Safina ousts No. 1 Sharapova, advances to quarterfinals
Posted: 02 June 2008 08:35 PM     [ Ignore ]  
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Maria Sharapova did not go quietly.

No, her departure from the French Open was filled with sound and fury: her stroke-accompanying shrieks, her self-loathing shouts between points and the spectators’ hearty boos and high-pitched whistles that ushered the No. 1-seeded woman to the exit.

One point from reaching the quarterfinals at the only Grand Slam tournament she’s never won, Sharapova allowed every bit of a significant lead slip away Monday and collapsed to a 6-7 (6), 7-6 (5), 6-2 defeat against No. 13 Dinara Safina.

“Oh, I was angry,” Sharapova said. “I was angry for making unforced errors, for not taking some of those balls and just ripping them.”

Sharapova figured it wouldn’t take long to get over Monday’s setback and start focusing on the All England Club, where she won her first Grand Slam title in 2004 at age 17.

With last month’s retirement of top-ranked Justine Henin, and last week’s losses by Venus and Serena Williams, Sharapova appeared to have a clearer-than-usual path to success at the clay-court major. She was one of only two women with a Slam title to her credit among the final 16 players, but will have to wait for another year in Paris.

“I came very close,” Sharapova said.

She led 5-2 in the second set, and went up 40-30 while serving for the match at 5-3. But Safina erased that chance with a backhand winner, and eventually broke when Sharapova missed a forehand. In the ensuing tiebreaker, Sharapova took a 5-2 lead, but Safina claimed five straight points.

Posted: 02 June 2008 10:13 PM   [ # 1 ]     [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]  
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I was pulling for Maria this year. Would love to see her complete all 4 Grand Slam titles. The women’s draw this year is very interesting. Not sure who I would like to see win it this time now that Henin retired and Sharapova is out.

Posted: 02 June 2008 10:21 PM   [ # 2 ]     [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]  
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I watched this match and I was cheering for Maria Sharapova. She is a great athlete and such a role model for young women everywhere. I hope she comes back from this loss and gets better. 😊 The match was so entertaining and intense that I yelled at the TV a couple of times.