Our stats contributor Omair analysed the women's tennis French Open final between Maria Sharapova and Sara Errani before the match and now he's back with a post-match analysis. As you'll see, Omair's predictions translated into the final!
Maria Sharapova walked onto the court with the determined and focused look on her face, or it would be more appropriate to say the look of a champion. History was calling, and Sharapova was responding, screaming at every point, fist pumping on winning them, striking the ball cleanly and with supreme authority. Sara Errani, on the other hand, seemed nervous when she walked on to the court, which showed in her opening games as well.
Sharapova had two straight-set losses in her last two major final appearances, at Wimbledon last year at the hands of Petra Kvitova, and at Australian Open this year at the hands of Victoria Azarenka, both of whom were first-time Grand Slam finalists. Sharapova made it third time lucky, with history on the line, she was not to be denied by yet another first-time finalist.
Errani was in a dream of her own, having recorded her first wins over Ana Ivanovic, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Angelique Kerber and Sam Stosur, and to add to that having recorded her first ever Top 10 win (in the quarterfinals over Kerber) in 29 tries, and backing it up with another Top 10 win in the semis (against Stosur), making it her first Slam semifinal and then final. She was hoping to complete her dream run by laying her hands on the coveted trophy, however, her opponent had other plans for her.
Sharapova started the match brilliantly, and helped by Errani's nervousness raced out to 4-0, before Errani got herself together to break Sharapova at love and hold her own serve to close the gap to 4-2. Sharapova held her nerve and serve to go up 5-2. Errani saved two set points in her service game before holding to force Sharapova to serve for the set, and serve she did taking the first set 6-3. Second set started in almost identical fashion with Sharapova building a 4-1 lead before Errani broke back to make it 4-2, but Sharapova responded likewise breaking her opponent at 15 to give herself a chance for the championship. The final game was indeed the best one, with Errani saving two match points, one courtesy of Sharapova's long forehand and the other with a perfect drop shot, and Sharapova saving a break point with an incredible cross-court backhand. Sharapova made it third time lucky, and completed her coveted career slam when a backhand from Errani landed into the net.
SARA ERRANI STATS
Errani's serve has never been a force, and with a returner as great as Sharapova, Errani was bound to pay for it. As I had mentioned in the preview that Sharapova would punish Errani's both first and second serve, Sharapova did just that, as is evident from the stats, Errani's first serve winning percentage fell by 15% in comparison to the average of her previous six matches.
MARIA SHARAPOVA STATS Read more »