Maria Sharapova is an amazing competitor and never believes she is out of a match. When the going gets tough, Sharapova only gets tougher.
In the Rome final, Sharapova was down a set and two breaks in the second set to Li Na, but managed to come back to win the match in three sets.
Sharapova is famous for the way she talks to herself in the time between points, but the approach has been very successful for her.
Her maturity on the court is a clear advantage, as she never seems to lose her focus. Sharapova fights hard from the first ball to the last and is extremely passionate about tennis.
Sharapova had surgery on her shoulder in the summer of 2008 and it took her 10 months to return to the tour as a singles player.
It would have been easy for Sharapova, who had won three Grand Slams at the time, to walk away from the sport. But she is very passionate about tennis, and that passion is what fuels her game.
After winning the French Open, Sharapova said the following:
"I love my work. I love playing tennis. I've had so many outs and I could have said, 'I don't need this. I have money; I have fame; I have victories; I have Grand Slams.' But when your love for something is bigger than all those things, you continue to keep getting up in the morning when it's freezing outside, when you know that it can be the most difficult day, when nothing is working, when you feel like the belief sometimes isn't there from the outside world, and you seem so small."
Based on that quote, I would hate to be the one to face her with an Olympic gold medal on the line. There will certainly be some tense moments that Sharapova will face during the Olympics, but I fully expect her to step up to the challenge and leave London with Olympic gold.