'I don't worry about a banana'
Sharapova was asked to address again the apparent signals she received from her father and her hitting partner during matches at the Open, including holding up four fingers or waving a banana.india Updated: Sep 11, 2006 20:15 IST
Surrounded by a dozen people, including three police officers, Maria Sharapova strode the grounds of the US Open on Sunday, doing a champion's duties.
She posed for photographs with her second Grand Slam trophy, met with members of the media to rehash her 6-4, 6-4 victory over Justine Henin-Hardenne in Saturday night's final, and stood in the players' lounge to autograph tennis balls, ticket stubs and other items.
And, much to her chagrin, Sharapova was asked to address again the apparent signals she received from her father and her hitting partner during matches at the Open, including holding up four fingers or waving a banana.
In-match coaching isn't allowed in tennis, but she and her agent offered this explanation: Sharapova focuses so much on the task at hand when she plays that she sometimes forgets to drink as much as she should to stay hydrated - and the hand signals were simply meant as a reminder.
When asked about it after the final, Sharapova deflected the question, saying it wasn't what she wanted to be talking about on a night she earned a major championship.
"I believe, at the end of the day, personally, my life is not about a banana," Sharapova said on Saturday night.
"It's not about what I wear. It's not about the friends that I have. My career right now is about winning a tennis match. And right now, I'm sitting here as a US Open champion, and the last thing I think people need to worry about is a banana.
First Published: Sep 11, 2006 20:13 IST