The most anticipated return in tennis this year was, depending on you asked, a cause for either celebration or concern. In the end, Maria Sharapova’s appearance at last week’s Stuttgart event certainly couldn’t have come at a better time for women’s tennis. But the week itself proved it won’t be easy for Sharapova or the WTA to just simply move forward despite the lingering controversy from her nearly year long doping ban.
In a year that most people want to forget, 2016 proved a tough one to bear for the tennis world as well, with a variety of controversies, blunders, and one very bad meltdown. While it’s impossible to go through them all, here’s a not so fond look back at some of the moments that made tennis fans cringe, moan, and cover their eyes all year.
Filed under ATP, Tennis, WTA
In chess, opening moves are often a key to success in winning. That’s especially true if a player employs the queen, the most powerful piece on the board, early in the game.
In the chess game of her career up until a few days ago, few would have disputed that Maria Sharapova was a master tactician. Every decision, especially in her lucrative off-court dealings, appeared planned down to the manicured minutiae of perfect timing for optimum result.
But Sharapova’s most recent first move to date may be the most important of her career.
2014 certainly had its highlights. But here’s a look back at some of those less than stellar moments we’d like to forget. And yes, there’s a reference to a famous outburst from tennis in the above track if you listen long enough. Continue reading
Well that was quite a 48 hours.
That is in reference to Maria Sharapova and her very well publicized and now very brief visit to New York that saw her make headlines around the world not once, but twice, for very different news. But after the media whirlwind dies down, we’re still not sure what is next for the former US Open champion who finds herself watching this year’s event from the sidelines. Continue reading
Labor Day Monday at the U.S. Open is always billed as the “best day in tennis” if nothing else for the fans lucky enough to have tickets allowing them to sample tennis from late in the morning to sometimes late at night. The last time I was at the Open was five years ago and although the courts have stayed pretty much the same, the “experience” is more a carnival than ever especially with all the shopping and food options one has now. But for those actually looking to watch tennis, the matches today more or less lived up to their billings.
And while Gael Monfils and Richard Gasquet delighted fans with their flair and speed early on, the match of the day was of course the hoped for showdown between Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova which Wozniacki won in convincing fashion to not only cement her name as the favorite among the women in New York but also as the No. 1 player if she takes the title. Many people keep saying Sharapova is “all the way back”. And that might be so, but it may not be good enough anymore to win another Slam. Continue reading
With all the talk of the recent comebacks of Justine Henin and Kim Clijsters, it’s almost as if Maria Sharapova’s long road back from shoulder surgery that took her out of the game for 18 months wasn’t that big a deal. But even if Sharapova’s prospects at this year’s Wimbledon are still iffy, what I find more intriguing is how her persona as the “ice queen”, a moniker bestowed upon her by the press due to her Siberian heritage and perhaps her sometimes cool demeanor, seems to be melting into one that is more accessible and more mature. Or is it the other way around and it’s the press and the public instead that’s finally warming up to the Russian superstar? Continue reading