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Last Updated: Saturday, 3 July, 2004, 16:51 GMT 17:51 UK
This girl wants to play tennis
Virginia Wade
Virginia Wade
Former Wimbledon women's champion

Maria Sharapova
This was an incredibly mature performance for a 17-year-old
Even if Maria Sharapova had not gone on to win the title, it would have been amazing for her just to have won the first set playing the way she did.

When she was 4-2 down in the second set and it was 40-all, I wondered if that would be the moment she choked.

But she didn't choke at all.

The thing I really like about Maria is she is so focused on court - this girl wants to play tennis.

At 17 she does not want to deal with all that other stuff - it will be a shame to see her having to protect herself from the paparazzi...

But she seems to have her head screwed on to her shoulders.

She really dominated points - everything we said she would have to watch out for from Serena, she did to Serena.

Maria Sharapova
Just think of the sacrifices her family have made to get her here
She hit behind Serena, hit short angles and down the line - it was a really mature performance. She hit two lobs that were just absolute instinct.

Maria was on a real high, really in the zone, for the whole match.

Yes, there is still room for improvement in her game - she did not get all that many first serves, though her second serve was very good.

But her groundstrokes were fantastic, she moves well, she has great footwork - what else does she have to do? Maybe come to the net a few more times - but that's it.

She is just great fun to watch - and her reaction at winning was so lovely.

Serena on the other hand never really fired, she did not even get angry. It was nice to see her so gracious in defeat.

She will have been shocked by that defeat - maybe it will show her how much she really does want to play tennis and get her back on track so we can enjoy her talent again.

Tracy Austin
Double US Open champion

Maria held up so well to the pressure.

But I knew she had the belief and confidence do take the title as soon as I saw her in the semi-final when she came from a set down

I just think of all those sacrifices her family made.

Her father took her to America when she was seven to go to a tennis school - they only had a bike and he used to cycle there with her on the handlebars.

And now, now she will be recognised everywhere she goes.

She has joined the list of Wimbledon champions.

Virginia Wade and Tracy Austin were speaking to Sue Barker on BBC One at the Wimbledon 2004 Championships.




WATCH AND LISTEN
Interview: Maria Sharapova



Wimbledon women's final highlights





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