It only took 32 matches, but Maria Sharapova was the someone who was finally able to exploit the weaknesses in Justine Henin's game. The resurgent Russian sent the world No. 1 packing 6-4, 6-0.
Another Australian Open match. Another bagel.
Maria was in shock after the match, but she ought not to have been. She did everything right except fail to serve out the first set. But she attacked Justine's terrible serve, hit hard, flat and deep in the corners, and came into the forecourt to put away all of Justine's defensive backhand slices. She also moved better than she usually does, and outlasted Justine in the long rallies.
If it sounds anything like the Wimbledon semifinal, the last time Justine suffered a loss on any stage, it was.
I've said it before and I mean it again: on a medium-fast to fast surface, power trumps variety when power is both patient and precise. Which is precisely why I only included the following women in the poll.
Maria will play fellow Bolliteri Academy alumna Jelena Jankovic in the semifinals.