The 2013 Australian Open is midway through its second week and the eight Men’s and Women’s semifinalists have all spent varied amounts of time on court. Maria Sharapova has looked particularly dominant in her first 5 matches and will seek to keep that streak alive in tonight’s semi against the charming and dangerous Li Na.
But let’s examine just how dominant (and just how lucrative) Sharapova has been so far:
R128 Sharapova def. Puchkova 6-0, 6-0 (55 minutes)
R64 Sharapova def. Doi 6-0, 6-0 (47 minutes)
R32 Sharapova def. V Williams 6-1, 6-3 (79 minutes)
R16 Sharapova def. Flipkens 6-1, 6-0 (78 minutes)
QF Sharapova def. Makarova 6-2, 6-2 (66 minutes)
Maria has lost 9 games in 5 matches and no sets. She has yet to play a match that lasted an hour and twenty minutes or exceeded a 6-3 scoreline. In fact, with just over 5 hours on court and a cool $500,000 already in the bank, Sharapova is earning an astonishing $1539 for every minute she’s on court.
To put that in context, a typical 9-5 job with that sort of rate would pay $3.7 million every week. Lucky for the Happy Slam, Maria isn’t logging that sort of time. And her efficient play has been as impressive as her minute/dollar ratio.
Through five matches Maria is +21 winners to unforced errors. Her serve percentage is erratic, but she’s winning 80% of first serve points and 54% of second. Azarenka, the defending champion and Marai’s kryptonite of late, will dominate any weak serving, so there is certainly cause for alarm.
With Serena Williams out, Sharapova has a huge opportunity not only to reclaim the world #1 ranking (she only needs to reach the finals) but earn her 5th career Major. While her numbers have been encouraging, I’m sure she would not mind Sloan Stephens scoring another huge upset on her behalf.