The highest paid female athlete in the world hinted — perhaps tongue-in-cheek — that she might also have the highest sex drive. True or not, her reply, which created a minor sensation, outdid that of all the other players at the Qatar Open.

Asked if she was celebrating Valentine’s Day with the one she loved, Sharapova replied: “Well, I’m in Doha, so my team consists of my coach and my trainer, and my hitter and my physio. I don’t have a love relationship with either one of them, so......” and she tailed off amidst laughter.

She then admitted that she had received “many” messages, adding: “I’m very lucky”. But when asked if she therefore had many lovers, Sharapova, who split with fiance Sasha Vujacic, a former NBA player last year, brazened the question away.

“Maybe,” she said. “Why not, right? Life’s too short.” The Russian outdid Caroline Wozniacki, the former World No 1 from Denmark, who humourously agreed that her boyfriend, the world number one golfer Rory McIlroy, had Valentine’s Day under control.

“He certainly did, yeah. I got a nice bouquet of roses, so that was nice,” said Wozniacki. “And maybe something else too — but that’s private,” she added.
Wozniacki was prepared to reveal that she sent McIlroy something too.

“He hasn’t received it yet, though,” she said. “But I think it should be there any minute. It’s, like, just a lot of chocolate, a huge basket of chocolates.” 

Qatar Open Results
> Maria Sharapova (3) bt Sam Stosur (8) 6-2, 6-4
> Victoria Azarenka (1) bt Sara Errani (6) 6-2, 6-2