Former world's no.1 Maria Sharapova admitted that she was left puzzled by Ana Ivanovic's medical time-out after almost three hours of semifinal battle at the recently concluded Cincinnati Masters.
In the battle of two most beautiful faces in women's tennis, Ivanovic emerged triumphant in a hotly-contested match with Sharapova, but it never ended without a tar of controversy.
In an interview after her 2-6, 7-5, 5-7 semifinal loss to Ivanovic, The 27-year old Sharapova criticized her Serbian rival for what she thought a doubt medical time-out while she was leading 1-0 15-15 in the third set.
"I never had a clear explanation on what was happening or what she had" Sharapova told the press in an interview via Tennis World USA, "Was it anxiety or something like that? I really don't know.
Sharapova added that the next point after Ivanovic's MTP was too long and it was just enough to disrupt her focus in the match. The five-time Grand Slam winner also stressed that she wasn't even informed what's Ivanovic's condition during that time, taking all the momentum from her during the critical moment of the match.
Ivanovic, who was eventually defeated by Serena Williams in straight sets 6-1, 6-1 in the championship match, revealed that she endured stomach pains during that moment and an MTO was really needed for her to asses the situation.
"I wasn't feeling well. I thought maybe I had eaten something I wasn't supposed to. I felt like my stomach was sick," Ivanovic said in an interview.
The 26-year old Ivanovic added that her team gave her some pills that works in few minutes, keeping her in the thick of the match despite an unexpected stomach problem.
The Controversy Behind Medical Timeouts
Obviously, this was not the first time a player complained about his or her opponent medical timeout. During the men's single final of the Australian Open, Rafael Nadal needed to take few breaks between points to asses his ailing back then.
Eventual Australian Open champ Stanislas Wawrinka wasn't that vocal in his complaints, but other stars led by Roger Federer were not happy to see a player taking advantage of a medical timeout.
There are suggestions to give a player a short time period for her to decide whether to withdraw or keep on playing, but the ATP/WTA have yet to adapt such proposal.
Sharapova's angst was at the forefront of his loss to Ivanovic. Yahoo Sports tennis writer Stephanie Myles called it the ruthless side of Sharapova after the Russian darling vented off his frustration during the MTO - including this Bad Maria monent from Sharapova.
Myles believed Sharapova might have lost her composure given thet she's on verge of winning the match before Ivanovic made a momentum-rattling time out.
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