Maria Sharapova, wearing a glamorous tuxedo ensemble and dangling Tiffany earrings, was bounced 6-2, 6-4 in the second round by 154th-ranked Russian compatriot and Boca Raton resident Alla Kudryavtseva, who was making just her second appearance at the All England Club.
“I guess it wasn’t my day,”
said Sharapova, the 2004 champion.
“She just did everything better than I did. She played much better, she hit the ball harder. She served and returned better. On grass, those are two important elements.
“Once you don’t have a lot on the ball then your opponent can take advantage of that. Obviously, she had nothing to lose. She went for her shots. I was just pretty tentative.
“I can’t really be happy about anything today.”
Kudryavtseva, 20, pulled off the stunner with power and poise. She didn't have a fancy outfit. In fact, it looked like her two sponsor patches were glued on her shirt at the last minute. But she played like she belonged on the court with the sport's most-publicized player.
She was just as bold in the post-match interview. Asked why it felt so good to beat Sharapova, she smiled, and said, "Can I be honest? I don't like her outfit."
She also said she doesn't know Sharapova personally because "she's not very talkative or outgoing."
After sealing the match with a cross-court winner, Kudryavtseva pumped her fist and did a little leap on the court. She was two points from beating Venus Williams in the first round of Wimbledon last year, but lost, so this victory was especially sweet.
"Do I believe I won? Yes, I believe," said Kudryavtseva, who has been training in Delray Beach with coach Christian Zahalka since last December. "I was so close to beating Venus last year, and that was my thought coming into this match with Maria. I missed one chance and didn't want to miss another. For sure this is the biggest win of my career."
Asked if she thought Miss Sharapova would take offence at her comments, she said: "I'm not afraid she's going to catch me in the dressing room and say, "You know what, you said you don't like my outfit. You were wrong."
"I will say, sorry, that's just my opinion."
"I don't really care what she thinks."
(source Red Orbit, photo/AP Photo)