Maria Sharapova Goes Down Under

So I was reading the news about Maria Sharapova in the last couple of weeks. She split with her longtime coach Michael Joyce, who guided Sharapova to two Grand Slam titles and the world number one position on the WTA Tour. Joyce coached Sharapova for six and a half years.

Sharapova is currently in Melbourne with new coach Thomas Hogstedt.

“He sticks to his job,” she said. “He’s out there to try to make me better in different aspects of the game. I think that his experience can definitely help me, a new voice. I worked with Michael and my dad for so many years, I think it’s just really positive to bring someone in.”

In more Sharapova news she got engaged to NBA star Sasha Vujacic of the New Jersey Nets and played her first match as the fiancee just last night in Melbourne versus Thai veteran Tamarine Tanasugarn. She looked nervous throughout the match and admitted later that she was suffered from stage fright, just a little. She won the match anyway in straight sets with 6-1, 6-3.

“Last year I played first match on centre and I lost,” admitted the No 14 seed, the richest sportswoman in the world. “So I was like: ‘I don’t want this to happen again this year’.

“The first game definitely wasn’t great, and I didn’t serve good at all during the match. But, you know, otherwise she was close to being 4-1 in the second set, and I was able to win 6-1, 6-3. So that’s the positive within my game. I started playing better as the match went on. And I can only improve in the second one.”

Maria Sharapova has many dedicated followers accross the globe but this follower turned into more than just any follower.  Jamie McOnie of sports poof show “A crowd goes wild” stalked Sharapova at several press conferences. First in New Zealand at the ASB Classic and then yesterday after the first round match at the Australian Open.

Sharapova recognized him on that occasion and said: “You’re the guy from New Zealand, huh? Oh, God, you’re stalking me!”

“It’s not stalking if you love someone,” McOnie replied jokingly, to which Sharapova offered: “It can be slightly, trust me.”

McOnie made his latest appearance Monday following Sharapova’s first-round win over Thailand’s Tamarine Tanasugarn, where he unveiled a sign reading: “I am not a stalker.”

“I don’t know why you’re here today,” Sharapova said. “That shouldn’t have happened. You even have a sign. Oh, goodness, that’s wrong.”

Source Fox Sports

Some shots of yesterday’s match of Maria Sharapova:

[nggallery id=92]