Girl talk, not tennis, on Sharapova, Serena minds
ISTANBUL - Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams admitted Monday they had been distracted by some x-rated girl talk during the draw ceremony for the WTA Championships, the tour's flagship event.
If the highest profile tour in women's sport has an image of super-competitive super-rich players who don't have much time for each other, the world's two wealthiest women athletes went some way to dispelling it.
Instead Sharapova and Williams were giggling and whispering in a way old school buddies might share the latest gossip.
"You do not want to know about it," grinned Sharapova when the subject of their chatter during the tournament's draw was requested at a press conference.
On being told that the questioner did indeed want to know about it, Sharapova replied: "It's not PG-13," referring to a movie rating which indicates admission is granted to persons of all ages but parental guidance is suggested for those under 13.
Pressed further, Sharapova added: "We did not talk about tennis."
Coming from a player who has this year completed a career Grand Slam and also involving the most successful active player in the sport, the remark brought general laughter.
Eventually the mirthful atmosphere coaxed Sharapova into revealing more about their secret words.
"Obviously when you're sitting there for 45 minutes and you're listening to a lot of Turkish speeches, at some point you're going to start some conversations in English," she said.
"It may be a little inappropriate and rude maybe, but we couldn't" - and Sharapova paused, apparently for a speedy judgement - "we were just joking about a few things."
Earlier Williams too had hinted at humorous but unrepeatable indiscretions. Reminded that a couple of hours previously she had tweeted about a "what-was-I-thinking moment", she said "yeah."
Asked to share it a little more, she retorted: "No absolutely cannot share," though the thought of it threatened to split her sides.
"It was definitely a what-was-I-thinking moment," Williams concluded. "I'm glad I'm not in that moment any more."
The flirting with impropriety may be a symptom of the impending relief from a physically and mentally tough ten-month tour, in which Sharapova has so far played 66 matches and Williams 57.
After this, the final tournament of the year, in which Sharapova is the second seed and Williams the unofficial favourite, the two gigglers will be rivals for the WTA Player of the Year award, for which world number one Victoria Azarenka is also a contender.
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