Maria Sharapova Is Destined to Lose to Serena Williams in Another Grand Slam
Maria Sharapova took out one Williams sister in the third round of the Australian Open (6-1, 6-3), but she will still fall victim to a Williams when the tournament is over.
Sharapova is playing extremely well right now, and she proved that by routing Venus Williams (6-1, 6-3). She hasn't dropped a set as she heads into her fourth-round match with Kirsten Flipkens of Belgium.
Barring an upset, she should meet and lose to Serena Williams in the final.
There are still worthy challengers standing between a Sharapova and Williams date in the final, but with both women playing great, I don't see either losing before then.
Williams' toughest competition will likely come from top-seeded Victoria Azarenka in the semifinals. The emotional Belarusian star hasn't fared well against Williams in the past. She's won only one of the 12 matches the two have played.
That includes three losses at the Australian Open in 2008, 2009 and 2010.
Williams also bested Azarenka in the 2012 U.S. Open final. Azarenka has never found an answer for her nemesis' dominating serve, and when the other aspects of Williams' game are clicking, Azarenka has no chance.
Sharapova's route to the final will be a little easier.
Flipkens is unseeded and Sharapova has beaten her in both of their previous matches. The fourth-round match with Sharapova represents the furthest Flipkens has ever advanced in a Grand Slam event.
Anything more than a straight-sets victory for Sharapova would shock me.
Her toughest test will likely come from up-and-coming star Agnieszka Radwanska in the semifinals. Radwanska is the fourth seed and she has beaten Sharapova in a Grand Slam event before.
Though she is only 2-8 against Sharapova lifetime, one of her wins came at the 2007 U.S. Open. Radwanska is improved since then, but so has Sharapova. The latter will stave off the upset to set up the epic final with Williams.
With a 10-2 lifetime record against Sharapova in their career series, Williams has the clear edge. She hasn't lost to her since 2004, and their three meetings in 2012 only affirmed Williams' dominance.
She scored three straight-sets victories last year, including an epic 6-1, 6-0 thrashing at the Summer Olympics. As well as Sharapova is playing, she will still be no match for Williams in the final.
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