Friday, January 18, 2013

2013 AUS OPEN: Sharapova Outhits Venus 6-1 6-3

AP Photo/Dita Alangkara
The hotly anticipated epic 3rd round encounter between 7-time major champ Venus Williams and 4-time major champ Maria Sharapova at the 2013 Australian Open turned out to be something of a mis-match. The World #2 treated the match very seriously (almost like a final) while Venus struggled to regain her powerful, athletic form, misfiring especially on her forehand and lacking an explosive first step to reach the ball. The result was a 6-1 6-3 win for the Russian to reach the 4th round.

Sharapova started the tournament with two double bagels, winning the first 24 games, something no one has ever done at a major before. Early on it looked like she might do the same to Venus, running up at 4-0 win before the American was finally able to hold serve, ending the streak at 28 games won.

In fact, until 6-1, 3-0 the match was somewhat painful to watch with Venus having won only 16 points in the match. From that point on, she was able to retrieve more balls and Sharapova's level of play dropped slightly to eventually allow Venus to break serve at 6-1, 5-1 and win two consecutive games.

Sharapova had a brief pressure moment at 30-all in the match game at 6-1, 5-3 but was able to come through that with another Venus forehand error and the Russian won the match on a service ace (something the American did not have during the entire match).

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