Maria Sharapova wins easily but booed by crowd
Paris, May 26 (IANS): Defending champion Maria Sharapova made it easy through to the second round of women's singles at Roland Garros but was booed after refusing to do a post-match interview inside Court Philippe Chatrier here.
The World No.2 tennis player on Monday beat Kaia Kanepi of Estonia 6-2, 6-4 in just an hour and 25 minutes on the court where she twice claimed the French Open in 2012 and 2014. Having made only four unforced errors, the 28-year-old won three games in a row to wrap up the first set, reports Xinhua.
Kanepi buried a backhand into the net to hand Sharapova a break in the fourth game of the second, but broke back, making use of the Russian's unforced errors. The 187 cm tall Russian then wasted a match point before wrapping up the contest in straight sets on a double fault from the Estonian.
Boos from the crowd, however, jammed the stadium after the emcee announced that Sharapova "preferred not to get interviewed since her voice is broken" while the second seed was packing to leave. Famous for her grunt, Sharapova, a five-time Major winner who came here with a big clay win in Rome two weeks ago, kept a lower tone in Monday's routine win.
"I got sick a week before the tournament, not right before. So I guess it's a little bit better timing. But it's just the way it is. I'm getting over it and hopefully it will pass by soon. Unless I'm really in my coffin, I'm going to be out there," Sharapova said with laughter.
"Overall, I am just happy I got through and have a day off and I should be better by then."
She didn't think it was harsh to be booed at the end, saying she "totally understands that".
"Everyone usually does post-game interviews and answers a few questions to the crowd. It's absolutely normal. I don't -- I'm not making any excuses or -- but I've got to do what I have to do," she said.
Sharapova, who has collected all four Grand Slam trophies since she claimed her maiden Major victory in 2004 at Wimbledon as a 17-year-old, will face fellow Russian Vitalia Diatchenko in the second round.