The 21-year-old Bulgarian nicknamed ‘Baby Federer’ suffered a vastly different fate to the Russian starlet on the opening day of the Australian Open at Melbourne Park.
While the second-seeded Sharapova recorded a 6-0, 6-0 defeat of Olga Puchkova on Rod Laver Arena, Dimitrov was banished to Court 13 and flopped 6-4, 6-2, 6-4 to veteran Frenchman Julien Benneteau.
Hype followed Dimitrov to his outside court, partly because word had spread that he was Sharapova's new flame, and partly because he has uncanny similarities in technique and flair to 17-time major-winner Roger Federer.
He raced to a 3-0 lead, as Sharapova held the same scoreline. But while the Russian went onwards and upwards, Dimitrov embarked on a steep downhill slide. “I don’t think it’s a distraction,” Dimitrov said of interest in his personal life. “I just believe I am here to be on the court. I am not here to speak about my private life.
“People love gossip. Who doesn’t? But I believe it’s a privacy invasion. I don’t think that’s right. It’s not because we’re different, but because it’s not right to athletes in general. It should be forbidden to even be asked.”
Finally, Maria is on Twitter
Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is finally taking to Twitter after years of loyalty to rival social network Facebook. Unsurprisingly, the first tweet of the World No 2 was a commercial linked to her new line of candy. An hour after her first tweet the 25-year-old racked up more than 7,600 followers. — IANS