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Beyond the Baseline

Maria Sharapova offers to swap dress designs with Serena Williams

(Stephen Dunn/Getty Images) Maria Sharapova will play Italy's Camila Giorgi in the third round on Monday. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

INDIAN WELLS, Calif. -- Something surprising happened in the middle of Maria Sharapova's 6-1, 6-4 victory over Julia Goerges in the second round of the BNP Paribas Open on Saturday: Serena Williams tweeted a quick fashion review.

Both women are sponsored by Nike, but it was still a surprising tweet from Williams given the tension that escalated between them last year at Wimbledon. Sharapova was nonetheless flattered and jokingly suggested that the two tennis icons exchange dress designs.

"That would be a lot of fun, don't you think?" Sharapova said, laughing. "You guys would all show up for that, right? We're going to get great coverage. Nike is going to be happy. It's all good."

Sharapova said she absolutely trusted Williams to come up with a great design for her. Just as long as it doesn't involve a catsuit.

"Well, I have to put an end to the catsuit on me," she said. "I'm 26 already, so I think those days are over. But that would be fun, without telling each other what it is, just unveiling it."

Fashion swaps were just one of a number of offbeat questions thrown at Sharapova -- Johnny Weir, "twizzles" and construction contractors came up, too -- usually a sign of a resounding on-court performance. The defending champion overcame a few early service wobbles to beat Goerges and looked very sharp off the ground. The conditions here can be difficult to adjust to in the early rounds, but Sharapova had a perfect measure of the court, keeping her strokes consistently deep.

"I have played really well here," she said. "I obviously hope to continue that. You always start from scratch every year, but I always like to get here a little bit early and get used to the conditions. We are in a little bit of an altitude, not much, but the ball does fly somewhat in the first couple of days."

Sharapova plays Italy's Camila Giorgi in the third round on Monday.
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