Can Venus Williams beat Maria Sharapova?

mastermind5991 Roar Guru

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    Tonight, Venus Williams faces the biggest test of her comeback to tennis when she faces a red-hot World No. 2 Maria Sharapova in the third round of the Australian Open.

    Venus Williams endured a wretched 2012, dropping to a low of World No. 134 in the rankings and failing to get past the second round of any of the Grand Slams. This included a first round loss at Wimbledon to Elena Vesnina.

    This was all put down to a mystery disease, later diagnosed as Sjogren’s Syndrome, which she has suffered since the 2011 US Open.

    But winning a title in Luxembourg and climbing back into the World’s Top 25 has given hope to fans of the elder Williams sister. Perhaps she can draw inspiration from Serena Williams, who suffered her own misfortune 12 months before Venus’ illness led to her slide down the rankings.

    Serena Williams dropped to World No. 175 after Wimbledon in 2011, when she lost in the fourth round to Marion Bartoli. But she enjoyed a very strong US Open series which culminated in reaching the final of the US Open, which she lost to Samantha Stosur.

    She had defeated top four players Victoria Azarenka and then-World No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki en route.

    Now, Venus Williams is in a similar position to emulate that run, though she has the No. 2 seed Sharapova to deal with.

    Venus has won three of their seven matches, but two of them were at the Grand Slams – at Wimbledon in 2005 and 2007. Maria Sharapova, however, won their most recent meeting in Rome last year.

    Her start to 2013 has been very impressive, currently undefeated in five matches this year. She showed good form at the Hopman Cup but we couldn’t get to see her in the final of that tournament after John Isner’s injury gave way.

    Then she won her first match at the Australian Open very easily, winning 6-1, 6-0 without having to raise a sweat.

    I believe Venus Williams can win tonight. She can draw inspiration from Serena Williams’ comeback and cause an upset by knocking off the 2008 champion and two-time runner-up Maria Sharapova. If she can do that, she can go a long way towards reaching the final in Melbourne, something she hasn’t done in a decade.

    Interestingly, if she were to reach the final, it could be against her younger sister, Serena, and it would come on the 10-year anniversary of the completion of the first “Serena Slam” – when the current World No. 3 completed a Career Grand Slam at just 20 years of age.

    Can Venus Williams beat Maria Sharapova tonight, let alone win a game against her, something both of Sharapova’s first two opponents couldn’t do?

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    The Crowd Says (14)

    • Roar Rookie

      January 18th 2013 @ 11:09am
      josh said | January 18th 2013 @ 11:09am | ! Report

      Not if she plays the same as she did in her Second Round match.

    • January 18th 2013 @ 11:40am
      Winston said | January 18th 2013 @ 11:40am | ! Report

      Venus is 10 times the player Maria ever has been and she will win. She serves faster, has better forehand and backhand, moves much faster, has far superior volleys, even slices better. Only thing she can’t do better is scream louder on court.

      • January 18th 2013 @ 8:51pm
        Adrian said | January 18th 2013 @ 8:51pm | ! Report

        Well…. I think all that was just wishful thinking, right?

      • Roar Guru

        January 19th 2013 @ 12:37am
        peeeko said | January 19th 2013 @ 12:37am | ! Report

        ten times?

    • January 18th 2013 @ 11:50am
      hannah said | January 18th 2013 @ 11:50am | ! Report

      Venus can win tonight but she needs to go out with an agressive mentality. There is history here Venus was able to overcome sharapova a year after she defeated serena in the 2004 wimbledon final. Indeed every time Venus has faced Sharapova in a grandslam she has won. Though; on both those ocassions they were on grass which is a much more more agressive surface. I think Venus is a wonderful champion but she must go out there with no nerves. Sharapova believes she can beat Venus but she is intimidated by both Williams Sisters and this is evident by her look of satisfaction when she pulls of a win against either one. If we see a fighting, Venus Williams throughout then she will win. It is a slower surface so Venus has to be agressive out here, making use of her net play will indeed help her significantly, Sharapova will certainly try and make as much use of coming to the net as possible. I believe Venus will be looking to thrash Sharapova to show that Williams invented the power game, and she imitated it. Believe Venus will win in 2 sets: 6:4 6:4.

      • January 18th 2013 @ 8:59pm
        Adrian said | January 18th 2013 @ 8:59pm | ! Report

        2004?
        What are you talking about? No net play whatsoever in this game, except for a couple points here and there… it seems we can have a dream final, the classic beauty VS brawn 😉

    • January 18th 2013 @ 5:32pm
      James said | January 18th 2013 @ 5:32pm | ! Report

      I think Maria can do it but she has to serve good she can’t be swinging double faults…Maria has been playing really good at the end of last year beating vika and getting a couple of games against Serena it’s going to be great match I hope it sharapovas way were in for a real screamer!

    • Roar Rookie

      January 18th 2013 @ 8:48pm
      Martyn50 said | January 18th 2013 @ 8:48pm | ! Report

      Maria in 2 sets easierly

    • January 18th 2013 @ 9:10pm
      Brenjack said | January 18th 2013 @ 9:10pm | ! Report

      Well, we know the answer to the question that Venus did not beat Maria. Actually Maria did a beatdown however Venus helped her with missing a lot of easy shots. I love Venus but not sure she is able to compete with the top players. Maria makes players look like students when she is on fire, but it’s a different story with Serena. It is totally opposite. Serena makes Maria the student. I honestly don’t think should Maria and Serena meet in the finals that Maria will beat Serena. Serena will take revenge for beating Venus. She will make Maria pay big time. Maria is a better player than Venus at this stage in Venus’s career but until she can beat Serena, she will most likely have to hope that someone takes Serena out before she can win another grand slam. Serena is not playing around, it will be very difficult for anyone to beat her at this point. The only way she will lose now is due to injury or if someone beats her in an early round. She has too much match play and confidence. Serena is GOAT. I think Azarenka will put up big fight against Serena but will end up falling short again. Azarenka, Maria and Serena are all on a mission but Serena will be the one to accomplish it should she stay healthy. As for Venus, maybe she should consider doubles only for a while. I love her dearly but just being honest. She doesn’t have the strength to compete on a regular basis with the top players as of yet or maybe never again. At any rate, she is a class act. Go Serena!

      • Roar Guru

        January 19th 2013 @ 12:40am
        peeeko said | January 19th 2013 @ 12:40am | ! Report

        are you related to them? GOAT – ever heard of Navratilova, Margaret Court and Steffi Graf?

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