epa03549484 Maria Sharapova of Russia serves during her quarter final match against Ekaterina Makarova of Russia at the Australian Open Grand Slam tennis tournament in Melbourne, Australia, 22 January 2013. EPA/Ryan Pierse Pool |
With the loss of a only nine games heading into her semi-final with China’s Li Na, Maria Sharapova is certainly doing something right with her tennis. And the second seed doesn’t really want to change even a small detail in her approach as she bids for a second Australian Open title. The highest-earning woman in sport is also a moving billboard for clothing sponsor Nike, and that requires wearing the same outfit during matches day after day. While the businesswoman in her knows how to handle this, the girl sometime yearns for mover variety in her wardrobe. “If it was good for business, I’d wear a different dress for every match. But the dresses are the same for every match. If you played well, you’re wearing it again, great; if you didn’t, it’s just bad luck. You have to wear it again.” The Russian says that her (top-secret) routine is all part of the master plans as she goes about the business of winning. “I have my routine. I wouldn’t say it’s very superstitious. But I think over the years when you find a routine that works for you, you stick with it, whether it’s the times and when you warm up, how long, how long you like to give yourself before a match. “It’s more those things that make you just feel comfortable because you know it’s worked for you before.”
Venus Williams was taking a deserved day off at the Qatar Total Open, having a routine practice with hitting partners on a court adjacent to where little kids were playing mini-tennis with coaches dressed up as Winnie the Pooh, Tigger and Donald Duck.