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Sharapova pays tribute to stricken Mandela

KIND WORDS: Maria Sharapova

WORLD NUMBER 3 Maria Sharapova has paid tribute to South African icon Nelson Mandela who lies critically ill in a Pretoria hospital.

The 95-year-old Mandela is in a fight for his life and Sharapova, who won her first round match at Wimbledon today, was keen to wish him well.

Sharapova, who has won all four Grand Slam titles during her career said: “For someone with such a big name, who has touched so many people in this world, I think it’s extremely sad to see him in that position.

“I think it should be a celebration of what he accomplished in his life than a sadness, even though many people around the world are sad about it."

Asked about Mandela’s influence on the world, Sharapova – the 2004 Wimbledon singles winner – said: “Well, from what I can see in the news that I watch and the papers that I read, he’s extremely influential to so many people on a very positive level.

“I never had the chance in my life to meet him. |But the people that have met him have said incredibly nice things about him.

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