Wimbledon 2011 Results: Experience Will Carry Maria Sharapova to Her 2nd Title

Kyle Vassalo@VassaloBRFeatured ColumnistJuly 1, 2011

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30:  Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates match point after winning her semifinal round match against Sabine Lisicki of Germany on Day Ten of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 30, 2011 in London, England.  (Photo by Suzanne Plunkett/Pool/Getty Images)
Pool/Getty Images

Maria Sharapova has been here before. She won Wimbledon back in 2004 when she was just 17 years old.

Now 24, Sharapova is in a position to win another title, but she's in a different stage of her career.

Sharapova hasn't reached this stage in seven years. While she isn't the tennis player she once was, she's well deserving of a spot in the finals.

With all of the top three seeds dropping before the quarterfinals, the field was wide open on the women's side. The Williams sisters have dominated this tournament for a decade, but long layovers had them operating at less than 100 percent, which opened the door for Sharapova to return to the finals.

Should Sharapova win this tournament, it will stand as a monster comeback. She struggled in 2010 but has utilized 2011 as a chance to rebound. Twenty-four isn't exactly the age tennis players start losing steam, but regression was inevitable for Sharapova, who first broke into the top 10 when she was only 17.

Sharapova is a former world No. 1 but is possibly more well known for her grunting, which is more of a scream.

Being a two-time Wimbledon winner could be enough to kick start her ascension up the women's ranks. She made a similar climb in 2009, so we could be witnessing the start of another comeback in the making.

This has been a great year for Sharapova thus far, and a win at Wimbledon would do wonders for her confidence.

She'll need to take down a formidable opponent in Petra Kvitova to reign supreme. Kvitova's most recent victim was No. 4 seed Victoria Azarenka.

While Kvitova has proven she isn't one to back down to a heavily favored opponent, this is her first major final. Sharapova has been in this situation five times, and that just may be the difference between victory and defeat in this match.

Regardless of what transpires, this year will stand as yet another one of Sharapova's tremendous comebacks. Bogged down by injuries and plagued by inconsistency, Sharapova's ability to return to the finals, seven years removed from her last appearance on this stage, is a testament to her perseverance.


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