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New Russian tennis star

Maria Sharapova is in Wimbledon Final
This season Russian female tennis players have had many victories in prestigious tournaments. After the victories by Anastasia Myskina and Elena Dementieva, 17-year-old Maria Sharapova won the semi-final over American Lindsei Devenport  - 2:6,7:6, 6:1.

After the game Sharapova was overwhelmed with joy. “I knew that Devenport had won Wimbledon, but this time the rain assisted me. To feel confident I needed some time to concentrate, and finally I succeeded. I am in the final – this is incredible! I have no words to express my feelings, I’ll go to the cloakroom and cry now!”, said Maria Sharapova.

These two tennis players never had a game against each other until the semi-final on July 1, and most experts thought that the US player would win. However, this time American dream did not come true.

After the successful performance of the Russian tennis player, the Western press started writing that tennis had obtained a new star having champion ambitions and global plans. The young Russian player lives in Florida and plays in Wimbledon only for the second time (in 2003 she was in quarter-final). By the way, no Russian tennis player was in Wimbledon since 1997. This year Sharapova also took part in Rolan Garros tournament, but she lost the quarter-final to Argentinian player Paola Suares.

The Russian girl told about her purposes when she was a child, “I want to be the first tennis rocket of the world. Now I know which way can lead me to the top in tennis, and I will do my best to make this happen”. Indeed, Maria has all the traits which can be necessary for achieving her goals in sport. Competing with juniors, she made not only experts on tennis, but ordinary spectators speak about herself. Blonde, beautiful, talented…When somebody calls Sharapova “the second Kurnikova” she only shrugs as she prefers to express herself at the tennis courts, not at the parties.

This time the Russian girl had to go through tough competition. The champion of Wimbledon-1999, the finalist of Wimbledon-2000 and semi-finalist of Wimbledon-2001, 28-year-old Deveport has participated on grass courts 11 times, since 1993, and has reached semi-final four times. At Wimbledon-2004 Devenport set a personal record – she lost no set in 5 games in a row, in this way she achieved the ration of the won and lost games in this tournament as 42:9. On her way to the semi-final Devenport encountered the most serious resistance in the fourth game from Russian player Vera Zvonareva - 6:4, 6:4. Meanwhile, Sharapova felt more confident after winning the tournament in Birmingham which also took place on the yard court. However, Sharapova’s way to the semi-final was harder: in 1/16 of the final Sharapova won American Emmy Frezer 6:4, 7:5 (previously this American player moved Russian Anstasia Myskina out of the tournament), in the quarter-final Sharapova had a dramatical game with Japanese Aya Sugiyama - 5:7, 7:5, 6:1.

Her semi-final game was interrupted by rain several times. First, the two players had to leave the court after two servings. At the beginning of the second set the rain started again after Devenport succeeded in making a break on Sharapova’s serving, and the American player was winning 2:1 and received the right to serve.

However, the rain helped Maria Sharapova. She could use the break in the game in her favor, and after the break she managed to make the count equal - 3:3. Until the end of the game each of the tennis players was doing very well in her servings, and finally, Sharapova surpassed her opponent in the tie-break and won.

In the final set Sharapova was dominating. She managed to do three breaks. When the count was 4:1, Devenport stopped resistance. She missed the ball and moved slowly, she was obviously exhausted. 

Maria Sharapova will try to repeat the success of Anastasia Myskina on the courts of Rolan Gaross tournament. In the final, the Russian girl will play with the winner of the game between Serena Williams and Ameli Moresmo.

Alexandra Geguchadze

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