Sharapova plays down talk of 'Glam Slam' final
Russian pin-up Maria Sharapova says the public should appreciate the tennis she and Serbia's Ana Ivanovic play in Saturday's Australian Open final, rather than concentrating on their looks.sports Updated: Jan 25, 2008 13:43 IST
Russian pin-up Maria Sharapova says the public should appreciate the tennis she and Serbia's Ana Ivanovic play in Saturday's Australian Open final, rather than concentrating on their looks.
With the decider of the season-opening Grand Slam being billed as a glamour match-up between the blonde fifth seed and brunette Ivanovic, Sharapova urged fans to remember they were tennis players.
"I think the reason why we got to the final was because of our tennis and our performance," she said.
"I think that's something people should be looking at."
Sharapova, 20, has earned tens of millions of dollars from endorsements since her breakthrough Grand Slam win at Wimbledon in 2004 and Ivanovic will be in the same league if she can clinch the Australian Open title.
The Russian acknowledged her profile brought new fans to tennis and welcomed the prospect of Ivanovic sharing the limelight.
"It's great to see new names coming up that are doing well, that are bringing excitement and whatever it is, glamour, to the sport," she said.
"Even to bring fans that are not just tennis fans, but other fans into the sport, is wonderful."
Sharapova added that she would prepare for Saturday's final by relaxing at her hotel room with a film, opting for a comedy to relieve the tension ahead of the big match.
"The day before my match is usually movie night," the Russian said, revealing she might also tune in to watch some of the men's tennis semi-final.
"We select a comedy and watch it. So I don't know. I might stop it and watch a few games, then watch my movie, yeah."
And she brushed off questions about her on-court grunting, which was measured at 75 decibels at this year's tournament, louder than a power drill.
"I've done it for so long. I've done it since I was four years old," she said. "That's just the way I am."