One of the most recognisable faces in women's tennis, Maria Sharapova, very rarely plays a match without causing a stir in one form or another.
The 30-year-old, who previously became world’s top-ranked player on August 22, 2005, is currently placed 60th in the world.
That is primarily because she recently returned after serving a 15-month ban for testing positive for the banned substance meldonium, also known as mildronate.
Since her return earlier this year, Sharapova won 16 out of 22 matches, including her 36th career title at the Tianjin Open in China in October.
As players all over the world are taking their time off following the completion of another congested tennis season, Sharapova once again grabbed the spotlight – not because of any on-court achievement, however, but because of timely response to an interesting question from a fan.
The incident took place when the Russian star was facing Turkey’s top-ranked player Cagla Buyukakcay in an exhibition match at the TEB BNP Paribas Tennis Stars Series in Istanbul.
As you can see in the video below, when Sharapova was about to serve, a particularly devoted fan shouted out: "Maria, will you marry me?"
Sharapova responded with a curious glance and a cheeky "Maybe..." prompting plenty of laughs and cheers from the crowd.
Of course, this is not the first time a female tennis player has been proposed to during a high profile match.
During 1996 Wimbledon semi-final clash against Kimiko Date, America’s legendary tennis player Steffi Graf was asked the same question by a fan sitting in the crowd when she was about to serve.
To that, Graf first smiled for a moment and replied with ‘How much money do you have?’.
Meanwhile, Sharapova didn't let the proposal distract her and went on to beat Buyukakcay 7-6, 6-0.
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