Home' Trinidad and Tobago Guardian : June 23rd 2013 Contents A61
June 23, 2013 www.guardian.co.tt Sunday Guardian
took a shot at Serena Williams
---and it was nowhere near a ten-
At her pre-Wimbledon news
conference yesterday, Sharapova
was asked about a recent Rolling
Stone article where the author
surmised that critical comments
directed at an unnamed player by
Williams were referring to Shara-
"At the end of the day, we have
a tremendous amount of respect
for what we do on the court. I just
think she should be talking about
her accomplishments, her achieve-
ments, rather than everything else
that's just getting attention and
controversy," Sharapova said.
"If she wants to talk about
something personal, maybe she
should talk about her relationship
and her boyfriend that was mar-
ried and is getting a divorce and
has kids. Talk about other things,
but not draw attention to other
things. She has so much in her
life, many positives, and I think
that's what it should be about."
Williams has been linked to
coach Patrick Mouratoglou, but
neither has confirmed their rela-
tionship extends beyond the court.
When Mouratoglou was asked
about the topic at the French Open
this month, he smiled and replied:
"Sorry. I don't understand the
According to the Rolling Stone
story, posted online on Tuesday,
Williams spoke about what the
reporter described as "a top-five
player who is now in love."
Williams is quoted as saying:
"She begins every interview with
I'm so happy. I'm so lucky'---it's
so boring. She's still not going to
be invited to the cool parties. And,
hey, if she wants to be with the
guy with a black heart, go for it."
That is followed by these words
in parentheses from the author of
the piece, Stephen Rodrick: "An
educated guess is she's talking
about Sharapova, who is now dat-
ing Grigor Dimitrov, one of Ser-
ena's rumoured exes."
Sharapova beat Williams in the
2004 Wimbledon final. But
Williams has won their past 13
matches in a row, including in the
French Open final two weeks ago.
At Wimbledon, which begins
on Monday, Williams is the
defending champion and seeded
No 1. Sharapova is seeded No 3.
They only could face each other
in the final.
Williams is scheduled to hold
a pre-tournament news conference
at Wimbledon today.
The Rolling Stone article, which
was about 4,000 words, drew
widespread attention mostly for
a one-paragraph reference to the
Steubenville, Ohio, rape case.
Williams is quoted as saying the
teenage victim "shouldn't have
put herself in that position."
Two players from the
Steubenville high school American
football team were convicted in
March of raping a drunken 16-
year-old girl; one of the boys was
ordered to serve an additional year
for photographing the girl naked.
A day after the story was posted,
Williams issued a statement in
which she said she was "reaching
out to the girl's family to let her
know that I am deeply sorry for
what was written."
Williams' statement continued:
"What was written---what I sup-
posedly said---is insensitive and
hurtful, and I by no means would
say or insinuate that she was at
all to blame."
Said Sharapova yesterday: "I
was definitely sad to hear what
she had to say about the whole
Lopez of Spain won his third career
title when he beat second-seeded
Gilles Simon 7-6 (2), 6-7 (5), 6-0 in
the Eastbourne final yesterday, days
before they meet again in the first
round at Wimbledon.
Meanwhile, Elena Vesnina of Russia
won her second WTA title when she
defeated American qualifier Jamie
Hampton 6-2, 6-1 in their final.
Lopez won just four of 21 break points
and Simon one of six. After an exchange
of breaks midway through the first set,
the Spaniard failed to win a set point
at 5-4 before taking the tiebreaker.
In the second set it was Simon who
held a set point at 5-4 ahead of winning
the tiebreaker, before Lopez responded
by dominating the final set.
"It's definitely a good feeling to win
the week before Wimbledon," Lopez
said. "Conditions were so tough but
we did our best. Hopefully at Wim-
bledon we can play a better match."
Vesnina, who lost the first six finals
of her career, has now won her last two
after also winning in Hobart in January.
Hampton was playing in her first career
final after upsetting No. 4-ranked
Agnieszka Radwanska and No. 9-ranked
The windy conditions made it dif-
ficult for players to produce their best
tennis, and Vesnina received a time
violation warning early in the second
set as she waited to serve.
"It was really difficult to play today,
honestly. I think we both were strug-
gling with this wind," Vesnina said. "I
was just trying to play aggressive and
deep so Jamie didn't have the time to
attack. So that was my game plan."
Hampton was the first qualifier to
reach a WTA final this year, and was
attempting to become the first qualifier
to win a title since Russia's Ekaterina
Makarova at Eastbourne in 2010.
She will be ranked on Monday as the
third American behind Serena Williams
and Sloane Stephens. Hampton and
Stephens will clash in the first round
Mahut of France won his first ATP
title at the age of 31, playing impec-
cable serve-and-volley tennis to beat
second-seeded Stanislas Wawrinka
6-3, 6-4 in the Topshelf Open final
Earlier, Simona Halep won her sec-
ond title in two weeks, beating Kirsten
Flipkens 6-4, 6-2 in a rain-interrupted
Mahut's and Wawrinka's match also
was disrupted by rain and Mahut---
appearing in his first final since 2007
---dealt with the interruptions better.
The Frenchman's victory on grass
capped a comeback from a career-
threatening knee injury that sidelined
him for months.
"Six months ago, I was not sure I
could play again on the tour and here
I am with the trophy," he said.
"I am really proud with the way I
played all week," added Mahut, who
came through qualifying.
Mahut had to break Wawrinka only
twice for the victory, once to take a
5-3 lead in the first set---with Wawrin-
ka serving a double fault to gift the
Frenchman the game---and again in
the third game of the second set.
Mahut's serve was broken only once
all week and he will head to Wimble-
don full of confidence for his opening
match against Jan Hajek. Wawrinka
faces Lleyton Hewitt in the first round.
In the women's final, Halep was a
break up at 5-4 when rain forced a
75-minute break, but she came back
strong, holding serve to take the set.
She then twice broke Flipkens' serve
to race to 3-0 before the Belgian broke
But Flipkens had no answer to the
powerful groundstrokes from Halep,
who easily won her first grass-court
Halep clinched her first WTA title
last week in the inaugural Nurnberger
Versicherungscup, a clay event. She
heads to Wimbledon where she faces
Olga Govortsova in the first round.
verbal shot Serena
Lopez, Vesnina win
Mahut victorious at Rosmalen
Serena Williams of the US poses with the trophy for photographers after
defeating Russia's Maria Sharapova during the Women's final match of the
French Open tennis tournament at the Roland Garros stadium, June 8, in
Paris. Williams won 6-4, 6-4. AP PHOTO
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