BNP Paribas WTA Finals, Singapore
Women’s Semifinal: [CR4] Maria Sharapova (RUS) vs. [CR5] Petra Kvitova (CZE)
Confidence as per the Oxford Dictionary is the belief that you can rely on something/someone. For many athletes of individual sports, their success is directly proportional to their belief in their ability. When something tarnishes that belief, doubt creeps in and erodes that confidence, causing a decline in their overall performance. Every athlete at some point in their career deals with doubt. It can be triggered by injury, illness, or on the surface no apparent cause. Yet, there is always a reason. Sharapova was once a dominant force and she can still overwhelm a large number of players; however, that aura of dominance is no longer as prominent. Shoulder surgery was the cause of her subtle decline in confidence.
I do not recall ever watching a match where Sharapova had such a large lead, yet lost the set to lose the match. So while she may still win tournaments and intimidate many players, not everyone is afraid to confront her determination on the tennis court. Kvitova proved that today. Not known for her speed around the court and sometimes prone to fading mentally, Kvitova dug in her heels and fought off the attempted comeback from Sharapova. I did not expect that it. Sharapova dropped her serve at 5-1 when she served for the set. Nerves, but I figured she would serve out the set on her second attempt. Surprisingly, she was broken twice and was crushed in the tiebreak. That was not the Sharapova that fights back and wins despite the odds. This is the second consecutive time that Kvitova has defeated Sharapova at the WTA Finals. With the 6-3, 7-6(3) victory, Kvitova gets to the Final for the second time with the strong possibility of winning her second WTA Finals trophy. Will Radwanska prevent that by winning her first WTA Finals trophy?