressed. At the end, Serena had a 35-13 advantage as far as the winners are concerned and that clearly explains who was playing better.
Neverheless, despite the frustrating result for Sharapova, the former World No. 2. 1 remains highly motivated as well. The Russian who won the Indian Wells Masters prior to the Miami event stands at a season record of 19-3 and is well looking forward to the European clay-court season where she would be seeking to defend her French Open crown at the Roland Garros.