Connect with us

Tennis

“From Clay Cub To Queen Of Clay”- Maria Sharapova And Her Encounter With The French Open- UPDATED

Published

on

Maria Sharapova thankful

Russian tennis sensation Maria Sharapova has had a peculiar relation with the red clay of the French Open. From starting out as a rookie on clay who just couldn’t find her footing on the slow surface, to becoming a master on the same surface, she definitely came a long way.

In fact, if we analyse the career of Maria, her performance at clay was considerably weaker in the first half of her career. However, she ended her career with two Frech Open titles, more than any other grand slam.

In fact, the French Open helped her revive a dying career. A player who had grown up playing on hard courts found her ultimate love in the red clay of France. In this article, we take a look at Maria’s peculiar relationship with the French Open.

What has been the journey of Maria Sharapova at the French Open?

Maria Sharapova jump

Maria’s legitimate French Open journey begins in the year 2004 – the same year that she won the Wimbledon crown and became the front-page headline. Even though her Roland Garros debut came in the year 2003, she had lost then in the first round.

In 2004, she made it to the quarter-finals. However, she was nowhere near a clay-court expert. In fact, as a New York Times article describes, she was slight to the point of being spindly! The clay requires you to have a lot more conviction in your shots as the rallies are long and serves ineffective. This was lacking in her game as her movement remained abrupt.

The star of Sharapova continued to rise as she collected more accolades. After her Wimbledon rise to fame, the US Open came in 2006 and the Australian Open came in 2008. However, the French Open title remained illusive as she struggled to complete her career grand slam.

Maria Sharapova lift

Her best Roland Garros result came in 2007 as she made it to the semi-finals. However, a drastic injury was to change the course of her career.

What changed after the injury of 2008?
Sharapova suffered a drastic shoulder injury in the year 2008. After withdrawing from several tournaments, her career derailed as she dropped out of the top 100.

She suffered devastating upsets at the Wimbledon and the US Open. As she made sense of the reality that her serve might never be the same, the Russian had other goals in her mind – she wanted to complete a career grand slam. However, in the process, clay became her dominant surface.

Maria Sharapova looking

The winds of change started blowing in the year 2011 when she hired Japanese Yutaka Nakamura as her trainer to improve her performance. Her special emphasis would be on the French Open.

What were her problems on clay?
Maria once famously called herself a “cow on ice”, referring to her clay court performances. At 1.88 metres tall, she often slipped and lost her balance on the clay courts.

Maria Sharapova cap

Repeated training drills were aimed at lowering her centre of gravity. She also worked on her court coverage and stamina. Increased strength was also a key to her strong insurgency on the clay courts.

The returns showed in no time. She made it to the semi-finals of the French Open in 2011. In 2012, she completed the unfinished job and lifted the title at Roland Garros. She was again the finalist in 2013 while another title victory came in 2014.

All of this came from a belief that she could improve. It also came from the ability to adapt to changing circumstances. A weaker serve meant that hard courts were not her strongest suite now, so she shifted her game plan to a surface that did not demand a very strong service game from you.

Maria Sharapova rest

This fighting spirit is what made Maris Sharapova one of the greatest women’s tennis player to have ever existed.

Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Advertisement

Recent Posts

Serena Williams is spotted hailing a cab during charity 5k run for her foundation Serena Williams is spotted hailing a cab during charity 5k run for her foundation
News3 weeks ago

Serena Williams laments: “My A$$ is too big & heavy… It limits my speed”

  Serena Williams has always been famous for her curves, but the tennis star admits her booty is too big...

Serena Williams beach lifestyle pictures Serena Williams beach lifestyle pictures
Celebrity1 month ago

Serena Williams | Top 10 sexiest photos on IG

  Serena Williams is a professional tennis player in America. She has been ranked number one by the Women’s Tennis...

Serena Williams’ overwhelming photos everyone talks about it pics Serena Williams’ overwhelming photos everyone talks about it pics
News1 month ago

Serena Williams: 11 eye-popping killer photos as she poses in minuscule bikini

  Serena Williams shows off her super fit figure in form-fitting gym wear as she shoots a new commercial in...

Venus Williams to headline Vagaro's iconic.22 wellness conference Venus Williams to headline Vagaro's iconic.22 wellness conference
News2 months ago

13 overwhelming pictures of Venus Williams that dazzle everyone

  Venus Williams has won 75 championship tennis titles throughout her decades-long career. She runs several successful businesses, including her...

Serena Williams massive chest pics Serena Williams massive chest pics
News2 months ago

21 Serena Williams’ provoking pictures that compliment her neck nape

  Serena Williams looked sensational as she headed out for dinner in New York City on Tuesday. The tennis star,...

News3 months ago

Six pictures as Serena Williams accidentally flashes her pants and got everyone talking

  Serena Williams makes her choice of beachwear colorful and edgy. The four-time Olympic gold medalist was spotted while arriving...

1-on-1 with Venus Williams 1-on-1 with Venus Williams
Celebrity3 months ago

Venus Williams offering $2 million to anyone who wants it

  Virginity at 42 isn’t believable in the current world where people get into relationships as early as in their...

Serena Williams happy with her husband Alexis Ohanian Serena Williams happy with her husband Alexis Ohanian
Celebrity3 months ago

Serena Williams: “Why I don’t like oral Sex”

  On and off the court, Serena Williams serves up style and beauty looks that keep us all buzzing. Williams...

Serena Williams showing off her toned body Serena Williams showing off her toned body
News3 months ago

19 overwhelming pictures Of Serena Williams we can’t stop looking at…

  Tennis great Serena Williams spends the day with an unidentified man on the beach in her bikini, with her...

Venus Williams Suffers Wardrobe Malfunction Exposing Her Venus Williams Suffers Wardrobe Malfunction Exposing Her
Celebrity3 months ago

14 overwhelming pictures of Venus Williams that dazzle everyone

  Former World No.1 Venus Williams recently spoke about what men say to her dates. “When guys get nervous and...

Advertisement

Copyright © 2017