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‘Beautiful moment of respect’: Sharapova praised for comforting injured opponent Wang (VIDEO)

‘Beautiful moment of respect’: Sharapova praised for comforting injured opponent Wang (VIDEO)
Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has won praise after comforting opponent Wang Xinyu after the teenager was forced to retire injured in the pair’s match at the Shenzhen Open.

Wang, who had entered the tournament through a wild card, took the first set against the five-time Grand Slam winner on a tie-break.

However, the 17-year-old suffered intense cramps during the second set, first taking a medical timeout at 3-2 down before ultimately forfeiting two matches as she struggled to continue before pulling out.

Sharapova was handed the win 6-7, 5-2 and moved into the quarterfinals, but the 31-year-old won widespread praise for attending to a distraught Wang after she was forced out of the match.

Sharapova was heard lifting the Chinese youngster's spirits, telling her she "had played unbelievable."  

The touching moment won praise from social media users.

Sharapova progressed to the quarterfinals to face top seed Aryna Sabalenka of Belarus, after she beat Russia's Ekaterina Alexandrova in straight sets in their second-round clash.