Annabel Croft: 'Maria Sharapova lost because she's in love'

Croft: 'Sharapova lost because she's in love'
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Annabel Croft says that Maria Sharapova is going soft after falling in love with Grigor Dimitrov.

Former British number one Annabel Croft believes that Maria Sharapova has gone soft because she has fallen in love.

The 26-year-old was beaten in the second round of Wimbledon as she suffered a 6-3 6-4 defeat to world number 131 Michelle Larcher de Brito.

This came after a pre-tournament spat with Serena Williams, who appeared to criticise the Russian's boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov, and Croft feels that for Sharapova to enter that kind of feud shows that she is head over heels in love.

"Sharapova is in love," Croft told The Telegraph. "After she lost to Michelle Larcher de Brito, who was ranked 131, she spoke beautifully, with good grace and humility, and was much less upset that I would have expected.

"For Sharapova even to enter into that sort of exchange speaks volumes; Serena must really have hit a nerve. I think love has softened Sharapova off the court but I think it's also distracted her on the court."

Croft became the youngest British person to play at Wimbledon for 95 years when she made her debut aged 15.

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