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Olympic semifinal preview: Maria Sharapova vs. Maria Kirilenko

Having already previewed the Olympic semifinal between Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams, we are moving on to predicting the all-Russian one, between Maria Sharapova vs. Maria Kirilenko. Thank you, Omair, for contributing the article!

Maria Sharapova ended Kim Clijsters' Olympic dream 6-2 7-5 to set up an all-Russian semifinal against Maria Kirilenko. Earlier in the day, Kirilenko upset Petra Kvitova 7-6(3) 6-3, the 2011 Wimbledon champion, to make it to the medal match.

The pair has never played on grass before. Their most recent meeting came in the quarterfinals of Indian Wells this year, where Sharapova won in three sets. Will Kirilenko have a revenge? Let's have a look at the performance of the players so far at the 2012 Olympics.

Kirilenko has been better than Sharapova throughout the tournament, as the stats indicate.

Kirilenko has been serving at 71%, 11% more than Sharapova and has won 7% more points behind her first serve. Kirilenko leads Sharapova in the second serve department as well, winning a whopping 15% more points than her on second serve.

Sharapova is one of the best returners on the Tour at the moment, but Kirilenko has not been doing bad on returns either. Sharapova has won 4% more points than Kirilenko while returning the first serve, and 2% more points while returning the second serve. Sharapova's serve has not been consistent during the tournament. She is averaging five double faults per match, and she needs to clean her numbers to have a shot at the gold medal match.

There is not much difference in the winners-unforced errors differential as well, as Kirilenko stands at +3, while Sharapova is at +7.

The match will come down to the nerves of Kirilenko, and the serve of Sharapova. If Sharapova can keep her serve under control she will definitely be the favorite, however, if Kirilenko keeps on playing with these numbers she will walk off the court smiling.

Pick: Maria Sharapova in 3 sets. What do you think?

For more Omair's articles, please visit his Stats Corner on Women's Tennis Blog. (photos: © Neal Trousdale)

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3 thoughts on “Olympic semifinal preview: Maria Sharapova vs. Maria Kirilenko

  1. Marcel Carneiro

    well, I think there is something very wrong with these statistics. or I am not really understanding it at all.

    In just the last two matches against Lisicki and Clijsters, Sharapova had 14 aces and 56 winners. and that's not even couting the first two matches. whats up with those numbers?

  2. John Bolan

    Two more nice articles for Omair. This article is not really needed. Tennis fans know that Maria Sharapova is by far the better player. Will Kirilenko even win 3 games let alone go 3 sets???

  3. Omair

    Marcel Carneiro – These are the average statistics per match.

    John Bolan – Thanks a lot again for the appreciation :)

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