Maria has once again collaborated with Nike to release Nike Cortez LA sneakers, which will be available on March 1st at Nordstrom x Nike Sneaker Boutiques, and March 2nd on the SNKRS app, Nike.com and at Nike The Grove and Nike Santa Monica. The color palette was inspired by LA’s laid-back vibes and the earthy hues of a West Coast sunrise. Playing off of Maria’s childhood interest in calligraphy, the shoe utilizes refined design lines for an off-court elegance. Thoughtful attention to craft and detail brings dimensional layering with premium suedes, leathers and soft gold accents. To introduce the LA Cortez, there’s an event with Maria on March 2 in Los Angeles, which is open to fans and includes Q&A with Maria and an exclusive gift with purchase.
I love how it’s minimal and understated in certain ways, yet there’s so much attention to detail with the finishes, materials and even color. I was inspired by my morning walks along the coast on my way to practice, and I think we captured that peaceful essence in this shoe.
According to the official tournament website, Maria should compete at the Indian Well which starts March 5, 2018. Since her Indian Wells debut in 2002, she has notched 38 match wins and reached the Round of 16 or better on nine occasions. Maria’s best showings in the desert came in 2006 and 2013 when she won the title, both times without dropping a set. Lets hope Maria will be ready and healthy for the tournament so we might cheer during some great matches 🙂
Sadly, Maria lost in the first round of the Qatar tournament to M. Niculescu, the Romanian qualifier ran away with the upset, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. It was not a great match for Maria as she committed 52 unforced errors and did not play anywhere near her best level that afternoon, admitting she got pretty passive in the end. The next tournament should have been the Dubai Duty Free, but Maria withdrew, a statement issued from the Tournament Director S. Tahlak cited injury and illness as the reason behind the decision. Hopefully, its nothing serious, and Maria will compete at the next tournaments coming up soon.
Maria has already been in Qatar for couple of days training for the tournament. She plays her first match tomorrow as the fourth match on Centre Court and the order of play begins at 12.00 PM local time (10.00 AM CET, 4.00 AM ET & 1.00 AM PT), which means Maria should be on court earliest at 4 pm, but probably even later depending on the other matches. Maria has been drawn to play world no.92 Monica Niculescu. Besides hitting the practice court, Maria has visited the young talents of Qatar spending some time with the kids and answering their questions.
As her next tournament, Maria will play the Quatar Total Open 2018. The WTA Premiere 5 tournament takes place at the International Tennis and Squash complex in Doha, Qatar between 12 and 17 February 2018. Maria received the wildcard into the main draw as a two-time former champion from 2005 and 2008. Besides Maria, among players who confirmed to play are Simona Halep, Caroline Wozniacki, Garbine Muguruza, Elina Svitolina, Karolina Pliskova orJelena Ostapenko.
Unfortunately, Maria lost today to Angelique Kerber in the 3rd round of Australian open 1-6 3-6. Angie played extremely well and Maria could not find a response to her during that match. Still, although Maria is leaving the tournament sooner than we’d all wished, she showed some amazing tennis and we are only in the beginning of the new season. Hopefully, there are plenty great matches ahead. Next, Maria should play tournaments in Middle East, but which ones is not clear yet.
Here is the transcript of Maria’s post match conference:
Q. How disappointed are you? How can we and yourself consolate for this defeat that probably you didn’t expect?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don’t want to take anything away from her and the way she played. I think she played extremely well. She was the more aggressive player. She took a lot more risk than I did. In the first set, I didn’t return well. I gave her the confidence by making a lot of errors on the return games. I think with that, she played extremely well. She’s a confident player at the moment. A lot of things were going her way throughout the match. The one little opportunity I had in the second set, I didn’t take, I made an error. Sometimes that’s all it takes.
Maria is through to the third round at the Australian Open in Melbourne and she will play the next round tomorrow at 7.pm local time. So far, the first Grand Slam of the new tennis season is going well for Maria. In the first round, she beat Tatjana Maria of Germany, 6-1 6-4. The second one, which was held on Wednesday morning, was against no.14 seed Anastasija Sevastova of Latvia, who Maria lost to during the last years US Open. Luckily, this time Maria didn’t hesitate and in one hour and 21 minutes won 6-1 7-6. In Saturday’s third round match, Maria will play no.21 seed Angelique Kerber. She has played Angie seven times before and leads the series 4-3.
Maria joined Monica Puig on a trip back to her homeland of Puerto Rico to aid relief efforts from last month’s devastating hurricanes and help bring much needed supplies the victims. The Caribbean island suffered major damage after being struck by Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Maria in September, with as much as 90% of Puerto Rico remaining without power. Puig set up a fundraising page in the aftermath of the storm, which has so far generated almost $150,000. maria “fell in love” with the island and its people after playing an exhibition match against Puig in San Juan last December. She already contributed to Puerto Rico with Sugarpova: all profits from internet sales for the remainder of 2017 will go towards the relief effort. Maria and Monica handed out supplies, including 1000 solar powered light/radio units, 1250 gas stoves, 3000 propane cylinders to power the stoves, and medicine for San Jorge’s Children’s Hospital. Additionally, 200 cell phones were donated locally by ATT as well as pre-packed bags of groceries provided by Red Cross and Ricky Martin Foundation.
We know how amazing the people are and we just want to spend some time with them. We are professional tennis players but at the end of the day we are humans and we feel their pain and we want to share these moments with them.