If you watched the opening day of the US Open last night, with #2 Simona Halep vs. “wild card” Maria Sharapova, you saw a Prime Time example of extreme offense vs. incredible defense.
Whether you like the persona that is Maria Sharapova or not (I do)… or if you dislike the screeching on the court or not (I don’t) … you have to appreciate the willingness to crush that ball and go for winners.
While Halep was steady with 15 winners and 14 unforced errors for the match; Maria ballooned her numbers with an incredible 60 winners and 64 unforced errors. And many of those errors came when she was able to convert only 5 of 22 break points (11 of those came in the second set, where she went from leading 1-4, break point to losing the set!).
But in the deciding third set, Sharapova kept swinging away and held on for a huge first-round victory. And, you have to feel empathetic for #2 seeded Halep, having to face the former champion in the first round.
Some Questions …
- Wouldn’t you think it would have been prudent to recognize Sharapova’s potential and given her a 32 seed?
- Which style of play is more likely to succeed in pro play (and in our hacker play)… steady defense or aggressive offense?
- And wouldn’t the organizers have also been smart to “break the rules” after Andy Murray dropped out at the last minute to reconfigure the draw and take Nadal and Federer out of the same half?
- How far can an out-of-shape Sharapova go in the Open?
Know someone who should read this? Send them a link and if you are not on my “new posting alert email list” and want to be (I promise, no other uses of your email address!), just drop me a note at GeorgeWachtel@gmail.com
My Book: if you’d like to get a copy of “Senior Tennis”, just click on the link on the upper right of this web page to go to Amazon.com, look at the list of places under “My Book” on the bar above, or ask me what clubs are carrying it!