with her third title (the recently concluded 2008 australian open) tucked securely under her belt, it is to be hoped for that maria sharapova‘s detractors would finally admit that she is more than just a glamorous flash-in-the-pan who may be brilliant on-court occasionally and pretty enough to sell magazines and pin-ups, but always a step short of winning a tournament prize that really matters.
some would say that her 2004 wimbledon triumph was more of a fluke, and that even her 2006 US open win came about due to a random course of events that have unwittingly conspired to tilt the final match in her favor. oh no, some nay-sayers would have you believe that she’s one of those over-hyped tennis babes who would occasionally grace the scene with flashy style but not much in the way of substance (remember anna kournikova?). and then there’s that on-court ‘noise’ (read: screams, groans, grunts, etc. that some spectators and opponents find ‘distracting’ — if not downright intimidating.
jeeze, the list of gripes seems endless…
tough. so she’s gorgeous. so what? the fact that she gained her aussie crown convincingly should at least tell her critics and tennis fans one thing: maria sharapova is no pushover. she can play tough if she has to. the trick is to sustain that kind of killer instinct with consistency. and, of course, she’s only 20. she still has a lot of years ahead of her to improve her game.