Sharapova to burn dad's 'assassin' hoodie after Open win | sports | Hindustan Times
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Sharapova to burn dad's 'assassin' hoodie after Open win

sports Updated: Jan 26, 2008 15:36 IST

Newly-crowned Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova said she would celebrate her win on Saturday by burning her father Yuri's infamous "assassin" camouflage hooded top.

Sharapov caused outrage at the season-opening Grand Slam when he made a throat-slitting gesture after his daughter's quarter-final win over world number one Justine Henin as he wore the army-print sweatshirt courtside.

He escaped punishment for his actions after tennis authorities accepted his explanation that it was an in-joke between father and daughter that had been misinterpreted.

However, the Australian press said it was "gutter behaviour" that cemented his place in the club of infamous tennis parents, while even Sharapova said her father "looks like an assassin" in the top.

She said after downing Serbian fourth seed Ana Ivanovic in the final that she was going to get rid of the controversial garment once and for all.

"I'm actually going to burn his jacket," she said.

"I'm burning that thing, he didn't hide it yet."

The 20-year-old, who rushed to embrace her father after the win, said she had not been upset when he was criticised.

"No, because the whole thing was an inside joke and I'm just taking care of business out in the court, that's my number one priority," she said.

Former Grand Slam champion Tracy Austin, writing in The Australian, called Sharapov "a poor role model".

"That was a highly inappropriate gesture and was totally unnecessary. It's bad manners and has no place in sport," said the American.

"It's one thing to celebrate in a positive way, but it's another to taunt a world-class champion like Henin.