In her final tune-up tournament before the U.S. Open, Maria Sharapova lost to Ana Ivanovic 6-2, 5-7, 7-5 in controversial fashion in the semifinals of the Western & Southern Open on Saturday night.
Sharapova won the second set 7-5 and was serving in the second game of the third set when Ivanovic called for an injury timeout. She had her blood pressure taken during the delay:
Ivanovic said after the match (via SI), “I think I ate something bad today. When my coach was coming out, I kept telling him I don’t feel good, like my stomach is really upset. Then it really build up in the third set and I was not feeling fine.”
Sharapova wasn’t buying the legitimacy of the injury. Serving at 4-3 in the final set, Sharapova appeared to yell, “Check her blood pressure,” at the chair umpire.
Ivanovic went on to win the final set 7-5, advancing to the final where she eventually lost to Serena Williams.
After the match, Sharapova questioned if Ivanovic had anything wrong with her, and said the injury timeout disrupted the match (via Tennis Now):
Reporter: What were your thoughts on the time that she took early in the third set?
Sharapova: I never actually got a clear answer on what it was, but, I mean, I don’t know. Could have been something like an anxiety or something. I’m not really sure what you take blood pressure for. We played a pretty long point afterwards and she seemed to be doing well. Not really sure what was going on there.
Reporter: ESPN has some video of you tapping your shoulder and saying, Check for blood pressure middle of the third set. Were you angry or put off by what she had done?
Sharapova: It was just a strange timing. I’m not sure kind of how it happened. Just kind of came out of nowhere. Just don’t know what to do in that situation, because you either sit down, are they going to take a medical timeout, but then they don’t and you got to get up and then you got to serve and it’s 15 All. The timing was a bit strange, but she looked ok.
Sharapova started the 2014 season well, winning three tournaments in the first five months of the year, including the French Open. Her semifinal run at the Western & Southern Open is her best result of the summer, and should give her some confidence going into the U.S. Open, despite the Ivanovic controversy.
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