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French Open: watch out for Maria Sharapova
A winner of three grand slam titles, Sharapova has never won at Roland Garros.
New Delhi: Former world number one Maria Sharapova is not just about horrific shrieks and irresistible legs on the tennis court after all!
The Russian ace sure does mean business as she heads to the French Open after a clinical performance at the Rome Masters where she outplayed Australia's Samantha Stosur to lift the title.
By stating that her Italian Open triumph was a sign of things to come, a career grand slam will be the one and only thing on Sharapova's mind as she gets ready to conquer Paris.
The withdrawal of the William sisters due to injury will do no harm to the Russian's chances even though Serena and Venus have not been much of a threat at Roland Garros over the years.
Sharapova herself will be looking to set records straight at the French Open, having just one semi final appearance to her name (in 2007) to show for all her efforts.
A winner of three grand slam titles, the Russian has proved to be heads and shoulders above the other glamour dolls in the game who lack the mental resolve be at the top of the ladder
Among her contemporaries, Victoria Azarenka of Belarus and Nicole Vaidisova of the Czech Republic have fallen by the wayside after promising much but delivering little.
Though Azarenka is still among the better players on the tour, her inability to close out matches from seemingly winning positions has exposed her fragile and self destructive temperament.
Sharapova on the other hand has all the weapons apart from the belief to be consistently at the high end of the WTA circuit.
An intimidating serve, formidable ground-strokes and the ability to volley competently went a long way towards her Wimbledon, US Open and Australian Open victories in 2004, 2006 and 2008 respectively.
Even though the Russian has not tasted Grand Slam success for over three years now, the 2011 French Open might be about the wheel turning full circle for Maria Sharapova.