Fabio Fognini’s disqualification, an all-American women’s semi-final, and a champion in Sloane Stephens who six weeks ago was ranked #957, made last week’s US Open memorable, without mentioning the spat between Caroline Wozniacki and Maria Sharapova.
Arguably, the off-court squabble surrounding scheduling between the Dane and the Russian provided that needed soap opera momentum more than anything else. The WTA has been defiant in defence of their scheduling decisions. Also, comments from Sharapova about being in the fourth round, but inquiring as to where Wozniacki was, have added fuel to the fire. The obvious question now is when will this publicity igniting pair take their differences out on the court? This situation mirrors, in a similar way, the furor that surrounded the second round Madrid Open match-up between Bouchard and Sharapova due to a war of words. TV companies will be salivating over a potential match-up between the World #6 and Maria Sharapova.
China Open is the next potential tournament for Wozniacki vs Sharapova showdown
A cursory glance at the planned schedules of these two prominent players draws your attention to the China Open 2017 (October 2nd-8th). Naturally, Sharapova has accepted a wild card for the event. Caroline Wozniacki will go into the tournament as the #3 seed, behind Murguruza and Venus Williams, who also line-up in a strong field.
Given the cordial response to Sharapova’s entry into the China Open from residents of the host country on Twitter, and Wozniacki’s popularity the world over, the rumor mill is already rotating about a potential match-up. Sharapova’s wild card status makes it difficult to predict, at this stage, when said clash could occur. This won’t stop anyone looking forward to the mere possibility of it.
Wozniacki vs Sharapova on-court spat
Alongside verbal game playing–they have met on the tennis courts several times. The record currently stands at 6-4 in the Russian’s favour. However, three of these victories have been on clay and given that this is not Wozniacki’s favored surface, the records would be far closer.
The last encounter was on clay in Madrid 2015, where the Russian won a tight three set match. Before that, it was the 2014 WTA Championships on hard court, where the Dane took the honors in another three set encounter. This is what will be infuriating for tennis purists – when this pair play against each other, their tennis does the talking. Such a contest should sell itself, without the need for an off-court spat.
China calling for Wozniacki vs Sharapova to settle their spat
Whether you are sick to the hind teeth of the cat fighting surrounding Sharapova’s privileged return to tennis or you simply wish to see her return to her conquering best, either way you should be routing for a Wozniacki v Sharapova match up.
Wozniacki seems to have lost her spark on the courts of late. It doesn’t matter whether the match was played on Arthur Ashe, Court 5, or a local park, Ekaterina Makarova would have won that US Open 2017 2nd round match against the Dane, no matter what. A match against Sharapova should re-ignite her tennis fire. A match like this should sell itself. It’s the ultimate collision of styles – Sharapova’s raw power or Wozniacki’s stoic point salvaging by simply getting the ball back in play. This should make for an exciting no-holds-barred contest. After all, Sharapova now has memoirs to sell.