BEIJING, China – What’s a Maria Sharapova news conference lately without some questions about candy and grunting?
Sharapova launched her own candy line before the US Open called “Sugarpova.”
After defeating Sorana Cirstea 6-2, 6-2 on Wednesday at the China Open, the Russian was asked about being in business with her agent Max Eisenbud.
Q. Can you talk about how fun it is to be in business with your agent Max, which is actually sitting over there?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: How fun it is?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, goodness. It’s fun. It’s also stressful sometimes. I get mad at him a lot of times. He gets mad at me. It’s a good thing we don’t see each other too often, just the right amount of time. It’s like the perfect relationship. (Laughter.)
But, yeah, we have worked together for many years, and, you know, we kind of know what to expect from each other. We both work really hard at what we do. You know, it’s been a fun partnership.
Q. If you want to give a brief introduction about Sugarpova to the Chinese fans, which flavor you will want them to know? Which flavor you like most?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, my flavors have changed because I had a favorite, and now it’s called Quirky. But I think I ate so much of it that I needed to change and I needed a new favorite.
So right now I would say my favorite is Spooky because it’s Halloween soon. They’re like spiders.
I told my agent yesterday, I said, I’m craving, you know ‑ no offense to the Chinese food ‑ but I’m really craving some Sugarpova yesterday. He told me if I had a good match he’d give me one, so he gave me my favorite after the match.
Over the summer the WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) announced a “sport-wide plan” to keep future players from grunting and will institute rule changes and educate players about it. Sharapova, a notoriously loud grunter, supports the WTA.
Q. Recently you came out against grunting. That’s a pretty big part of your game. How would you make…
MARIA SHARAPOVA: What have I done?
Q. You recently came out against grunting.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh. I thought you said I did karate. (Laughter.)
Q. Well, do you do karate?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, that’s why I was really surprised.
Q. So if the WTA does start enforcing a grunt limit, how would you make that change in your game?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, they’re not enforcing a grunt limit to the active players. They’re enforcing it towards the younger generation that is starting tennis and educating the academies and coaches around the world, you know, to teach them certain breathing methods and techniques that will eventually become their habits and not something that you take away or change in a player that’s been playing a certain way for many years.
Tennis Panorama News is in Beijing this week covering the China Open. Follow the updates on Twitter @TennisNewsTPN.