Scott Dunlop: Sharapova’s Dilemna

Sharapova signs a $70M 8-year deal with Nike.

While tennis’ stars don’t get paid as much as golf pros Tiger Woods, they certainly get a lot of value for their talent and celebrity. If companies are paying tennis stars this much, they probably believe that tennis is as strong as ever in the public’s awareness. Just ask Maria . . .

http://tennisexpressblog.blogspot.com/2010/01/sharapova-signs-70-million-deal-with.html

However, watching her play yesterday it is clear that she is not playing champion level tennis on court.

Her confidence in her physical ability to serve and hit big shots and her nervous impatience with herself does not bode well with the physicality now required in the majors. Her match lasted almost 3 1/2 hours…and it was she who caved. Perhaps we have another Kournikova developing…which is not a negative, simply a reality. I wonder if Nike cares?

A deeper dive into second serve statistics

The two most widely reported second serve statistics in professional tennis are the number of double faults a player hit, and their second serve winning percentage. If we’re trying to understand the effectiveness of a particular player’s second serve, relying only on those statistics has significant drawbacks. Article by Michal Kokta.

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