Thu, 3 Jan, 2019
Maria Sharapova wins over fans with incredible act of sportsmanship
Maria Sharapova has won over tennis fans with her acts of compassion in her latest match in the Shenzhen Open.
Her opponent, 17-year-old teenager Wang Xinyu, had to retire in the second set of the match due to cramps.
With Sharapova leading in the second set 5-2 after recovering from a shaky start, with Xinyu leading their first set with 7-6 (4), the game was brought to a halt when Wang was forced to quit.
Wang, after winning two Grand Slam titles last year, was a wildcard entry into the Shenzhen event. The teenager was devastated at her injuries as she made her way off the court in tears.
Sharapova saw her opponents tears and came over to offer some words of encouragement.
— WTA Insider (@WTA_insider) January 2, 2019
“It’s not the way either of us wants to finish the match, win or lose,” Sharapova explained afterwards.
”I thought (Wang) was absolutely the dominant player in this match, and had all the opportunities to win it, even though I felt like I was finding my stride and getting a little bit closer to the line and being more aggressive.
“She has all the tools to play well, and I think she showcased that, and it’s obviously a very unfortunate way to end the match,” Sharapova said.
With Sharapova advancing to the quarter finals, all of her matches might not end this way as she faces top-seeded Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus.
Sabalenka dominated her opponent, Ekaterina Alexandrova, in straights sets with a 6-3 6-3 win.