15th of November 2004. Remember the date? That was the last time Maria Sharapova beat Serena Williams. From then to today it has been 3887 days (10 years, 7 months and 23 days) since the Russian defeated Serena. Since that meeting in November there have been an astonishing 16 meetings against the two with Serena winning every single one.
The question is asked every year and for the second time this year we will wonder, can Maria Sharapova defeat Serena Williams again? It’s amazing to think the only times Maria Sharapova has beaten Serena Williams was in 2004 at the Wimbledon final and the WTA Finals when she was just 17 years old! Their previous meeting this year was at the Australian Open final where Serena won in two sets winning 6-3 7-6.
If Maria is going to cause the upset she is going to have to bring her A game and even that might not be good enough for her to secure the win. In their last 12 meetings going back to 2010 when they last met at Wimbledon Maria has only won one set of tennis compared to the 21 sets of tennis that Serena has won in that time.
Serena has the game on her racket to dominate the match against Maria. It’s unbelieve that once upon a time Maria led their head to head 2-1 and now it is 17-2 in Serena’s favour, astounding. If Serena turns up then I’d have to say she is favourite, Maria likes to sit upon the baseline but if you can get her moving around the back of the court then you have a great chance of beating her.
As shown above the red line shows where Maria will want to play her game but because of the depth Serena gets on the ball and the angles she can pick with the backhand down the line / crosscourt and the forehand cross court it will push Sharapova back if the ball is hitting towards the back of the court.
As shown above the red arrows are the backhand of Serena and the blue arrows are the forehand of Serena. She is probably the best in the business on the tour in picking her spots on the court. Above is just some of the shots Serena can produce with these weapons and all of which will push Sharapova behind the court and get her on the defensive.
Sharapova is a good defender but I would say a great defender. I see players as a great defender those who can produce exceptional winners when it looks impossible like Serena, Wozniacki and Halep and Kerber do.
The question is can Sharapova beat Serena? Sharapova certainly has the game to do it but to keep a high level of attacking tennis which Sharapova is good at against Serena in a best of three sets match will be very difficult.
I do think it will be a close match, I hope it is a close 3 set match but I can just see Serena winning in two sets unless Sharapova can get the early momentum going. In all fairness to Sharapova she deserves some credit as she has never got frustrated with herself from what I see as a viewer. Their last four meetings have been so close. Who knows this could be her time again to defeat Serena and win Wimbledon something she hasn’t done since 2004.