Wimbledon Winners: , Sharapova, NBC
And the winners at Wimbledon were Roger Federer of Switzerland, Maria Sharapova of Russia and … the TV ratings of NBC.
Federer's 4-6, 7-5, 7-6 (3), 6-4 victory over American Andy Roddick for a second straight title at the grass-court Grand Slam tournament drew a 3.6 overnight rating Sunday on NBC – a 33 percent boost over last year's 2.7, when Federer beat Mark Philippoussis, reports the Associated Press.
The number represents the best overnight rating for a Wimbledon men's final since 2000 – the last time an American (Pete Sampras, winning the last of his seven Wimbledon singles titles) was in the match.
Sharapova's 6-1, 6-4 upset of two-time defending champion Serena Williams in the women's final Saturday produced a 3.9 overnight rating. That was down from a 4.0 in 2003, when Williams beat her sister Venus.
As for the fallout from her victory, Reuters reports that the new champ has been besieged by autograph seekers and new fans who descended upon London's Savoy Hotel in the hopes of getting a glimpse at the 17-year-old Siberian, who now calls Florida home.
The news service said that not since Bjorn Borg – in 1973 – has there been such public hysteria surrounding a tennis player.
But the girl who arrived in America at the age 7 with her father and only $700 to their name is determined to take all the adulation in her stride.
"I know things will start coming up and that many more things will want to get involved, but I want to keep my head cool and play tennis," Sharapova said.
"I don't know how this is going to change my life but I hope it doesn't change the person who I am right now. I don't really want that to happen."
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