All year Maria Sharapova has been at the top of her game but it took a dominant performance in the Wimbledon quarter-finals to convince the punters.
Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka have been the standout players on the WTA Tour this year and both players confirmed their place in the Wimbledon semi-finals on Tuesday.
However it’s the Russian world number six rather than the Belorussian world number four that dominated the Wimbledon betting with punters able to back Sharapova at 11/10 to win Wimbledon.
Since bursting on to the scene in 2002 as the pin-up of women’s tennis, Sharapova’s tennis career has disappointed somewhat despite her haul of three grand slam titles.
Twice Sharapova has claimed the top spot in the world rankings but following her ascension to the top the American-based Russian has failed to establish herself as a dominant force in world tennis.
Now 24, Sharapova has proved she is back to her best with consecutive semi-final appearances in grand slam tournaments and in an age where women’s tennis is crying out for a star, Sharapova has another chance to really establish herself as one of the greats.
A Wimbledon victory is not a foregone conclusion with the likes of Azarenka, Petra Kvitova and Sabine Lisicki still left in the draw but Sharapova has a huge chance of claiming her fourth grand slam title.
Lisicki shouldn’t be underestimated in their semi-final tomorrow but Sharapova is a 4/11 chance to progress and as she is yet to drop a set this week, it’s understandable why she is that short.
Sharapova has spoken over the past two weeks about her renewed desire for tennis and how she is putting the celebrity lifestyle behind her to concentrate on becoming the best.
With all respect to Caroline Wozniacki, the world number one doesn’t have the same media draw as Sharapova and with the Williams sisters and Kim Clijsters struggling with injuries and form, this is Sharapova’s chance to really make her mark on tennis and you can guarantee she is determined to do so.