took 80 minutes. That is it. They say 'there's something about Maria', and Miss
Sharapova found that intangible quality which saw her sweep past Sabine Lisicki
despite there being seemingly nothing between the two players in terms of
held aloft the Venus Rosewater Dish as a glamorous teenager back in 2004 and,
while the designer handbag which rather inappropriately carries her kit on to
court remains, it is a significantly more mature player that wields it.
Russian is much fancied, and for good reason. Since adding US and Australian
Open victories to her Grand Slam trophy cabinet, Sharapova's star has dwindled
due to form, fitness, and fame (the third 'f' less cited by her representatives
as the prominent reason it really is).
her early and startling spurt of success, the fifth seed is only recently
healthy again after shoulder surgery - a set-back less easily shrugged off than
you speak to Sharapova, you fast realise that her thus far elusive dream in
life along with a second crown at SW19 is to be a 'star in a reasonably priced
car' on Top Gear given her extensive and rather contrived motoring analogies.
would have loved for it not to have taken this long but I'm not complaining,
it's the road that you take," she said.
road is not always straight. There are always a lot of zigzags. A lot of the
time you feel like it's a dead end.
have to turn around and have a few other options. The navigation is not always
correct," she added.
worked really hard to reach this stage but I'm not saying this is the end of
the road. I want to keep going."
stalled her proverbial car at least three times at the start of her semi-final
with Sabine Lisicki today, but she eventually kicked into gear and accelerated
past the German in emphatic fashion.
Russian looks in very fine fettle (her forehand, in particular, looks
particularly imperious) and appears to have come to grips with her game as it
more importantly, Sharapova (besides the absurd and unnecessary grunting,
moaning and squealing) has managed to find an emotional state which she can
keep fairly level and settled amid the travails of Grand Slam tennis.
is no doubt that the fifth seed is the overwhelming favourite to win the
women's title at Wimbledon on Saturday afternoon and, unless Petra Kvitova can
stage a stunning upset, the Russian's resurgence will be capped on the biggest
reassuringly, Sharapova concluded that she does not yet already have her hands
on the Venus Rosewater Dish: "I still feel like the tournament is not yet
over - I still have a few more girls left." Indeed.
RIDICULOUS PR STRATEGY OF THE DAY: Premier Inn are 'getting
behind' Britain's Andy Murray by offering anyone sharing the world number
four's name and staying in Scotland a free hotel room for a night. The catch?
You have to stay in a Premier Inn with Lenny Henry shouting at you.
TENNIS-TASTIC VIDEO OF THE DAY: Check out this animation
using only string and a hefty dose of craziness to relive the magical moment
when Andy Murray unfurled 'that shot' earlier in the tournament.
QUIRKY WIMBLEDON-BASED GAME OF
THE DAY: You pitch
opponents against each other and click 'serve' to see who wins in the social
media stakes. There are stats for volume and sentiment and influence.
WIMBLEWATCH! (courtesy of @brandwatch)
TWEET OF THE DAY: "What is Sabine
Lisicki doing today??" (Boris Becker
- besides sounding rather creepy in his direct, proposal-sounding question -
rather ruins his 'expect' TV status with such confusion.)
SHOT OF THE DAY: A lady gesticulates wildly after Andy Murray swipes her pen and rather brazenly makes off with it (insert an 'allegedly' somewhere).