Maria Sharapova: Can a Hottie Finally Win the U.S. Open Again?

Elliott PohnlFeatured ColumnistSeptember 3, 2010

Maria Sharapova: Can a Hottie Finally Win the U.S. Open Again?

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    Maria Sharapova's graceful game has taken center stage in New York this week as she looks to emerge victorious in the depleted US Open women's field.

    Sharapova defeated Iveta Benesova 6-1, 6-2 Thursday night to advance to the third round, where she will meet 18-year-old Beatrice Capra.

    Here's a look at how she shapes up in her quest to win the tournament for the first time since 2006.

No. 15: Rain Wreaking Havoc

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    Tropical Storm Earl has caused play to be suspended in Flushing Friday afternoon. New York is expected to miss the worst of the storm system, but it's unlikely the US Open will proceed on schedule.

No. 14: On the Downside of Her Career?

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    If Sharapova outlasts the competition, it probably won't be without a fight from her younger counterparts. Hopefully for our sake, Maria can stick around for at least a couple more years.

No. 13: Set to Play Saturday

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    Sharapova is scheduled to play her fourth-round match Saturday, but that is subject to change due to weather conditions.

No. 12: Sharapova's Next Opponent

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    American Beatrice Capra is a wild-card entry in the 2010 US Open and has defeated Karolina Sprem 6-1, 6-3 and 18th seed Aravane Rezai 7-5, 2-6, 6-3. Don't count on her securing her second career top-20 win against Sharapova.

No. 11: Sharapova Is Healthy, Others Are Not

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    The US Open field has been depleted by injuries and is missing the usual collection of star power with both Justine Henin and Serena Williams absent from the women's field. Sharapova's health could be enough to propel her past the competition.

No. 10: Sharapova's Chances Going Forward

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    With Venus Williams and Kim Clijsters dealing with injuries, Sharapova is certainly one of the favorites to emerge victorious. She should at least be able to advance to next week's semifinals and has a great chance to go the distance.

No. 9: Let's Change Things Up a Bit

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    Be honest, were you really expecting this entire slideshow to be devoted to Maria's chances at the US Open?

No. 8: The Model

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    Maria is completely in touch with her sexy side, which makes it even more appealing to watch her prance around on the court.

No. 7: Black Dress Special

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    Thankfully, Maria isn't likely to fade from the public eye even after she walks away from the game. At least, we hope not.

No. 6: Simply Sexy

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    When she does decide to walk away from the game, Sharapova's place among the hottest athletes of all time will certainly be secure.

No. 5: How Could She Be Seeded So Low?

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    Sharapova entered the US Open as the 14th seed, which could be why not many people are expecting her to win. I'm not sure how you could bet against this.

No. 4: Overcoming Her Struggles

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    Sharapova's 2010 season has been a disappointment. Aside from making it to the fourth round at Wimbledon, she has struggled on tour.

No. 3: The Yell

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    Sharapova's signature orgasmic scream is another aspect of her game that her competitors are simply unable to match.

No. 2: <i>SI</i> Swimsuit Issue

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    There's nothing quite like a beautiful woman on a beach. It's not hard to see why Maria is consistently among the most searched athletes on the Internet.

No. 1: From Russia with Love

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    Sharapova has been kind enough to share her talents as a tennis star and model with the world. We will never be able to thank her enough.