Five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova was ousted from the 2014 U.S. Open’s fourth round at the hands of No. 10 Caroline Wozniacki. Despite the three-set defeat, Sharapova had an incredible 2014 season that earned her another French Open title.
The 27-year-old Russian lost a tough match to a quality opponent in Wozniacki, who is a victory away from reaching the final.
Sharapova didn’t go down easily. After losing the first set 4-6, she stormed back in the second winning 6-2 thanks to 22 winners.
Perhaps Sharapova can blame the heat for her departure. After the second set, both players took a 10-minute break enforced because of the weather conditions. All of her momentum had evaporated, and Wozniacki took the third set 6-2.
SI.com’s Courtney Nguyen discussed what went wrong this time around for the No. 5 player in the world. Sharapova said, “I think I just stopped doing what helped me get advantage of the points in the second set. I hit a good shot and I allowed her to get back in the point instead of looking to come in.”
Sharapova ends the summer with a sour taste in her mouth, but when she looks back on it, 2014 was a great season for her.
She posted a 38-9 record, now just three wins away from 550 for her career. Among the 38 wins, she captured three singles titles, including the French Open where she defeated No. 4 Simona Halep in three sets.
Other singles titles include the Mutua Madrid Open (also defeated Halep in three sets) and the Tour Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, where she took down No. 7 Ana Ivanovic in three sets.
All in all, the season netted her more than $4 million in prize money. This mark led the entire women’s tour in spite of Sharapova earning nothing from doubles matches. Petra Kvitova was second on the earnings list with nearly $3.6 million.
Although things didn’t pan out for Sharapova in New York, 2014 should leave her very optimistic about her future. With no one player dominating the tour, there’s no reason she can’t emerge as the world’s best and capture more Grand Slams in 2015.