…As the US Open rolls around again this year, Maria will be hoping to improve her performance on the blue courts. She had her best showing last year, racing through to the semifinals before losing in three sets to eventual champion Kim Clijsters. When asked to assess her performance, Maria said she had to improve her physical conditioning and adjust to her two-inch growth spurt. One year later, she seems to have put in the extra training time, looking more fit and moving better. Aside from her fourth-round exit at this year’s French Open, she has gotten to the semifinal or better in each of the tournaments she’s entered, and she’s likely to repeat that feat at the US Open.
That is, if the draw is kind and she doesn’t have to face a Williams sister in the early rounds….
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