Tuesday, May 22, 2018
Sports

'City of love' takes on new meaning this day

PARIS — If love means never having to say you're sorry, what about 6-love?

That depends on which side of the French Open scoreboard you're on.

Maria Sharapova feels not a shred of remorse about the way she has been finishing off opponents at Roland Garros. She has lost a total of five games through three matches, including a 6-0, 6-0 win in the first round. She advanced to the fourth round Saturday with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over No. 28 Peng Shuai.

"My job is to go out on the court and to try to win," Sharapova said. "Whether it's 6-0, 6-0, whether it's a tough three-set match, you're trying to do what you have to do.

"The last thing that's on my mind … is thinking about who paid for a ticket and how long they're going to watch my match for."

Russian Mikhail Youzhny, meanwhile, was on the wrong end of a shutout set and decided he needed to apologize immediately to the ticket-buyers at Court Suzanne Lenglen.

Finally having won one game after losing the first eight against No. 6 David Ferrer, Youzhny, seeded 27th, used the toe of his right sneaker to carve out in the red clay near the baseline "SORRi!" — stamping the dot atop the lowercase last letter for emphasis before heading to the sideline for a changeover.

"People in the stands may not have noticed, but I think I had to do this," Youzhny said after his 6-0, 6-2, 6-2 loss. "There was a lot of people. That's why I write 'sorry, because I can't show them a nice game. The way we played in the beginning, it was not really interesting for people."

Ferrer, who said he didn't see Youzhny's lettering, was part of Spain's 5-0 showing Saturday, led by Rafael Nadal. He continued his bid for a record seventh French title by overpowering Eduardo Schwank 6-1, 6-3, 6-4.

"Now the first week has gone by," said Nadal, who is off today, his 26th birthday. "It's always the most complicated week to manage."

An apology may be coming from former No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, who lost 6-1, 6-7 (3-7), 6-3 to No. 23 Kaia Kanepi in a match in which she got into a few arguments about line calls with chair umpire Poncho Ayala. One came after a second-set shot by Kanepi that landed near the baseline to earn her a service break.

"How can you sit there and be so arrogant? Have you gone to school?" Wozniacki said to Ayala, drawing boos from spectators.

At her news conference, Wozniacki said: "When the ball is clearly out, I don't think there should be anything to argue about. … If they cannot see, they should have other umpires on the lines or (use replays) on these courts. It's a disgrace that mistakes like this are made."

No. 12 Francesca Schiavone, the 2010 French Open champion and 2011 runnerup, was a 3-6, 6-3, 8-6 loser to Varvara Lepchenko, who joined Sloane Stephens to give the United States two unseeded women in the fourth round of a major for the first time in 10 years.

Lepchenko, 26, was born in Uzbekistan and moved with her father and sister to Florida more than a decade ago. She became a U.S. citizen in September.

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