Maria Sharapova looking good at Wimbledon

A 6-1, 6-1 victory in tennis is always welcome but when it comes in the quarter-final of a major championship, it is something to behold. The talent of Maria Sharapova has never been in question but injuries have often held the player back from becoming the great that some people predicted she would be. In this match, Sharapova pulled it all together and showed why she is a leading light in the world of female tennis.

Maria had lost her previous two matches against Cibulkova but this was a phenomenal performance from a player who has been improving as the tournament progresses. No sooner do you tip a tennis star for success at Wimbledon than they struggle but there is an expectation that the Russian starlet can go all the way this year.

Sharapova has shattered the Williams dominance before

Sharapova has of course tasted singles success at Wimbledon and in the Williams sister era of dominance, this is not a feat that many female tennis players can claim. In fact, since 2000, only Sharapova and Amelie Mauresmo have broken the Williams stranglehold on the event. Sharapova is the only player outside of the two sisters who have triumphed against a Williams sister in a Wimbledon final but of course, that is not an issue this year.

Sharapova had the most straightforward victory in the women’s quarter finals, with two of the four matches going to three sets.

Azarenka wraps it up late

Victoria Azarenka was the other straight sets winner in the women’s quarter finals, clinching a 6-3, 6-1 triumph in a delayed match. It was nearly 21:30 at Wimbledon before the match was concluded but in the end it was a comfortable victory. As the world’s number 4, Azarenka is the highest ranked women left in the tournament.

Azarenka will face Petra Kvitova, the 8th seed, in the semi-finals after the Czech Republic player defeated Tsvetana Pironkova to reach her second consecutive Wimbledon semi-final. Last years’ experience may provide Pironkova with the edge and nerve to get through this time but she will face a difficult challenge.

The German wildcard player, but former quarter-finalist, Sabine Lisicki battled well against her nerves and the sound of thunder to defeat Marion Bartoli in a tremendous match on Centre Court. The game was played out under the roof but a 6-4, 6-7 (4-7), 6-1 victory was fully deserved and sets up a cracking tie between herself and Sharapova.

If Maria Sharapova wins, the bookies will have taken a beating but there really is a chance that all four contenders could walk away with the women’s singles title at Wimbledon 2011.

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