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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 12:29 AM   #4951
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18majors View Post
darren rovell‏@darrenrovell

Maria Sharapova’s Sugarpova brand sold more than 20,000 bags of its candy in the 1st 3 days.
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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 12:54 AM   #4952
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18majors View Post
darren rovell‏@darrenrovell

Maria Sharapova’s Sugarpova brand sold more than 20,000 bags of its candy in the 1st 3 days.
Yet another win for Maria's management. The promo was done so well.
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oudin is a great player she already beat maria i expect to do the same now
btw whos bolivia smith?
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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 03:46 AM   #4953
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maja12 View Post
I keep wondering what her ethnic roots are... Not that it is important or anything, I just want to know... Curious... In Belarus, in the last census around 8% declared themselves as Russians... In the past there were more. I know that in the Gomel region, where her grandparents used to live, there are Russian communities... The Russian and Belarussian press have never cleared that out.. they keep having "mini wars" with "her fathers grandma said she is Belarussian" "others said this and that" and the usual stuff, I assume you know what I am talking about - each country wants her to be "theirs"... I did a little browsing on the last name Sharapova... It has Siberian origin, and might be even related to Tatars or to trades with them (the word "sharap" still exists in Turkish and means wine)... So who knows... She may ethnically be Russian or Belarussian... In the chat in Stuttgart a fan asked her, why do you say you are Russian when your parents are from Gomel... And she said because she was born in Russia... She feels Russian... I kind of have a feeling that there must be a reason for it...
Pardon for my blabbering... Just wanted to spill out my thoughts...
in Russia it's more important what you feel about your nationality, because almost everyone has roots from different nations. For instance i'm 1/2 Russian , 3/8 Belorussian and 1/8 Latvian At the same time i fell myself 100% Russian

Masha's parents consider themselfs Russian, thus Masha is also Russian
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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 08:39 PM   #4954
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

The title is funny... 'Buck-toothed' Liv Tyler is upstaged by Maria Sharapova in sheer panel dress

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/tvshowbiz...#ixzz24UwrqIpk

EDIT: try to ignore the comments below the article.
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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 09:00 PM   #4955
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2


Much as I like Liv, even when she was in LoTR she was never relevant. Can't believe she has so many bitter stans.
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Old Aug 24th, 2012, 09:24 PM   #4956
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by 18majors View Post
darren rovell‏@darrenrovell

Maria Sharapova’s Sugarpova brand sold more than 20,000 bags of its candy in the 1st 3 days.
Like a boss.



I am so contributing to the sales in September. Already tracked down and bookmarked the store's address.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 08:35 PM   #4957
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/08/f.../#.UDk11NbtvwZ
Fan Club: Maria Sharapova, Part One
Steve TignorSaturday, August 25, 2012
Quote:
In this edition of the Fan Club, I talk with Rob H. from Washington, D.C., about the appeal of Maria Sharapova, perhaps the most famous under-appreciated player in tennis history.

*****

Rob,

I know you're a real fan, because you told me you thought of driving up from D.C. to meet Maria at her Sugarpova launch in New York. That’s pretty dedicated in my book. I see Gawker has ripped her new line of candy, but I have to say I like the name. I kind of wish she had called herself Maria Sugarpova from the beginning.

Maria is a curious case to me when it comes to fans and fan love. She's always had plenty of sponsorships, and been as high profile as any tennis player, but I used to wonder how many fans of the sport really liked her, or liked to watch her play. I'm still not sure, but the Internet has revealed to me a more passionate following than I would have expected. Have you always been a fan? Do you remember when you first saw her play?

The crucial factor for many, of course, is The Shriek. I do wish she would stop, but I can deal with it after a few minutes of adjustment. There's even something perversely admirable about the way she ignores everyone’s opinion about it and just keeps at it. Otherwise, I do count myself as a fan, and my respect for her has grown over the years as she has persisted, without needing the fame or the money, in her quest to return to the top of the sport.

From the start, though, she was always a striking player. I first saw her play in the 2002 Wimbledon junior girls final, which she lost to Vera Dushevina. I left the snoozer Hewitt-Nalbandian men’s final to catch a few games of this girl we had heard so much about at Bollettieri's. In those days, she didn't shriek as often as she hummed when she hit the ball. It was a long, vicious hum, and I laughed in disbelief when I first heard it—I really did think, “Is this a joke? Does she do that on every shot?” Yes, she did. And she was no joke.

Overall, seeing Maria then was similar to seeing Rafa when he was a teenager: You knew they were going to be forces to be reckoned with.

*****

Steve,

On one hand, Sugarpova is kind of an absurd concept. On the other, it’s no more absurd than athletes being used in McDonald’s ads. The candy business seems to make Maria happy, so I just view it as good practice for her for after retirement when she has to take the initiative in building her brand.

I’m actually close in age to Maria, so I definitely wasn’t aware of her as early as you were. I don’t remember watching much tennis when I was young other than the occasional Grand Slam finals that would be on network TV. That changed in 2003 when I was in high school and, having some free time in the summer, watched Federer win Wimbledon. I was an instant fan and when the next summer rolled around, tuned in to see it happen again. So, the first time I saw Maria play was an early round of Wimbledon 2004. Like Federer, I became a fan right away, even if the reasons I appreciate their games couldn’t be more different. My new fandom paid off right away at that tournament, obviously, and I have been cheering for her ever since. Because of those two players, I am a knowledgeable tennis fan that can have these conversations.

I think you’re right on the money when it comes to the strange phenomenon of Maria's fans. I would have assumed, watching her on TV in 2004, that there were millions of people around the world that were also in awe of the teenager hitting absolute bombs for winners from every part of Centre Court. It’s insane how accurate her ground strokes are, given the small amount of margin she hits them with, and given the pace. But, like you know, that doesn’t translate into “true” fans of the sport liking her game for some reason.

So you’ve got this player who instantly becomes a mega-celebrity (as far as female athletes go, anyway) with tons of endorsements, but no real identifiable fan base. On the other hand, she has more Facebook fans than any other female tennis player. So it’s probably not a bad guess that it's mostly “casual” fans that make up her fan base. But you’re also right that there appears to be some seriously dedicated fans out there, if comments on Internet websites are any indication.

I think the passionate part of the fan base has grown since the shoulder surgery in 2008. The comments on this website reflect that there are still people who dislike her because they never liked her image or personality back from 2004-2008. She is easily the most openly derided player on TENNIS.com if you only look at comments that were made due to disliking the player (as opposed to comments that were made due to LIKING a player's rival—basically, if you discount Nadal-Federer wars, she’s the most criticized).

But in the last four years, the number of people defending her has really grown, and even some of us who were here all along have started gaining new respect for her. Seems pretty similar to Hillary Clinton to me—as First Lady and N.Y. senator, people saw her as a cold, calculated politician. 2008 comes around, and she’s locked in a primary battle with Barack Obama, experiences some adversity, and she starts to get an image as a fighter and resilient competitor. The process also humanizes her. Ice Queen becomes the underdog, underdog finds success again, and a person has to seriously have a grudge against the underdog to dislike her at this point. Same thing happened for Maria after the bad losses post-surgery.

As far as grunting goes, I wish she would stop just so that people would stop hating her for it. But it’s obviously not going to happen. It doesn't bother me, personally, and I actually find it endearing at this point for the same reason you stated—because she ignores the constant talk about it and makes sure the focus is on her tennis and competitive spirit.
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Old Aug 25th, 2012, 09:11 PM   #4958
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

An interview with: MARIA SHARAPOVA

Saturday, August 25, 2012

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.



Q. Can you talk about the whole Olympic experience and what Olympic stadium, as a flag bearer, what it was like?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was a once‑in‑a‑lifetime opportunity for me. You know, I grew up watching so much of the Olympics on television and just dreaming to one day ‑‑ I had already started playing tennis. Tennis wasn't so big in Russia back then, but I had hoped that one day I'd be participating in it. I mean, I never dreamed that I would be carrying the flag for my country, so that was, you know, just a very pleasant surprise that to get that honor. I was the first female. It meant a lot. Been supporting my country for many years. It was just a really proud moment, and it was a really hectic week. We played so much tennis. So I think now it's actually nice to look back, because every day they would ask how the experience is. I think we were just so focused on what we wanted to do and what we wanted to achieve and being a part of the whole Olympic hoopla. It's been nice to step back and think how amazing it was.

Q. You haven't played a match since the Olympics. How are you feeling health‑wise now?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I feel really good. You know, I went into Montreal and, you know, was supposed to play but I got a stomach bug and just decided to give it a rest. I think it was a sign my body just needed to slow down. It was a lot of travel, a lot of playing. Had a hectic summer. So, you know, decided to shut it down until here, because we still have a lot to play towards the end of the year. But it's been good. I have been training for a few weeks now. I got here a little early. Yeah.

Q. Are you at the point where you don't feel like you need a lot of matches going into big tournaments?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, but I also feel like I know with experience sometimes, I mean, obviously it's an individual choice and it depends on what has helped you before. I know that if I feel healthy and I have enough practice, I'm okay. I don't feel like I need to play three tournaments in a row in order to be ready for the US Open. Like I said, I played a lot of tennis this year. Sometimes it's more important for the body to feel fresh, and the mind as well. Obviously you never know if that's going to pay off or not, but you learn from experience. That's helped me before, and it's trying to make the right choices in certain moments of the year.

Q. Your fiancée, is he playing overseas?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: He is.

Q. Does he want to get back into the NBA?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, he's back in Turkey for another year.

Q. He's not coming back to the NBA?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not this year. He's already back there training.

Q. He was here with the New Jersey Nets?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, he did well when he was here. I did too. I was close to the city most of the time. Took the ferry over, so that was nice.

Q. When you think about schedule management, is this something you learned from your own experience or have you learned from players like Federer and how they've managed their careers and their durability?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I think it's a personal feeling. I mean, maybe in the beginning of your career it's something that you can maybe take from other players, but I have learned a lot over the years of, I mean, what's worked and not worked. It's also about seeing the results also what you feel. It's not just saying, Oh, I need a break or I need a tournament. It's really about looking back and seeing how you felt going into an event, how you did, how your preparation was. I mean, you learn a lot by being on the tour for many years.

Q. How did you come up with the name Sugapova, and can you tell us a little bit about the company?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I can't take credit for coming up with the name. I was having a meeting with my manager who had met with Jeff Rubin, who is a pretty influential in the candy business, and they had started talking about it. I mean, originally it was something that I was going to be a part of. Then I thought it's not something I wanted to be a part of. I really wanted to own this. I mean, I guess I can say it started because I have been a part of so many little things in my career, been a part of collaborations and collections. It came to a point where I really wanted to invest my own money into something, make all the final decisions. Even though I was always ‑‑ you know, I was influential in the things I did. You know, I never just put my name on something. But at the end of the day, I wanted to be 100% owned by me. That's how the name came about. Then I thought it was really funny and young and full of energy. And then I put candy together, and God knows how much candy I eat and how much food I eat. Yeah, it was just something that I wanted to start from scratch. It took two years since the idea came out. 18 months; feels like two years.

Q. Is that a logo necklace you're wearing?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It is actually the ad agency gave that to me as a present. They're the ones that came out with the lips and all the different logos.

Q. Kim Clijsters was in here a moment ago. Can you tell us what she meant to the tour?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, well, I mean, what's there to say about Kim? There's so many great things besides the fact she's been an incredible tennis player and champion and someone that went away from the sport to commit herself to being a mother and a good wife and then coming back and being a professional and winning a few more Grand Slams. You know, she was always so focused and determined, one of the best athletes I think the game saw in women's tennis. The way she moved around the court. Also just a really great person, very humble. At the end of the day, just a down‑to‑earth person that, you know, I think reflected on life in a very good way. Always wanted to be a good mother and family was important to her and had really good values, so I really respect that in her.

Q. Is she one of the most all‑around popular players on the tour?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Definitely. Absolutely.

Q. How does the quest to being world No. 1 rank for you as compared to winning titles?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's a different feeling, because, you know, the ranking system comes out every week on every Monday, whereas winning ‑‑ you mean Grand Slams and No. 1? Winning a Grand Slams, it's a moment. You get a match point. You know, it's that, you actually have to not ‑‑ of course you have to work for both, but in the Grand Slam you have to work every single point to get to the last point and you get to celebrate that moment of victory; whereas No. 1, of course, it's that number that everyone, you know, from the junior days to when you're working up, that's the number you really want to get to. You want to stay there. It's probably the toughest thing. So it's a very different feeling, but both are incredible achievements.

Q. Is everything this year now gravy because you won Roland Garros? You come in here and say, didn't win the Olympics, didn't win Wimbledon, clean the slate and now I have the US Open and I have huge goals here?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I have had an incredible year so far. Obviously winning the French was very meaningful to me. It was just one that I really wanted to get and to be part of my career whenever I ended. And, yeah, being there first time as an Olympian, going out there and getting silver, that was a great moment. Of course this is the last big one. This is kind of where you have to put all your energy. Even though it's not the last tournament of the year, you feel like this is where you can put all the work and effort into this one big event. I mean, it's very meaningful. It's big. It's New York City. There's no reason why I shouldn't perform my best here.

Q. What kind of products does Sugarpova make? Do you compete with Nestle's?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, it's mostly gummy bears and gumballs, which are sold out now. My friend wanted to put a consumer complaint. I was like, You can't do that. That's obnoxious. You're my friend. (Smiling.) And one licorice. It's only 12 flavors to begin with. Hopefully we'll expand. I mean, I do hope it goes into chocolate and caramels and all that, but for my body I really hope not. (Laughter.)

Q. Are you looking to be in every 7/11 in America?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Not yet. I'm very selective in where I want to see this. Our first meeting with Henri Bendel's, we came in, we pitched it, and the owner was so into it and was just so passionate. He said, We're doing this before the US Open. We're carrying it. When they put their first order in I almost fell off my bed. When you work on something you treat as your own little baby, and when someone comes in like Henry Bendels and just believes in it and selling it in sugar stores around the world, in 60 stores. It's not international yet. Next year it will be. It's all a process, but it's been successful from the start so far. It's only been out a week. We'll see. We'll see where it goes.

Q. Moving off candy for a second, which major is the toughest to win?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Which major in general? Well, they're so different. You can't compare them. I think for everyone it's different. Depends what they like to play on and what surface suits them.

Q. In terms of atmosphere and distractions.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, as a junior, when I came to New York I always thought this would be the toughest to win. I mean, its energy is amazing, but it's almost ‑‑ in the beginning it's certainly overwhelming. But my experience has helped me a lot, because from feeling like I was very small in a very huge city with so much energy, I really embraced it over the years. I came into New York and I absolutely love it with all its craziness and the fans and the late‑night matches. You get used to it. Everyone is different. French Open was always the toughest one for me to win. I mean, physically it was always challenging, but I never gave up with that one.

Q. Could you see retiring at 29 like Kim is?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Why not? (Smiling.) I mean, I'm not going to put a number on it, but four years from now? I mean, I do want to be a mother someday, too.

Q. When you experience a loss, what is the recovery process like for you?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: As a 25 year old? Maybe a little easier than a 29 year old. You mean in terms of match recovery?

Q. Just emotional recovery.

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, emotional recovery. I guess when you're young, every year in your career is sort of different, because in a way sitting here as a 25 year old, I mean, I can say that my experience is priceless. The good, bad, the injuries, the losses, the wins, everything you can look back on and feel like you've experienced certain things. It helps. It guides you in a way. When you're young, everything is new, every experience, every loss. Even when you lose matches it's tough to say, Well, that's bad for me, because I can't tell you how many matches I lost where I felt like I learned so much more than when I won. It's very different. Tough to compare.

Q. How much of Serena playing so great on the grass, does she come in here as the favorite virtually unbeatable or back on hard courts does it change things?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Actually, she gained a tremendous amount of confidence at Wimbledon. You know, she had a tough few three‑set matches, I believe. She got through those. When she got to the Olympics ‑ I mean, with every match you saw some of her matches ‑ she just improved. I think she took that confidence and she played just really great physical tennis; served extremely well. Who knows? Obviously of course she's the favorite because she won those two big events back to back. But everybody is still in the draw here. It starts from the first round on, and that's why everybody is here.

Q. When Kim was in here a little while ago, she said in her mind Serena is the greatest player ever. What are your thoughts on that?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, she's certainly proven that. I mean, I didn't get to be a part of the generation with Steffi and Monica, so it's tough. I mean, I played Monica a couple of times, but, I mean, I wish ‑‑ part of me wishes I would have competed against Steffi. It's really tough to say. I mean, it's a different generation. I mean, she's such a great athlete out on the court. I mean, she's won how many Grand Slams already? An amazing accomplishment, singles and doubles. You know, still has the motivation to do so. But I think it's really difficult to compare all these different players, because everyone has a different style of games and as well have achieved incredible amounts of achievements. It's tough to say.

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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 09:09 AM   #4959
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Quote:
Originally Posted by Maja12 View Post
http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/08/f.../#.UDk11NbtvwZ
Fan Club: Maria Sharapova, Part One
Steve TignorSaturday, August 25, 2012
http://www.tennis.com/news/2012/08/f.../#.UDncP8HN800
Fan Club: Maria Sharapova, Part Two
Steve Tignor Sunday, August 26, 2012

Quite interesting read.
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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 09:29 AM   #4960
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

"But I think that gender clearly plays a role. Juan Martin del Potro (far less successful than Maria, far less consistent with his atomic bomb forehand) is revered for hitting winners at will, while Maria is a “ball basher.” Bjorn Borg was admired for his calm during the storm, the Scandinavian glacier water in his veins, while Maria is a robot whose controlling father must have repressed her human emotions. John McEnroe was...John McEnroe, while Serena is catsigated every time she raises her voice. A WTA set with more than two breaks is a sign that the women’s tour is in chaos and populated by nervous choke artists who lack serves, while the same thing in an ATP set is a sign that the men’s tour is in a golden age of depth and competitive spirit. Sharapova finally wins another Grand Slam after surgery, and is accused of being fake because she’s fallen to her knees in the same way after all four, while Rafa biting all of his trophies shows he’s just a playful kid at heart..."
I LOVE this part.
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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 09:32 AM   #4961
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

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darren rovell‏@darrenrovell

Maria Sharapova’s Sugarpova brand sold more than 20,000 bags of its candy in the 1st 3 days.
Wow .
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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 11:23 AM   #4962
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Hasn't Rafa fallen down on his back after every slam win also? YES I THINK HE HAS. *I should 100% know being a fan*
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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 11:54 AM   #4963
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

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Hasn't Rafa fallen down on his back after every slam win also? YES I THINK HE HAS. *I should 100% know being a fan*

Did he fall on his back after destroying Fed that one year in Paris? I think his celebration was a little more subdued, but I could be wrong...


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He did not.
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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 11:59 AM   #4964
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

2008 French Open yes just checked. Still 9 times out of 10 when Maria only has 4 slams in comparison is unfair for people to call her fake. There would be even more reason for her to celebrate like she did this year considering all she went through with her injury. Haters be hatin and unattractive INSIDE.
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Old Aug 26th, 2012, 01:02 PM   #4965
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

Reading Tignor's articles left bitter-sweet taste in my mouth. I didn't know what he thought / felt about MS before (haven't been really paying attention to his blog too often) and I wasn't browsing for any tennis related articles until 2008. To me it is normal for someone not to like a certain player, but to be against him/her as a journalist because he/she shrieks... Don't know what to think... But I have matured enough over the years, I did realize that in most cases tennis journalists are not strictly objective and that they more often than not express their opinion, point of view, likes and dislikes... And one is left to agree with what is written or disagree.
I had no idea that people accused Maria of being "fake" after she fell on the knees after winning Roland Garros... I seriously do not see why would they accuse her of such action, because every emotion shown in that tournament was more than genuine... And I agree with Rob, with the things he wrote in part 2 of the column... Is it double-standards because she is a woman?? Because, let's be honest, athelets celebrate their victories in their way... Roger has had more or less simmilar celebration over the years, also Rafa, Novak with his roaring, Tsonga's match celebrations, Kim's GS clebrations, Vika's falling on the knees, Ana's...
Was really Maria accussed/seen as fake?? And... if she was, then I must emphasize how much more I put my hats off to her, because she subtly made fun of those accussations in the Fallon show, when she said: "I was looking at the pictures and it is always the same, I was like - is this posing??" One can understand it like - oh, Maria is joking of herself, but it can be also understood in the different way - Maria is ridiculing the reactions of those who saw her as fake... And if you look back, she has done quite a few times the same -- one might see as her making fun of herself, when in fact she is a bit cynical... I do think that Maria has some dose of sarcasm and cynism in her... Hence the roll of the eyes in pressers...
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