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Beyond the Baseline

Maria Sharapova responds perfectly to Ernests Gulbis' sexist comments

Maria Sharapova hasn't dropped a set en route to the fourth round of the French Open. (Matthais Hangst/Getty Images) Maria Sharapova hasn't dropped a set en route to the fourth round of the French Open. (Matthais Hangst/Getty Images)

PARIS -- Maria Sharapova admitted that she isn't entirely sold on the idea of encouraging her kids to become professional tennis players. The topic came about when the media asked Sharapova about a comment made earlier in the day by Ernests Gulbis, who told reporters he didn't want his younger sisters to become professional tennis players.

"It's a tough choice of life," Gulbis said after his third round win over Radek Stepanek. "A woman needs to enjoy life a little bit more. Needs to think about family, needs to think about kids. What kids you can think about until age of 27 if you're playing professional tennis. That's tough for a woman, I think."

When asked for her thoughts, the Russian responded lightly.

"I don't think we can take everything serious when he speaks," Sharapova said with a laugh. "I mean, let's be honest with that. I think he's great entertainment and we love to listen to what he has to say... In a way, I think he was joking, but he's playing the sport, so how bad can it be? If he felt so bad about it, and even if he's a male, I don't think he'd be playing it."

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"I think the sport brings so many opportunities to women. I mean, it's brought me so many things into my life and my career.  I don't regret any step that I have taken. But then, on the other hand, sometimes I wake up and think, 'Well, I don't wish this on my kids,'" she said laughing.

"But then when I'm playing the matches, I'm in front of thousands of people and the experience that this sport brings, I think, of course I want my kids to do this, this is such a huge lesson in life."

20-year-old Garbine Muguruza also dismissed Gulbis' comments.

"You play tennis until you want, when you feel you want to make another things, have babies or have a family, then you can do it. You play until you want to play."

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