Tennis: Sharapova pledges tough love to photo buddy

PARIS, May 27, 2013 (AFP) – Maria Sharapova and highly-rated teenager Eugenie Bouchard have shared a sponsors’ photo-shoot, but the Russian superstar pledged no favours when the pair meet for a place in the French Open last 32. Sharapova, the defending champion and world number two, and 19-year-old Bouchard, last year’s junior Wimbledon winner, are both on Nike’s books with the Canadian youngster even wearing on-court clothing designed by the Russian.

However, Sharapova intends to put the world number 77, who won her maiden Grand Slam match on Monday, firmly in her place when they meet for the second time this year.

“She’s still a competitor. I met her a few times. We actually did a shoot back in Melbourne together. She seems a very nice girl and obviously has a great game and is one to watch,” said the champion.

“But when you’re at that point in your career, every month is a learning experience for someone her age and at that level.

“You have to respect anyone that’s across the net from you. There is a reason why they’re there, whether they have had a good week or a bad week or they’re not having a good month or they’re having a great month.

“It just doesn’t matter, because you’re going to be facing th