WIMBLEDON, England — Maria Sharapova braved the cold and rain to sit courtside on No. 3 Court to watch her boyfriend, Grigor Dimitrov, who lost to Grega Zemlja 3-6, 7-6 (4), 3-6, 6-4, 11-9 on Friday in a rain-suspended match that spanned two days.
Sharapova, who lost in the second round on Wednesday, was there for every minute of the four-hour, four-minute match. Play was suspended because of rain Thursday night and resumed Friday with Dimitrov serving to stay in the match at 8-9 in the fifth set. At 0-30, Dimitrov slipped to the ground after a serve and play was suspended again as light rain began to fall. When they started up again, Dimitrov battled back to hold, but was eventually broken to lose the match.
With Sharapova’s high-profile presence at his match, Dimitrov was asked whether he felt more pressure with her eyes on him.
“No, not at all, actually,” he said. “I feel even more pumped and happy that she’s there for me. I think that’s what counts the most.”
He was also asked about Serena Williams’ Rolling Stone comments, in which she may have described him as having “a black heart.” Dimitrov, who has always been reluctant to talk about Sharapova or his personal life, said it was time to move on.
“You guys tell me what kind of heart I have,” he said with a smile.
Once again, talk to turned to the condition of the courts, which have seen more players slip and fall than usual, including Sharapova herself. Dimitrov said he was surprised that they were asked to play when there was so much moisture on the court.
“I think it started raining during the warmup,” he said after the match. “I kind of thought the chairman would say something. I was kind of waiting for that call, as well. When I slipped, I fell down, I hit my hip. I told him, I’m not serving. Basically we had to stop and wait for another chance.”
Here are the many faces of Maria Sharapova:
LaughingPova: Just a couple of gals, having fun, watching a tennis match. (Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images)
SeriousPova: “Oh. I should probably pay attention to this.” (Glyn Kirk/AFP/Getty Images)
EncouragingPova: “Here we go, Grigor, here we go!” *Clap* *Clap* (Karwai Tang/WireImage/Getty Images)
ComeOnPova: “Come oooooooon!” (Karwai Tang/WireImages/Getty Images)
NotSoEncouragingPova: “Oh. This is not going well.” (Karwai Tang/WireImages/Getty Images)
TensePova: “ComeOnComeOnComeOnComeOn.” (Karwai Tang/WireImages/Getty Images)
StandingOvationPova: “That’s the way!” (Karwai Tang/WireImages/Getty Images)
SpectatorPova: Honestly, I’m just really surprised she didn’t bust out a bag of Sugarpova to help cope with the stress. (Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)