When Maria Sharapova of Russia and Shahar Peer of Israel took to Wimbledon’s famed centre court to do first round battle in the ladies’ singles competition, Sharapova led Peer 6- 0 in their head to head meetings. Within one hour and five minutes, Sharapova had easily increased this lead to 7-0.
Sharapova, a little like Serena Williams, plays herself into matches and tournaments. That is, the longer the match goes on and the further she goes into the draw, the better she generally performs. Under the closed roof of the centre cour today, Sharapova did just that. From dropping her opening game and handing Peer an advantage point on her own serve for a 2-0 lead, Sharapova regrouped and made the best of her superior play against the hapless Peer, who struggled against the power of the Russian from the second game of the first set until the end of the match. Serving far too many double faults, Peer was in for a 6-2 6-0 drubbing. Truth be told, Sharapova was way below her best, with a plethora of first serves into the bottom of the net and sprayed forehands way out of court, but her class and pedigree prevailed in the end, reminding us that the best players in the world almost always find a way to win, even when not on top form.