Philippines captivates Sharapova: 'It's an amazing country with beautiful people'
Maria Sharapova on her first trip to the Philippines: 'It’s an amazing country. Really beautiful people.' Jerome Ascano

MARIA Sharapova will leave the Philippines with great memories after wrapping up her stint with the Manila Mavericks in the International Premier Tennis League (IPTL).

Sharapova ended her campaign for the Mavericks with only a single victory in three matches, losing her final game in the meet against Ana Ivanovic on Saturday night.

The beauteous Russian will no longer play on the final day of the Manila leg on Sunday as she is only committed to play for two nights for her team.

Off the court, however, Sharapova admitted at having a lasting impression of the Philippines as, prior to the IPTL, the world No. 2 already had time to visit the beaches of Palawan weeks before the tournament.

The trip was her first in the Philippines.

“I had an amazing time. I’ve experienced the Philippines for a couple of weeks. It’s an amazing country. Really beautiful people,” Sharapova said during a packed post-match press conference following the Mavericks’ defeat to the Indian Aces on Saturday night.

“One of the most generous countries I’ve ever been in. I was here a couple of weeks ago and it was an amazing trip,” said Sharapova.

The pretty tennis star hopes she can return to the Philippines next year.

“I really hope that I can be back next year,” said Sharapova.

Hands down, Sharapova was the most popular netter among those who see action in Manila for the IPTL.

During the post-match press conference, fans even peeled off a cover from a glass window that separates the interview room from outside the Mall of Asia Arena just to have a glimpse of Sharapova.

“Overall, I had a great experience in Manila. It was good to be part of this. There was such great energy on the court,” she said.

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