Top class and exciting matches served up great entertainment on both days – down not in the least to the mixture of current and former players as well as stars from show business. “It was a whole new experience for me. I had never organised an event of its type before. I really was a little nervous,” said Sharapova. “But when Porsche agreed to be a part of everything, we put together a good team and I knew things would be fine. It was a lot of fun.”

The only dampener on the successful premiere was the rain on Sunday in normally so sunny California. After the singles were played in beautiful weather, the doubles had to be abandoned. As a result of the weather forecast, the schedule was changed on Saturday evening. Day two at “Maria Sharapova & Friends” started at 1 o’clock in the afternoon with the singles between Sloane Stephens and Shelby Rogers. The match between the two talented Americans was won easily by Sloane Stephens. Next up, the Japanese tennis star and current world No. 8 Kei Nishikori encountered greater difficulties in beating Jack Sock (USA) 4-6, 6-3, 10-7 to celebrate a successful premiere on the Center Court of the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA).

Extremely entertaining doubles

Whilst Porsche Brand Ambassador and hostess Maria Sharapova was on court on Saturday for both singles and doubles, the 28-year old focussed on the doubles on Sunday. Initially planned was a mixed with Kei Nishikori against the British young hope Laura Robson and Jack Sock and then in the last game of the event a pro-am mixed with US comedian Chelsea Handler against Jack Sock and a surprise guest. However with the score at 4-3 in the first extremely entertaining doubles, the rain set in and both matches had to be abandoned. “It’s a pity we couldn’t play to the end. The whole weekend was great fun and I’ve learned a lot, said Sharapova. “For many visitors it was their first ever tennis event and I felt it made it all so special.”

On Saturday too, the fans enjoyed not only entertaining but also thrilling and high-class tennis. Alongside Maria Sharapova, Madison Keys, Laura Robson, the two former players Mardy Fish and Andy Roddick as well as the US comedian Chelsea Handler and the Canadian actor Will Arnett also appeared on court. The Porsche Brand Ambassador and three-time winner of the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix (2012, 2013, 2014) Maria Sharapova chose Los Angeles for „Maria Sharapova & Friends“ for a good reason as the city has not hosted a tournament on the main women’s and men’s tours now for three years. In addition to entertaining the audience, the event is also serving as a part of the professionals’ preparations for the up-coming season that will start in Australia in January. A part of the proceeds will be donated to Maria Sharapova’s foundation supporting underprivileged children all over the world.

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