had been several years since I went to a professional tennis
match. The last time I went, Stefan Edberg was still playing.
the spur of the moment, I took the long drive out to Amagansett,
Long Island yesterday, to wach the Delaware Smash take on
the New York Hamptons. And even though it took me 2 hours
to drive out there, I still got there plenty early. The
place was nearly empty. I bought my $30 Lodge ticket and
looked around for a friend that never showed. Then I started
to browse around the Amagansett East Side Tennis Club.
I went to the patio to relax. And low and behold a couple
of tennis players started milling around. And then out of
the blue, comes Maria Sharapova in a white t-shirt, red
shorts and baby blue Nike sneakers. Then she disapperared
for a few minutes. I went out to my car to get my Sharpie
magic marker, just in case she signs autographs. So I go
back to the patio and wait.
she she comes again. With all the terrible publicity about
tennis fans recently, I was worried about making sure I
approached Maria in the right way, and not alarming or startling
her. I was probably about 15 feet away from her when I politely
asked her if she could sign something for me. She smiled
and said something. I was nervous. So I can't really remember
what she said. But I assume it was "yes". And when Maria
smiled, she had the aura of a movie star! In fact, when
I saw her yesterday by the patio walking towards me, this
Russian reminded me of a typical Florida or California girl
with a tan!
hoped to get Maria to sign an autograph for a good friend
of mine in Vancouver. WTA World knows her as Sharky (Sue).
So I had printed up a couple photos of Maria from the internet,
just in case I ran into her. I had the photos in a manila
folder. And I showed her the first one. She was very nice
and seemed interested in the photos! So she signed a couple.
Then to my astonishment, Maria asked me if she could keep
one of the photos! I told her that was my favorite photo
of her. But she wanted it. So how could I say nyet to her?
I couldn't. Then I remembered to ask Maria to personalize
an autograph for Sue (Sharky). And she did. "To Sue, Best
Wishes, Maria Sharapova". But I was a little flustered at
her wanting one of the photos, causing my train of thought
to be de-railed! So I forgot to ask her to personalize an
autograph for me! LOL! But not Sue! Then while Maria was
on her way to the practice court about 100 yards away, she
asked me where I got the photo. I told her Kournikovadotcom.com.
The beautiful photo Maria took is located at www.kournikovadotcom.com/mtp-pages/...rapova-029.htmlWhile
Maria was signing, I asked her how she was doing. She said
fine. But I could tell she was very tired. She nearly fell
into me walking on the lumpy gravel! And Maria played like
she was tired. She showed flashes of brilliance and devastaing
shotmaking ability! But the fatigue kicked in. Maria, who
plays for the Delaware Smash, lost alot of tough games to
Katarina Srebotnik of the New York Hamptons. Maria was just
in London for the Wimbledon Girls final on sunday July 7th.
Then she flew to delaware to play the WTT opener for the
Delaware Smash on July 9th. Then she was playing in Hartford
on July 10th. And Amagansett, Long island on July 11th.
It's no wonder Maria is so tired. That schedule would even
be tough for Superman! I hope Maria can get a couple of
days off very soon. I only hope she stays injury free!
I took some photos of Maria practicing and playing, too.
And one of Patrick McEnroe as well. But I'm a stiff with
a Camera. Especially this Samsung EX! camera. It seems complicated.
I only hope I got a few good photos.
atmosphere at World Team Tennis is alot of fun. And noisey,
a day an age of ego maniacal self centered athletes, it
was an absolute pleasure meeting Maria Sharapova. Maria
took the time to make me feel special! She was gracious
glad I took the time to go out to Amagansett. This was probably
the only time I'll get to see or Maria in a low key setting.
I doubt she will play WTT next year. And I don't think there
are any Challengers in the New York area that Maria will
Maria went to warm up, I didn't want to follow her. So I
climbed up the bleachers and started talking to a man I
thought was a New York Hamptons or WTT. It turns out he
was Maria Sharapova's IMG agent, Max Eisenbud. He was very
nice. And to my surprise we had about an hour long conversation.
reads WTA World and knows who the cat and Sharky are! He
remembers a couple of threads about Maria Sharapova, her
citizenship and the USTA. If i recall correctly I started
those threads! Max said he thinks Maria will remain a Russian
here are a few other tidbits of information Max gave me.
The big scoop which no one is supposed to know about, is
that Maria will take a Wild Card at the tournamnent in japan,
shortly after the U.S. Open.
Maria will be done with the juniors after the junior U.S.
Maria will not play the Ladies Kremlin Cup this year because
she is not ready to play the big girls indoors.
Max thought Maria Kirilenko was a fighter and a great shotmaker.
He said she could be a great player someday.
He said Maria went to the Wimbledon's Champions Ball, even
thouhgt she was beaten in the final. But there was no dancing
at the Ball! I thought that was a tradition!
He also seemed unsure when I asked him about Maria playing
on the Russian Fed Cup team in the future. But he seemed
more positive about Maria wanting to play on the Russian
Tennis Olympic team. But I doubt she would be put on the
Olympic team if she doesn't play Fed Cup for Russia.
If Maria loses early at a tournament, she doesn't get to
do magazine interviews and the like. And I agree with that.
She has to think about the loss. And she shouldn't be rewarded
for it. That was a mistake IMG and Octagon made with Anna
Kournikova. She would lose a match a go talk to Fashion
magazines! That was reported on ESPN's Sport Century profile
of Anna Kournikova. I'm glad that IMG makes Maria think
about an early round loss by not rewarding her with magazine
interviews and photo shoots. There is a time and a place
for everything. Including photo shoots and magazine interviews
and articles. But the time and place is not right after
enjoyed meeting Max Eisenbud and talking with him for a
long time. He called me a good fan of Maria's, too!
Maria's father Yuri joined us on the bleachers. Then Maria
joined us, too. And she was in her Delaware Smash outfit.
A white top and a black skirt. She sat at the bottom of
the bleachers, and would occasionally look up at us. I thanked
her for signing and showed her the Maria Sharapova post
card Max had given me. She seemd tired to me. And it showed
in her play. But there are other days ahead for Maria Sharapova.
And alot of great days, too!
though she was tired, Maria served a powerful up the tee
serve reminiscent of Venus Williams! Maria really climed
all over that serve!
Major League Baseball, the late Ted Williams of the Boston
Red Sox, was known as the "Splendid Splinter", beacause
he was a great hitter and he was very slender. Well, the
sports world has a new "Splendid Splinter"! And her name
is Maria Sharapova. Like Ted Williams when he played, Maria
is a great hitter and very slender! And when Maria puts
on another 15 pounds and gets her legs under her, women's
tennis better watch out!