Often lost in the glitz and glamour of Maria Sharapova is her competitive fire on the tennis court.
That has taken her to five major titles, and made her one of a handful of tennis players to win each Grand Slam event title at least once. She will turn 28 next month, and if anything, the fire seems to burn stronger now.
Monday night, on the center court of Indian Wells BNP Paribas Open, that fire served her well against a resurgent Victoria Azarenka, the former No. 1 player from Belarus, who spent much of last season inactive and recovering from a foot injury.
Sharapova won, and the 6-4, 6-3 score may have seemed somewhat pedestrian. It wasn't.