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Old 03-18-2012, 02:48 AM   #61
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It's a tough match up with Azarenka for Maria but I look for Maria to play a good match.
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Old 03-18-2012, 11:42 PM   #62
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more pics and video on my blog: Victoria Azarenka Moves To 23-0 To Start 2012 With Fourth Title Of The Year At BNP Paribas Open At Indian Wells Fairways and Forehands

Victoria Azarenka


Victoria Azarenka continued her domination of the WTA Tour to begin 2012 with her fourth title of the year at the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells, defeating #2 seed Maria Sharapova, 6-2 6-3. Honestly, it wasn’t even that close. There was never a doubt what the outcome would be in this match. Masha just doesn’t match up well with this version of Vika. Maybe the old, doubting herself version of Azarenka, but not the new and improved version. One of Masha’s weaknesses, her propensity for unforced errors, plays right into Vika’s ability to be patient yet still hit with authority. Against almost anybody else, Masha at her best can get away with her errors because her big shots will force her opponents into errors, if not just blow them off the court straight away. Masha is like a brawler in boxing who is willing to take a few shots to get her punches off. But Vika can absorb Sharapova’s power and keep getting the ball back. Masha isn’t known for her patience. She will eventually try to hit a clean winner, even if it means risking errors. Against Azarenka, that won’t work.



All of Vika’s wins this year have been on hard courts. How will she do on clay and grass? We’ll see. I think unfortunately for her competitors, the four players who could possibly challenge her have either seen their games slip, play part-time or both. I think Caroline Wozniacki and Petra Kvitova…who both have winning records against Vika…match up better with her than Sharapova. At least, they did. Neither Caroline nor Petra have been particularly amazing this year. They have to get their games back to a high level to beat Vika. For Serena Williams and Kim Clijsters, they just don’t play enough. Kim stretched Vika to three sets, with chances early in the third, at the Australian Open. But Kim and Serena are not the same players they were a couple of years ago. They can’t just show up at big events with little match play going in and think they can win anymore. Both have done that in the past. Kim won the US Open in 2009 in her second tournament back from retirement and Serena often played select events with little match play going in only to win anyway. Those days are over. There are a lot of players who can get a win over Vika, and will, this year. What I am talking about is somebody who can stop her from running away from the field completely. I think Petra is the most likely candidate. She is the last player to beat Vika. The question is, who will be the next?



Singles - Final
(1) Victoria Azarenka (BLR) d. (2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) 62 63

Vika


Masha
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Old 03-19-2012, 06:44 PM   #63
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Better luck next time, Maria!
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Old 03-20-2012, 11:28 PM   #64
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more pics and video on my blog: Maria Sharapova Ready For 2012 Sony Ericsson Open; WTA Stars Swim With Dolphins Fairways and Forehands

Maria Sharapova at 2012 Sony Ericsson Open


Other than the Majors, and maybe the Tour Championship, this is probably the most exciting time for tennis fans, particularly in the United States. The just concluded BNP Paribas Open and the just starting Sony Ericsson Open are both week and a half long “mini-Majors” that stand apart from other events on the tour calendar. Despite a loss to world #1 Victoria Azarenka in the 2012 BNP Paribas Open final, Maria Sharapova is happy that she is playing better. Masha should be happy. She is playing better. Vika is just sky-high right now. So there’s no shame in losing to Azarenka right now. And knowing how Masha is, she won’t back down from another shot at Vika.



Victoria Azarenka


Caroline Wozniacki and Rory McIlroy


Elena Vesnina, Sabine Lisicki, Flavia Pennetta, Michaella Krajicek, Gisela Dulko and Paola Suarez visited the Miami Seaquarium to frolic with the dolphins. This has become a yearly tradition for both the ATP and WTA players.



Sabine Lisicki


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Old 03-20-2012, 11:35 PM   #65
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WTA is fun!
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Old 03-21-2012, 11:25 PM   #66
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more pics on my blog: Victoria Azarenka Meets Former UFC Light Heavyweight Champion Rashad Evans Fairways and Forehands

Vika and Rashad Evans


Victoria Azarenka has run through her competition on the WTA tour in 2012 to the tune of 23-0 going into the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open. Clearly, this lady is in need of a challenge…but former UFC Light Heavyweight champion Rashad Evans?! Vika visited the MMA Masters Academy in Miami, Florida where she met Suga Shad.



“I can tell she’s genuinely interested in MMA – it was impressive how she grasps the concepts. I didn’t show her too much except for kicking, but she knew a lot more than I thought she’d know. There were times she really looked like she knew what she was doing. I love women’s tennis. It actually dominates men’s tennis in my opinion. You know they’re out there giving it everything they’ve got. They go through the same anxiety we do of not wanting to lose, and I respect that a lot.” – Rashad Evans





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Old 03-22-2012, 08:10 AM   #67
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Masha answers some fan questions (while promoting Sony products...she's using a Sony Tablet and the video was shot on a Sony phone...it is the Sony Ericsson Open, after all)

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Old 03-22-2012, 08:28 AM   #68
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Go Maria, win Miami.
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Old 03-23-2012, 07:10 AM   #69
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more pics on my blog: Maria Sharapova, Kim Clijsters Advance In Second Round Of 2012 Sony Ericsson Open Fairways and Forehands

Maria Sharapova


Two players with an eye on stopping the Victoria Azarenka express won tough second round matches at the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open. Maria Sharapova dropped the first set against Shahar Peer before rallying to advance, 4-6 6-3 6-3. Masha has only 3 losses in 2012, but 2 of those setbacks came against Vika. Can the former world #1 turn the tables in Miami? Will they even meet in the final with plenty of challengers at the SEO?

Kim Clijsters


One of those challengers is 4-time Major winner Kim Clijsters, making her return to action in Miami. The former world #1 and 2-time Player of the Year has been recovering from an ankle injury the past two months. She pushed Vika to three sets in the Australian Open semifinals with chances to take control early in the third set. I don’t know if she’s match tough enough at the moment to advance deep into the tournament here. Her win over the talented 14th seed Julia Goerges is impressive on paper. However, Kim had trouble holding serve (they both did) in her 6-2 7-5 victory. Some of that was the windy conditions, but overall she will need to tighten that up if she looks to make noise in Miami.

Masha


Kim


Singles - Second Round
(2) Maria Sharapova (RUS) d. Shahar Peer (ISR) 46 63 63
(4) Caroline Wozniacki (DEN) d. Barbora Zahlavova Strycova (CZE) 64 60
(6) Samantha Stosur (AUS) d. (Q) Valeria Savinykh (RUS) 64 60
(8) Li Na (CHN) d. (Q) Melinda Czink (HUN) 75 62
(10) Serena Williams (USA) d. (WC) Zhang Shuai (CHN) 62 63
(12) Sabine Lisicki (GER) d. Sofia Arvidsson (SWE) 63 62
Mona Barthel (GER) d. (13) Jelena Jankovic (SRB) 60 63
Kim Clijsters (BEL) d. (14) Julia Goerges (GER) 62 75
(17) Peng Shuai (CHN) d. (Q) Stéphanie Foretz Gacon (FRA) 61 62
Ekaterina Makarova (RUS) d. (19) Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova (RUS) 61 62
(21) Roberta Vinci (ITA) d. Tsvetana Pironkova (BUL) 75 61
(23) Yanina Wickmayer (BEL) d. Marina Erakovic (NZL) 63 64
Chanelle Scheepers (RSA) d. (25) Anabel Medina Garrigues (ESP) 16 64 60
Iveta Benesova (CZE) d. (26) Svetlana Kuznetsova (RUS) 16 76(7) 76(7)
(29) Petra Cetkovska (CZE) d. Christina McHale (USA) 06 75 61
(Q) Sloane Stephens (USA) d. (30) Sara Errani (ITA) 36 62 75
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Old 03-23-2012, 09:56 PM   #70
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from my blog: Maria Sharapova Talks To Fans About Her Fashion Line At 2012 Sony Ericsson Open Fairways and Forehands

Maria Sharapova


3-time Major winner, former world #1 and generally super-cool Maria Sharapova sat down to talk and get feedback from women who are interested in her Nike Collection line. Masha is very involved in the designs of all of her fashion lines, including her very popular Cole Haan ballet flats.



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