Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova received a surprise marriage proposal from a fan at an exhibition game in Istanbul, Turkey.
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The five-time Grand Slam winner, who is on tour as part of her preparations for next season, made a stop in Istanbul on Sunday to face local player Cagla Buyukakcay.
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Sharapova was getting ready to serve when a fan unexpectedly shouted “Maria, will you marry me?” causing laughter from those in attendance at the Sinan Erdem Hall.
The former world number one didn’t hesitate, answering “maybe” to the spectator who interrupted her serve with the sudden proposal.
Buyukakcay, ranked 161 in the World Tennis Association (WTA) standings, showed fierce resistance in taking the first set to a tie break, before Sharapova eventually prevailed 7-6.
The Russian thrashed her Turkish opponent in the second set 6-0 and sealed victory to win TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Stars Series.
Following the game, Sharapova told the press that she was happy to be part of such an event in Istanbul and thanked the crowd for their enthusiasm.
Playing against Büyükakçay was “both difficult and delightful,” said the 30-year-old player. Buyukakcay also said it was “a huge pleasure” to play against Sharapova.
Sharapova returned to action in April after serving a 15-month suspension for the use of the banned drug meldonium.
She was granted a wildcard entry into the US Open where she knocked out second seed Simona Halep of Romania in the first round. She had two more wins before losing to Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia in the fourth round.
In October, Sharapova claimed her first trophy after returning to the WTA tour by taking a hard-fought 7-5 7-6 victory over 19-year-old Belarusian Aryna Sabalenka in the final of the Tianjin Open.