Over the next two weeks, we’re going to be spending time with coaching legend Nick Bollettieri. Today, we asked him about Maria Sharapova, who he’s worked with in the past.
Sharapova, the 2006 U.S. Open champion, has been plauged by a shoulder injury that has been affecting her for over two years now. She missed last year’s U.S. Open as well as this year’s Australian Open, she got torpedoed in the quarters at the French this year and lost in the second round at Wimbledon.
She used to represent the future of the game. With a ranking that is now 31st in the world, we were curious: Is it just the injury? Or are we watching her game spiral into full decline thanks to that shoulder injury?
“The shoulder changed her serving motion,” he said. “When you have a muscle memory of 15 years serving one way and at age 22 you have to make a change in your swing motion, that’s not the easiest thing to do. The shoulder is evidently okay.”
We’ll see if she works her way around tonight. She plays her first Open match in two years when she steps onto Ashe to take on Tsvetana Pironkova at 7 p.m.