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By Chris Oddo | Saturday, April 26, 2014

Maria Sharapova

Each year when spring rolls around, the legend of Maria Sharapova aka Claypova continues to grow. The numbers don't lie: The Russian is no cow on ice.

Maria Sharapova will bid for a Stuttgart three-peat on Sunday against Ana Ivanovic in the final, and to honor the occasion, we'll take a closer look at just how dominant the 27-year-old Russian has become on the clay over the last four seasons.

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Sharapova began the 2011 season with a clay court record of 52-17 (.754), and since then the Russian who famously dubbed herself as a “cow on ice” has gone 51-5 (.911).

Sharapova has gone 39-3 on the surface since the beginning of 2012, but her domination does come with a caveat: The Russian has lost all three confrontations she has had with Serena Williams during this torrid stretch, and she couldn't manage a single set in any of them.

Still, Sharapova is tops among all WTA players when it comes to clay-court winning percentage (a remarkable development, especially considering her pre-2011 winning percentage on clay), and she will bid to move up to fourth on the WTA's active clay-court title list on Sunday when she faces Ana Ivanovic in the Stuttgart final.

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Additonally, Sharapova's 103 career wins on the surface (and counting...) leave her just five behind Nadia Petrova who is tenth on the active list for clay-court wins.

Also of note is the fact that Sharapova has won her last 12 deciding sets on clay. She has not dropped a third set since falling to Justine Henin at Roland Garros in 2010. The Russian has not dropped a decision to a player outside the top 10 on the surface since May of 2011 when she fell to Dominika Cibulkova in Madrid.

WTA's Best Active Clay-Court Winning Percentages

Maria Sharapova




Serena Williams




Venus Williams




Jelena Jankovic




Svetlana Kuznetsova




Most WTA Clay Court Titles

1t. Anabel Medina Garrigues: 10
1t. Serena Williams: 10
3. Venus Williams: 9
4t. Flavia Pennetta: 7
4t. Maria Sharapova: 7

Here's a look at how each of the WTA's top ten has fared on clay since the beginning of 2012. Of note is the giant disparity between the results of Sharapova and Williams and the rest of the top ten:

1. Serena Williams 45-2, 96%
2. Li Na  16-8, 69%
3. Agnieszka Radwanska  18-8, 69%
4. Victoria Azarenka  22-6, 79%
5. Simona Halep  27-12, 69%
6. Petra Kvitova  21-11, 66%
7. Angelique Kerber  22-10, 69%
8. Jelena Jankovic  33-15, 69%
9. Maria Sharapova  39-3, 93%
10. Dominika Cibulkova  19-12, 61%



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