Maria Sharapova is primed to pull off her fourth grand slam coup, and I have the reasons why you should get on board.
The Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open will all fall to the Russian beauty. Do not fall for her charms, this woman means business. I am fully confident that we are about to see a Sharapova string of domination shortly.
All the warning signs are there for the field; you just have to know where to look. On the heels of her Italian victory and ahead of the French Open, we will discuss the reasons why Sharapova will be looking to close out her fourth grand slam in the next couple of years.
Maria Sharapova was in the doldrums. Her ugly defeat at Indian Wells left me thinking that we had seen the best of the Russian tennis star's domination.
I couldn't have been any more wrong.
She took to Rome this weekend with the fury and precision we have come to expect from Sharapova.
If you are going to prognosticate, you want to be sure your dark horse can still contend with the best in the world. She took down No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.
That feat was twofold.
For one, she has the mettle going forward. Two, she can win on clay. That has always been somewhat of a tenuous proposition for her in the past. Sharapova is learning a thing or two as she continues her career.
Women's tennis isn't exactly flooded with superstars waiting to take the crown as best in the sport. This is one reason that Kim Clijsters was able to come back from retirement and dominate.
The other reason was that she is a damned good player. However, Clijsters is banged up with an ankle injury. The Williams sisters are on their way out of the sport. By the second, the field that was once a land mine of talent is shrinking.
Sharapova is already No. 7 in the world rankings based on some less than memorable finishes in this early season. Her Italian title over the weekend gives her confidence and resolve—things the rest of the women will suffer from.
I still have to remark how well Sharapova played on clay. There is a point for every athlete when the expertise catches up to the athleticism.
It is clear that Sharapova has the talent; the mind for the game takes a while to perfect. She is nearly there—a versatile player that can take on all comers. The fact that she already has three grand slams to her name makes the more remarkable.
At 24, she has a couple more years at her peak. Those years will be her most dominant. I see her taking yet another leap in her career. Some might think that we have seen the best of Sharapova. I am here to declare that we haven't seen anything yet.