Maria Sharapova beat Caroline Wozniacki in an exhibition match at Madison Square Garden on Monday - though she lost the only point she played against Wozniacki’s boyfriend, top-ranked golfer Rory McIlroy.
With the Dane a game away from losing 6-3 6-4, she invited McIlroy onto the court just hours after he won the Honda Classic in Florida to ascend to No.1 in the world for the first time.
Roger Federer and Andy Roddick were playing another exhibition later on Monday in the BNP Paribas Showdown.In jeans and a sweater, McIlroy showed off a one-handed backhand, and Sharapova hit his lob wide.Asked if he was surprised, McIlroy joked: “I’ve won a few off Caroline.”Wozniacki had been ranked No.1 for 67 weeks in her career, though she’s down to No.4. McIlroy knows he’ll need to stay on top for “another couple of years” to catch his girlfriend in that statistic.In between taking photos with fans after the match, McIlroy said, “It’s nice to take a little break from golf”.The couple plan to meet up in Miami before he plays a World Golf Championship event there and she heads to Indian Wells in California.
McIlroy stopped signing autographs for a moment to listen to Wozniacki’s on-court interview. “He’s 100 per cent against Maria,” she told the crowd. Asked earlier on Monday whether she sent him flowers after his win on Sunday, Wozniacki said, “Well, I don’t want his head to become too big, so, um, no.” Sharapova and Wozniacki were in the spirit of the exhibition at times, exchanging smiles after a well-played rally, surrendering a point to make up for a missed call and dancing with fans before the final game. The second-ranked Sharapova wasn’t conserving energy, though. After breaking back to 4-4 in the second set, she chased down a drop shot and then a lob, throwing her hands up in frustration when her shot ricocheted off the scoreboard.