Wimbledon 2011: Maria Sharapova and the Bryan Brothers Seek Second Titles

Monica FritschCorrespondent IJuly 1, 2011

Maria Sharapova defeated Sabine Lisicki in the semifinals of the 2011 Championships: Wimbledon.
Maria Sharapova defeated Sabine Lisicki in the semifinals of the 2011 Championships: Wimbledon.Pool/Getty Images

You may not think that Bob and Mike Bryan and Maria Sharapova have anything in common. However, they will all be trying to win their second Wimbledon titles and will both face the No. 8 seeds.

Sharapova last won the Ladies' Singles in 2004, at 17 years old. It was her breakthrough tournament, and she hasn't looked back since.

"I'm in a different stage in my career," Sharapova said after the semifinals.

"You know, I'm 24 years old. I have a lot of experience behind my back."

Sharapova defeated Sabine Lisicki of Germany in the semifinals and will face No. 8 seed Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic in the championship match. Sharapova was relieved to get the win, 6-4, 6-3.

"Today wasn't my best match of The Championships, so I was real happy to get through in two sets. But, yeah, it's pretty amazing to be back on that stage," Sharapova said in her post-match press conference.

Two years after Sharapova won her first title at the All England Club, Bob and Mike Bryan did the same thing. However, this was not their first Grand Slam title. That came in 2003, at the French Open.

The Bryans defeated No. 6 seeds Michael Llodra and Nenad Zimonjic in five nail-biting sets. The Bryans seemed to be in command of the match, being up two sets to love. However, Llodra and Zimonjic were able to take the third and fourth sets, each in a tiebreak. In the fifth set, the Bryans were able to get the necessary break and served out the match to win it 6-4, 6-4, 6-7 (8), 6-7 (4), 9-7.

No. 8 seeds Robert Lindstedt of Sweden and Horia Tecau of Romania are their next opponents and advanced to the finals by defeating Christopher Kas and Alexander Peya 6-3, 7-6 (3), 6-2.

The Bryans haven't had the easiest road to the finals. Their first-round match was postponed due to rain and darkness and wasn't played until June 25. However, they were able to get past that match in straight sets, as well as their second round and quarterfinal matches.

The drama continued in the third round, where they were pushed to the limit by Simon Aspelin and Paul Hanley. They fought through to win 6-3, 4-6, 6-7 (5), 6-3, 16-14.

The Ladies' Singles final will be aired at 9 a.m. EST on NBC, with the Gentlemen's Doubles final to immediately follow.

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