French Open player apologizes; Sharapova wins
If love means never having to say you’re sorry, what about
Depends which side of the French Open scoreboard you’re on,
Maria Sharapova feels not a shred of remorse about the way she’s
been finishing off opponents quickly – a total of five games lost
through three matches at Roland Garros this year, including a 6-0,
6-0 win in the first round.
The 27th-seeded Mikhail Youzhny of Russia, meanwhile, was on the
wrong end of a shutout set Saturday and decided he needed to
apologize right then and there to the ticket-buyers in the seats at
Court Suzanne Lenglen. Finally having won one game after losing the
first eight against No. 6 David Ferrer of Spain, Youzhny used the
toe of his right shoe to carve a mea culpa in the red clay near the
He etched out ”SORRi!” – stamping the dot atop the lowercase
last letter for emphasis before heading to the sideline for a
”People in the stands may not have noticed, but I think I had
to do this,” Youzhny said after his 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 loss.
”There was a lot of people. That’s why I write `sorry’ –
because I can’t show them a nice game,” he explained. ”The way we
played in the beginning, it was not really interesting for
Ferrer, who said he didn’t see Youzhny’s lettering, was part of
Spain’s 5-0 showing Saturday, led by Rafael Nadal, who continued
his bid for a record seventh French Open title by overpowering
Eduardo Schwank of Argentina 6-1, 6-3, 6-4.
”Now the first week has gone by,” said Nadal, who gets a day
off Sunday, his 26th birthday. ”It’s always the most complicated
week to manage.”
The other Spaniards who moved on were No. 12 Nicolas Almagro,
No. 13 Juan Monaco and No. 20 Marcel Granollers, a five-set winner
against Paul-Henri Mathieu, the Frenchman who edged John Isner in
an 18-16 fifth set in the second round.
The second-seeded Sharapova’s matches haven’t contained a shred
of intrigue so far. Not surprisingly, that’s absolutely OK with
After a 6-2, 6-1 victory over No. 28 Peng Shuai put her in the
fourth round, Sharapova was asked whether any part of her feels bad
for someone paying a lot of money to watch an hour or so of
”The last thing that’s on my mind when I’m going out on court
is thinking about who paid for a ticket and how long they’re going
to watch my match for,” said Sharapova, who is trying to complete
a career Grand Slam by winning her first French Open. ”I mean, I’m
not sure if that’s selfish or not, but my job is to go out on the
court and to try to win. Whether it’s 6-0, 6-0, whether it’s a
tough three-set match, you’re trying to do what you have to
Sharapova’s section of the draw seems to be getting a bit easier
by the hour.
One potential quarterfinal opponent, 13-time major champion
Serena Williams, lost in the first round. Another, former No. 1
Caroline Wozniacki, exited 6-1, 6-7 (3), 6-3 against No. 23 Kaia
Kanepi of Estonia. And a third, No. 25 Julie Goerges of Germany,
was beaten 7-6 (5), 2-6, 6-2 by 88th-ranked Arantxa Rus of the
Wozniacki got into a couple of extended arguments over line
calls with chair umpire Poncho Ayala, including about a second-set
shot by Kanepi that landed near the baseline to earn a service
break for the Estonian.
”How can you sit there and be so arrogant? Have you gone to
school?” Wozniacki said to Ayala, drawing boos from
At her postmatch news conference, Wozniacki said: ”When the
ball is clearly out, I don’t think there should be anything to
argue about. You know, if they cannot see, they should have other
umpires on the lines or (use replay technology) on these courts.
It’s a disgrace that mistakes like this are made.”
Not only are Williams, Wozniacki and Goerges out of the way, but
in the fourth round, Sharapova gets to face 44th-ranked Klara
Zakopalova of the Czech Republic, who eliminated No. 22 Anastasia
Pavlyuchenkova of Russia 6-3, 7-5.
Also in Sharapova’s half of the field, No. 12 Francesca
Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion, was a 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 loser
against Varvara Lepchenko, who joined 19-year-old Sloane Stephens
to give the United States two unseeded women in the fourth round of
a Grand Slam tournament for the first time in 10 years.
”I don’t think it’s the right way to look at things to see
somebody lose and say, `Oh, well, now the draw is open.’ … You
can’t go about playing a Grand Slam like that,” Sharapova said.
”You’ve got to be ready to face your toughest opponents from the
first round, on. And if you’re not ready, then you should probably
not be here.”
For years, she traveled to tournaments with her father. Now he’s
at home in Florida, taking care of Sharapova’s dog, so it’s Mom’s
turn to be on the road.
Dad still likes to offer tennis advice from afar, but Sharapova
isn’t a fan of his texting skills.
”He can’t text. It’s useless. He writes half-Russian,
half-English. The words are all mixed up, misspelled. I just ask
him to call me. And I try to Skype with him, and that’s a nightmare
because he doesn’t know, like, how to answer. It’s horrible,” she
said with a hearty laugh.
”But I talk with him every day, mainly just to find out if my
dog is still alive.”
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