Maria Sharapova played her first match in almost two months falling 6-4, 6-3 to Lucie Safarova in the first round of Madrid. After going down 0-4 in the opening set the former top lady baller fought back to 4-all but her Czech foe clinched the next 8 out of 10 games for the win.
Shrieka will have another chance to find her clay-court feet before Roland Garros when she travels to Strasbourg next week for the Internationaux de Strasbourg.
The 23-year old also debuted some new stylings from the Nike Maria Sharapova Collection including the Golden Set Tank in fennel with deep burgundy (underneath the fennel 3/4 sleeved cover up - $55) and the Golden Set Skirt in ($60) fennel w/lilac + deep burgundy.
I think the fennel colorway is pretty against the crushed red brick but the skort design with its multi-colored asymmetrical mesh overlay is a bit jarring. I mean you'd think Shrieka would've given up on the overlay concept after failed with this dud, but give her credit for being persistent. I'm all for the use of color but the execution here is a bit off for my tastes.
So my overall reaction to this outfit? MEH.
UPDATE: So an anonymous commenter tipped me off to discussions in some forums about a possible racquet sponsor switch that may be in the works for the Russian. Notice the missing branding and stencil in the photo? If you have any info, 'fess up. Pretty please.
[Photo(s): TennisWarehouse.com, Getty Images]