I always love it how Maria Sharapova's Grand Slam dresses have a special story and inspiration behind them and for the 2011 French Open the Nike team came up with a collection revolving around Paris and its Eiffel Tower. My all-time favorites still remain the 2007 US Open dresses and their New York skyline. Read more »
Emily of WTA Tour Insights notified me about the new dress Nike has in store for Maria Sharapova. The Russian debuted blue Cross Court Statement Dress at the Sony Ericsson Open where she finished runner-up on Saturday, but Nike already has a fresh design for her 2011 French Open appearance, a yellow dress that follows the same pattern as the blue one – pretty simple design without too many details and layers, decorative lines, and soft color.
When I talked about the Statement Dress I mentioned how the lack of extravagance in the recent Sharapova designs makes Nike lean towards adidas' approach, and this latest dress is reasserting that with the opening in the back similar to this year's adidas Adizero.
The light yellow is beautiful for spring and will match Sharapova's blond hair and the red clay of Roland Garros well.
In the final of the Sony Ericsson Open, Victoria Azarenka's powerful tennis made Maria Sharapova's error-prone game surface and the Belarus went first to a 6-1 4-0 lead, and then all the way to a 6-1 6-4 victory for her second title at the tournament in three years.
Sharapova made 43 unforced errors and held serve only once in the entire match. However, after the match Azarenka pointed out how her good selection of shots forced Sharapova to make mistakes: "I think I had the right tactics. She likes to swing big and when she has time it's very heavy and coming fast. So I was trying to take time away and not let her do that… I think she was missing a lot because of my game."
By virtue of winning the $4,5-million event, Azarenka earned $700,000 and a return to her career best ranking of No.6. Sharapova will be back in Top 10, from her current No.13.
Azarenka has won her sixth career title, while Sharapova now has a 0-3 win-loss record in the finals of Miami. (photo via BBC)
The 2011 Sony Ericsson Open final will feature powerful, competitive and loud players – Maria Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka. The two are not underdogs, but it can't be said that they were favored to be the last women standing.
Both have already been at this stage of the Miami tournament, but only Azarenka managed to go a step further and win the title against Serena Williams in 2009. If Sharapova wins this time, it will be a huge thing, but not because it will be her first win in the final of Miami in three attempts, rather because the Premier-level title will be a great milestone in her post shoulder injury career.
If Azarenka’s record against Russian players is of any relevance, let's see the WTA Tour stats:
- Azarenka has a 46.3% win percentage against Russians (25-29)
- Azarenka is on a four match winning streak against Russians, the best of her career
As for Azarenka's record against Sharapova in particular, they are tied at 2-2, although it was Azarenka who won their last match, in Stanford final last year. Who will win the title is not easily predictable, but the final promises big fight and powerful game. Read more »
German Andrea Petkovic came to the semifinal against struggling Maria Sharapova with the confidence of upsets over world No.1 Caroline Wozniacki in the fourth round and sixth seed Jelena Jankovic in the quarterfinals, but in the second and third sets the Russian showed the form that brought her so many titles and number one ranking to win the match 3-6 6-0 6-2.
Petkovic was dominant in the first set and it looked as if we were in for another Petko Dance. However, the match turned into a one-sided affair, to Sharapova's advantage. The Russian won 11 straight games, building a 5-0 lead in the third set, and Petkovic’s inspiring performance at the Sony Ericsson Open had a rather flat end. And this amazing result for Sharapova came despite her grueling 3-6 7-6(6) 7-6(5) win in the previous round against Alexandra Dulgheru, and an ankle injury she suffered then.
All in all, Sharapova forced a perfect revenge for her shockingly easy 6-2 6-3 loss to Petkovic at the 2011 Australian Open.
World No.23 Petkovic will crack the Top 20 when the new rankings are released on Monday, while the 13-ranked Sharapova is ensured a spot in the Top 10 again.
Even though Sharapova played the Sony Ericsson Open final in 2005 and 2006, she will try to win her first title at the tournament, either against Vera Zvonareva or 2009 champion Victoria Azarenka.
Just as promised a few moments ago when I announced the birthday celebration week, here's the first contest and your chance to win valuable and beautiful women's tennis apparel worn by tennis stars such as Daniela Hantuchova, Ana Ivanovic and Maria Sharapova.
Keller Sports, a German company which has a wide selection of the best brands in women’s tennis apparel and equipment, gladly agreed to give me my top choice of tennis outfits. So here's what I picked for you guys:
- adidas Adizero tank and skort – not only that it's worn by beautiful tennis stars Ana Ivanovic and Daniela Hantuchova, the outfit is simply amazing, from top to bottom, and I'm really excited to be able to give it to one of you! Specifications: Adidas W Adizero Skort SS11 (tag inside says it's a German/EU 38, and it's 73 cm around the waist with a length of 23 cm) and the Adidas W Adizero Tank SS11 (tag inside says it's a German/EU 2XS, and it is 74 cm across the ribs).
- Nike Maria Sharapova Oz Open Ace dress – how can I not include the dress worn by the fashion queen of tennis? Not only is the dress made by a top sports manufacturer, it's worn by a tennis champion who also happens to have an outstanding sense of style. Specifications: Size S, which is a German/EU 36.
There will be one winner of the contest and if you are the lucky one you will choose either the ensemble of adidas Adizero tank and skort or Nike Maria Sharapova Oz Open Ace dress.
HOW TO ENTER – there are 2 steps, pretty simple:
Step 1: In the comments below, answer the following question: Which WTA player is giving the most justice to her apparel sponsor? Just write your opinion, there is no right or wrong answer. Please provide your valid email address, so that I can contact you if you win. Also, write your real name, or the one you're using on Facebook, just so that I could identify you in Step 2 of the contest.
Step 2: On the wall of Women's Tennis Fans Facebook group, write which of the two tennis outfits you'd like to receive if you win the contest.
If you complete both the steps, you will become eligible to win the contest. Of those of you who qualify, I will randomly pick one winner.
The contest starts right now and entries are open until Sunday, April 3rd, 1 p.m. CET. Do join and tell your friends as well!
If you have any questions or uncertainties about the rules of the contest, feel free to ask me. My goal is that as many of you successfully complete all the steps and qualify to win the prize. (photos courtesy of Keller Sports and Tidalist)
Update: This contest is closed now. Entries are not being accepted any more.
Maria Sharapova is playing the Sony Ericsson Open for the first time in three years, and her opening round was successful, both in terms of her result and fashion-wise.
The 16th-seeded Russian, two-time finalist at the event, cruised past Croatian wildcard Petra Martic 6-3 6-2 in the second round. Also, the tennis fashion icon used the high-profile tournament to debut the Nike Maria Sharapova Cross Court Statement Dress ($110). Nike has switched from orange and gray tones to blue combined with gold – actually, the official colors of this dress are "chlorine blue, copa and bronze" (copa?). Read more »
Player parties provide a perfect venue for players to get in touch with their glamorous side (if they have one) and the blue red carpet on Tuesday night at the Paris Theater in Miami was one of the best such occasions.
Let's start with my favorites. Russian Anna Kournikova simply knows what to wear and how to work it, while her countrywoman Vera Zvonareva looks very pretty in a romantic purple dress.
Although I've been in the mood for floral prints lately, Anastasia Plavyuchenkova's dress is too much for my taste. Maria Sharapova is still faithful to her vintage-oriented style. Read more »