Australian Open 2012: Why Maria Sharapova Is a Lock to Win

Adam SpencerCorrespondent IJanuary 27, 2012

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 26:  Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning match point in her semifinal match against Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic during day eleven of the 2012 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 26, 2012 in Melbourne, Australia.  (Photo by Cameron Spencer/Getty Images)
Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka will face off in the women’s singles final at the 2012 Australian Open.

The match will feature two different players, the older Sharapova against the young gun Azarenka.

Expect experience to win out, with Sharapova taking home the trophy this weekend.

Here are three reasons why Maria Sharapova is a lock to win the Aussie Open this year.



Though Sharapova has only been a pro for two more years than Azarenka (2001 to 2003), Sharapova has done so much more with her time.

She has 412 wins, compared to 284 for Azarenka, and has been ranked No. 1 before.

Sharapova has also won 28 tournaments in her career, compared to Azarenka’s 10.

So, with all that big-game experience Sharapova has, expect her to assert it as a clear advantage in the final.


Better Grand Slam Player 

Before making it to the finals against Sharapova, the highest Azarenka had ever made it in a Grand Slam event was a semifinals appearance in last year’s Wimbledon.

Sharapova, on the other hand, has won the Australian Open before, as well as the U.S. Open and Wimbledon.

She’ll use that big-match experience to stay cooler and more collected than Azarenka, who hasn’t made it this far in a Grand Slam event prior to this.

Look for Sharapova to get back to her 2008 form, when she won the Aussie Open.


Azarenka Isn’t Ready to Be Great 

Azarenka celebrated her semifinal win against Clijsters like she had just won the lottery, proving she isn’t ready for a major final.

Yes, it’s very exciting to win and advance to the finals, but wait until you’ve won the whole thing before you celebrate like that.

Azarenka acted like winning the semifinals was the best thing that’s ever happened to her and that’s not good heading into a finals match against an experienced player.

Look for her to get off to a slow start and never recover when she takes on Sharapova.