No longer engaged to Sasha Vujacic: Maria Sharapova

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Maria Sharapova
New York, Sept 1: Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova revealed yesterday that her engagement to Slovenian basketball player Sasha Vujacic was called off due to the difficulty in adjusting their hectic "career schedules".

Post her straight sets win over American wild card Mallory Burdette in the third round of the US Open, the third seed told newspersons that she split with Vujacic earlier this year.

Sharapova said that ever since the end of spring when the pair called it quits, she had expected a specific query regarding her relationship status but no one asked her directly about that.

As for the reason why she and Vujacic ended their relationship, Sharapova explained: "It was a really nice period of time for both of us, but, you know, our career schedules just made it extremely difficult to see each other with the travelling and especially his career move to Turkey. ... He wasn't able to travel much. He wasn't home one time during the 10 months that he was in Turkey, so that made it extremely difficult."

The highlight of Vujacic's NBA career was his stint with the Los Angeles Lakers. However, two months after he proposed to Sharapova, the shooting guard was traded to the New Jersey Nets in Dec 2010. He then signed a one-year deal with Anadolu Efes Spor Kulübü, an Istanbul-based professional basketball team, in Jul 2011.

Weeks before this, Vujacic was seen at Wimbledon in Sharapova's guest box. Egged on by him, his fiancee won six matches in a row to enter the final. The 25-year-old Russian who has won four Grand Slam titles so far acknowledged that Vujacic had been a pillar of support.

"We have a tremendous amount of respect for each other. Still would love to call him a friend. We spent really great years together," she added.

Sharapova's opponent in the fourth round is her compatriot Nadia Petrova. The latter is the 19th seed at the tournament.

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