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Can She Do It?

Always fired up, how fired up can she get against Serena Williams?
Kenny Evans

Maria Sharapova has marched through the Sony Open draw and finds herself in the semifinals against none other than her arch nemesis, Serena Williams. What looked to be the upcoming great rivalry turned out to be one way traffic for the younger Williams sister. Since her two wins against Williams in 2004, Sharapova hasn't been anywhere near beating Williams except on one occasion, the Australian Open semis where she held three match points; It has been a very much one-sided rivalry.

Last year these two faced off in the finals and Sharapova managed to win the first set and had break points to create a lead in the second, but things normally do, the momemtum slowly drifted into Williams corner and once Williams won the second set, it was a runaway train in the final set. If I were in the Sharapova camp, I would take so many positives from the match and I would look back to the aforementioned semifinal match in Australia; both matches Sharapova played great tennis but wasn't able to sustain her level. Sharapova has to know that Williams, although a magnificent player, isn't unbeatable and that if can sustain a high level of play, then there's no reason she can't finally snatch a win against her rival.

To be honest, this has to be the best venue for Sharapova to beat Williams, even though she's a six time champion of this event. The humidity and slow nature of the court will aide Sharapova, not allowing Williams to blow her off the court. If you look at their head to head, a bunch of their matches have been blow outs, matches where Sharapova wasn't even allowed to sink her teeth into the match. Here in Miami, I'm not sure the conditions will allow Williams that luxury and it'll be interesting to see what happens out there. In the final last year, Sharapova was able to take advantage of the slower courts and boss the points in the first set and if she can do that this year then things will improve for her.

The million dollar question is whether Maria Sharapova will ever beat Serena Williams and if so, where will it be? It's hard to imagine that Williams won't come out and have a bad day one of these days or Sharapova comes out and plays lights out tennis, so to think Sharapova will never beat Williams again is kind of far-fetched. But it's hard to imagine, other that in Australia, a more favorable court for Sharapova to beat Williams on than the ones on Crandon Park at the Sony Open.

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