Maria Sharapova: Grading Sharapova's French Open 2012 Performance
In 2008, Maria Sharapova had to undergo major shoulder surgery that put the remainder of her tennis career in doubt. People wondered, would she ever be the same?
From 2009 through 2011, she couldn't get a Grand Slam title.
After her French Open championship win this morning, any doubt is gone. Looking back at her games throughout the Open, Sharapova was dominant.
She dropped a single set to Klara Zakopalova in the fourth round—and even that had to go to a tiebreaker. You could tell just by watching the first few minutes of the championship match that Sara Errani never had a chance.
Sharapova's shots were landing, she consistently over-powered Errani, and showed why she will be the world's new No.1 next week.
Now, as it comes to actually grading her based on everything, I've got to be a little more critical.
Was she dominant? Yes.
Did she struggle against any of her opponents? Not really.
How tough was her competition? Actually, it was pretty soft.
That's where grading her starts to get a little more difficult. Let's examine who Errani defeated: (13) Ana Ivanovic, (26) Svetlana Kuznetsova, (10) Angelique Kerber, and (6) Samantha Stosur.
As for Sharapova, she defeated two women ranked just outside of the top 20 and then defeated fourth-ranked Petra Kvitova. So, she defeated only one woman who was ranked inside the top 20—though her play was stunning, it's easy to beat up on less talented opponents.
All things considered, I've decided that Maria Sharapova deserves a French Open 2012 grade of A-.
Sharapova would usually deserve an A+ for her performances, but I couldn't give someone in college credit for passing a sixth grade exam.
Despite any criticism, Sharapova is now a career Grand Slam champion, joining a very elite group of women.
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