In any sporting event, there's always an added amount of drama when two players clearly don't quite see eye to eye. And now at the US Open it appears as though there could be a mini storm brewing between Maria Sharapova and Ana Ivanovic.
Sharapova and Ivanovic, two of the higher-profile names in women's tennis, have been busy dropping sly, yet snide remarks towards one another since they met in the warm-ups at Cincinnati.
Their semi-final clash saw Ivanovic struggle with apparent nausea, and the Serbian opted to take a medical break before she rallied afterwards to book a spot in the final with a 6-2 5-7 7-5 win, though she would go on to lose against Serena Williams in that final.
The medics duly came on to check the world no.9's blood pressure, without detecting any cause for concern, and the match continued.
However Sharapova seemed less than impressed with her opponent's medical break, sensing foul play, and issued a thinly-veiled swipe towards the 26-year-old when asked of her opinions on breaks such as Ivanovic's.
"I’d probably start charging for medical timeouts," said the 27-year-old to a reporter. The Russian had been visibly frustrated at the time when Ivanovic took her break.
"I think we’d all see who really uses them and who doesn’t. Yeah, I don’t know what we put on it, maybe like 2500 or something. Yeah, I think we should do that. That would be fun."
Ivanovic has now sought to defend herself after Sharapova's comments and dismissed the notion of charging players feeling unwell.
"I think that's a little bit harsh, you know," Ivanovic retorted. "But I'm sure many players would agree to pay if it's about health, you know. Maybe toilet breaks. That's another story. But medical timeouts, I think players use them when they really need them."
Before the matter could be swept under the rug as a simple disagreement, Ivanovic potentially re-lit the fires for another argument by highlighting an issue that she feels needs changing: "I think some players take way too long between the points."
Perhaps that comment needs some explaining, it seems harmless enough: Well, Sharapova - five-time Grand Slam champion - is never far away from criticism when it comes to her apparent time-keeping issues.
With the world's media and audience keeping an eye on the events at Flushing Meadows, there's every possibility that we haven't heard the last in this new feud.
No on-court settler
Unfortunately the duo, despite both coming through their openers, aren't likely to meet on-court anytime soon because of the way the draw works.
Sharapova, former world no.1, is hoping to bag her sixth Grand Slam title and her second at Flushing Meadows, and the fifth seed will face Alexandra Dulgheru in round two.
Meanwhile Ivanovic, the eighth seed and also a former world no.1, is targeting her second major glory following her French Open title in 2008. Karolína Plíšková, who has never won a match at the US Open, is next up for her.
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