Maria still in love with Wimbledon
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:36
As she reflected on a surprise 6-2 3-6 6-4 second-round defeat to Argentina’s Gisela Dulko, the 2002 champion insisted she would be back next year to try again and revealed a soft side to her nature little seen during her meteoric rise to stardom.
“Just being here is a wonderful accomplishment,” she said. “I’m not lying about it. I had the pleasure of playing on Centre Court again.”
The 22-year-old added: “I didn’t play on it last year. There’s nothing I don’t like about this whole tournament. I enjoy every single minute of it.
“The losses are tough – more here than at any other tournament – but it puts some perspective into your life. It’s all right. I have many more years ahead of me.”
Sharapova is just four tournaments into her comeback following a 10-month lay-off with an injury to her serving shoulder and is still clearly well below her best.
The notoriously-loud grunter made a subdued start, quickly going 3-0 down, and although she put together a seven-game winning sequence to raise the decibel levels and tie the scores, it was Dulko who finished the stronger player.
Sharapova was also given a time violation as she struggled to get on top in the deciding set. “It took me a while to get going,” she admitted. “It’s a little too late to start picking yourself up when you’re down a set and 3-0.
“I had so many easy balls and I just made unforced errors from those. I don’t really know if that’s because I haven’t played. When I’ve had those situations before, those balls would be pieces of cake and they weren’t.
“I’m not gonna take anything away from how she played. She tactically played really smart. For a set and a half she had a lot of variety in her game.”