Capitols, 23-16. The win avenges Tuesday night's 24-15 loss at
For Sharapova, it was her first return to the court since her
Wimbledon victory on July 3.
"It was fun to get back on the court in front of such an
enthusiastic crowd," Sharapova said. "I was excited to play in
Newport Beach again."
Sharapova finished the match for Newport (5-2) teamed with Ellis
Ferriera in mixed doubles, beating Anastasia Rodionova and Mark
"I played against Maria last year," Ferriera said, referring to
when he played for the New York Sportimes. "She strikes the ball
well. It was a lot of fun to play with her tonight." Sharapova aced
her two serves in the tiebreaker to give the Breakers the set and
The result was a reversal from the Tuesday match, with every set
that lost in Sacramento winning in Newport.
"Absolutely the fact that we played less than 24 hours ago against
them factored into our win," Ferriera said. "We knew who to serve to
and where. We knew who had a strong backhand or forehand."
The sellout crowd of 2,076 was excited to see the Wimbledon
champion, with several outbursts of, "I love you, Maria," "Marry me,
Maria," and a group of fans chanting, "Share-a-pova!"
"It was phenomenal to play in this kind of atmosphere," Ferriera
said. "This is what team tennis is all about."
Sharapova looked a step slow, but that was to be expected said
Robert Van't Hof, acting as the Breakers' coach with Rick Leach
unable to attend due to illness.
"That is normal since she hasn't played in 10 days," he said. "But
I still think she played fine. She's a great player." Vaidisova broke
Sharapova's serve in the last game of the women's singles set, but
her serves the rest of the night were working. Sharapova, who was
singing along to the songs played over the loud speakers throughout
the night, had 19 aces on the night including eight against Vaidisova
in the women's singles.
The Capitols broke Sharapova's serve at the beginning of the
women's doubles set, Sharapova's first set of the night, but she and
Nana Miyagi went on to capture a 5-3 win. The Breakers won the first
three sets, men's singles, men's doubles and women's doubles, to race
out to a 15-7 lead.
"The crowd was fired up," Van't Hof said. "Maria's presence fired
up the whole team, too." Ramon Delgado smoked past Dmitry Tursunov in
men's singles, 5-1, to avenge a 5-4 beating the night before. Delgado
won the 12 points in the set and 15 of the last 16.
Delgado and Ferriera took a 3-1 lead in the men's doubles set,
promoting Tursunov to break his racket in disgust. The new racket
didn't help, as the Capitols were unable to break Newport's serve.
But the night was all about Sharapova making her first return to
the court since Wimbledon, and her lone warm-up before the Acura
Classic in La Costa on July 26. Still, she was happy to be back
playing for the Breakers, the team she played for last year in WTT.
"I'm excited to get the victory," she said. "Hopefully I'll be
able to play for the Breakers in World team Tennis next year as