Sharapova rebuffs waiter`s `selfie` request

AFP| Last Updated: Jan 11, 2014, 15:42 PM IST

Melourne: An Australian waiter`s bold request for a "selfie" from Maria Sharapova has met with an icy response from the Russian world number three.

Sharapova admitted she was taken aback when her bill at a Melbourne cafe arrived together with the waiter`s smartphone and a request for a photo, along with an autograph.

Sharapova, who was relaxing ahead of next week`s Australian Open, duly took a picture -- not of herself, but of a man sitting nearby.

"I actually took a picture of the guy next to me. True story," she told journalists on Saturday.

The brush-off suggests Sharapova is in no mood for frivolity as she embarks on the season`s first Grand Slam, following a four-month lay-off with a shoulder injury.

Sharapova, who has long struggled with her right shoulder and had surgery in 2008, said she was delighted to be in Australia after missing last year`s US Open.

"I`m happy to be back playing a Grand Slam. I missed the last one at the end of last year," she said. "I`m happy to get myself back in form and really start well here."

Sharapova, a four-time Grand Slam winner who reached last year`s semi-finals, added: "You obviously have to lower your expectations a little bit and be a bit realistic about maybe the first few matches.

"You have to grind, work through them, hope to get better as the tournament goes on."