Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Archie's Picks: Sharapova-Li

Archie's picking Masha to roll to her first Grand Slam final since 2008. Me, I'm not so sure.

As many of you already know, I've enlisted the help of Archie (pictured above) to help me handicap the rest of the French Open. He's done quite well so far, and he wants you all to know that he is enjoying this very much. He was even considering attending Wimbledon in person until I told them that dogs aren't allowed. He took it like a champ, so don't worry about him.

See Archie's Sharapova-Petkovic pick Here
See Archies Azarenka-Li pick Here
See Archie's Nadal-Soderling pick Here
See Archie's Schiavone-Bartoli pick Here

Anyway, let's get to his pick for the Sharapova-Li Match.

Sharapova-Li: H2H

Archie's Pick: Sharapova
Why: She's a dog person.

My Pick: Li
Why: Both players are running down dreams, as Sharapova is gunning to become the 10th women to complete the career Grand Slam and Li is trying to become the first Chinese player to reach the Roland Garros final.

This tilt should prove to be a clinic in dictating play with bold ground strokes, and the player who can take control of the rallies earlier will have the better shot to win more points. Then comes the issue of executing under pressure. Both players have serious weapons on both sides, but which one of them will hit their spots more often?

Maria has the distinct advantage in the mental toughness and experience departments, as she has proven herself time and time again to be a ferocious competitor.

But Sharapova is not a tactical genius, and because of this I think that Li -- who likes pace -- might enjoy the fact that her opponent only hits the ball two ways, hard and harder. If Li anticipates well and doesn't get tight, she'll have chances to hit winners against her slower opponent.

This match promises to be a baseline clinic, in which two of the hardest-hitting women on Tour trade body blows point after point.

In the end it will probably come down to who can produce winners when the match gets tight. I'm picking Li, but only because I have this feeling she's leading a charmed life, while Maria has already lead hers.


  1. So happy you (not) Arch was right! Very well put closing.

  2. all in all, i'd say archie did pretty well. also, you're analyses have been great. kudos, fan child.


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