2012 Wimbledon Preview: Maria Sharapova
Like Roger Federer, Sharapova loves this tournament the best and always makes it a focus of her season—you know she’s going to be ready, and she’s going to want to improve on her runner-up finish from 2011. And like Federer, she could use some help in getting another title here. Sharapova got that help in Paris when Virginie Razzano beat her nemesis, Serena Williams, in the first round. If she gets it again in London, she’ll be very difficult to beat. Her serve has become a weapon again this spring, and she knows, for the first time in four years, that she can win the last match at a major.
Why She’ll Win:
Sharapova reached the final here last year, and she’s a better player now than she was then. She just has to hope she doesn’t face Serena Williams, who she hasn’t beaten in eight years.
Why She Won’t:
Not only has she not beaten Serena in eight years, but Sharapova took two thumpings by Victoria Azarenka early this season. She also hasn’t banished the ill-timed double-fault just yet.
With the confidence she must have after Paris, Sharapova may be the safest bet in the tournament.