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Maria Sharapova shows her sweet side on the road to Wimbledon
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SHOWS: LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM (JUNE 20, 2013) (REUTERS - ACCESS ALL) 1. (SOUNDBITE) (English) TENNIS PLAYER MARIA SHARAPOVA SAYING: "It's just such a special event for all tennis players around the world. It all comes down to the tennis when you're here, the tradition, the fans. It's all about you and your opponent whereas at other grand slams it's all about everything else that goes on around. So it's a really special feeling when you're walking out onto centre court without any introductions and you just hear applause from the fans, because I really think they respect the two athletes going out and facing each other." STORY : Maria Sharapova says there's something about the Wimbledon Championships that set them apart from other tennis events. Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004, says she loves everything about the world's most famous tennis tournament. "It's just such a special event for all tennis players around the world, " she said. " It all comes down to the tennis when you're here, the tradition, the fans. It's all about you and your opponent where as at other grand slams it's all about everything else that goes on around. So it's a really special feeling when you're walking out onto centre court without any introductions and you just hear applause from the fans because I really think they respect the two athletes going out and facing each other." Sharapova, who beat Serena Williams in that 2004 final, looks forward to facing her old rival, winner of the French Open earlier this month. This time Sharapova was on the receiving end of a 6-4 6-4 defeat. The Russian was appearing at an event to launch her confectionary range a London department store. The 2013 Wimbledon Championships begin on Monday June 24.