It therefore raised a few eyebrows when, after a tough first set against the rising Israeli Shahar Peer on Thursday night, Sharapova summoned her hitting partner Michael Joyce onto her bench for a consultation. When asked about this later, she said she just wanted to refresh herself about aspects of her game plan agreed with Joyce in advance.
“But you did call for him?” the questioner repeated.
“Yeah, I did,” replied Sharapova neutrally.
“But you said you’d only call for your coach in the middle of a match if you were desperate,” asked another questioner. “So were you desperate?”
“Ah, that’s a good point, you’ve caught me on that one,” admitted Sharapova, and giggled nervously. After a further consultation with Joyce in her 6-4, 6-3 quarterfinal win Friday against the 17-year-old Swiss Timea Bascinszky, she explained, “If the rule gives me a choice, I may as well use it, but if they ask me if I like it, I’d say ‘Bag it.’ I don’t support it. I haven’t from the beginning. It’s like electronic line calling – if it’s there, you may as well use it even if you don’t like it, it would be stupid not to. But personally I don’t like it.” Tennis Reporters