Maria Sharapova withdrew from two summer hard-court tournaments because of a stomach issue, but she insists she’s all better now. She definitely looked it in her 6-2, 6-2 opening-round win over Hungarian Melinda Czink on the first day of the U.S. Open.
The French Open champion was moving extremely well and hitting a clean ball off both sides. It was an encouraging performance for Sharapova, who hasn’t played a match since the Olympics.
Sharapova says she felt pain in her stomach in London before her Olympic final against Serena Williams, which she lost 6-0, 6-1, but dismissed any insinuation that the illness affected her play there. The pain worsened when she returned to North America to play the Rogers Cup in Montreal.
“I think it was some stomach bug,” she said. “But I thought it was getting better. Then I started eating like the normal Maria, and it wasn’t better.
“I had some tests done, some blood work, some ultrasound stuff. They said I should just probably rest. … They told me I was fine, not pregnant. I’m like, Can I get my money back?” she said, laughing.
Of course, if you’re Sharapova and you say the word “pregnant,” reporters will press about the extent of your pain and injury. Sharapova laughed off the concern.
“I don’t think we should make this much more dramatic than it was,” she said. “I mean, at the time I was being [dramatic], but I’m fine. I was fine.”