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2012 US Open: Sharapova Gets Well-Timed Rain Delay Against Petrova

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 02:  Maria Sharapova of Russia returns a shot to Nadia Petrova of Russia on Day Seven of the 2012 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 2, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood, of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images
Frank WagnerCorrespondent ISeptember 2, 2012

Well, this might be a lucky turn of events for the women's third seed.

Maria Sharapova's fourth-round match against fellow Russian Nadia Petrova, as the four-time Grand Slam champion jumped out to a 6-1 first-set victory.

From there, though, Sharapova's play dipped dramatically. Meanwhile, Petrova refused to let the loss of the first set affect her play and plugged away.

Suddenly, after five breaks of serve in one set, Petrova leveled the match with a 6-4 second set.

The third set then opened with eight straight points to Petrova, as she easily held her serve to love and allowed Sharapova to self-destruct on her serve.

So with the score 2-0 to Petrova in the decisive set, the tide looked firmly in favor of the 19th seed to pull the massive upset. Then came the luck: The heavens opened on Flushing.

With rain pouring down on Arthur Ashe, there was no choice for the tournament referee but to suspend play.

The rain delay has long been a staple of tennis majors, most notably Wimbledon before the construction of the roof on Centre Court.

On numerous occasions, the break in play has worked as an advantage for a struggling player, as he or she gets time to regroup and come out fresh while his or her opponent is left to dwell on his or her lead.

So will this work to Sharapova's advantage?

Just like the players, we'll have to wait through the delay to find out.


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