The Shenzhen Open featured Maria Sharapova playing in 2018 and 2019. The Tournament Director Luiz Carvalho was impressed by the Russian's humility. "I had never worked with Sharapova, but I was surprised. I expected her to be more untouchable and less friendly.
But she is so professional and you realize why she is what she is. She says hi to everyone, she wants to know at what time she plays, book the training court. She is very well organized and involved in everything. Of course being a star we always try to be careful and do everything is needed.
But I was very surprised by her easiness. When she lost to Aryna Sabalenka, she thanked her for everything, apologizing because she was not able to play until the end. Some lower level players do not to do it. Nadal is exactly like Sharapova and I know Federer is like this too.
This is what makes those big icons so great, carrying the sport." Asked if he expected more from John Isner and Felix Auger-Aliassime in this year's Chengdu Open, Carvalho replied: "We always do. We always expect from our top seeds.
There is a couple of things we cannot control: wins and weather. We both thought that they would have gone far but they lost first match. They did not lose 6-2 6-2, they both made a huge effort so they just lost to better players.
I was very happy with the line up this year. It's unfortunate that John and Grigor did not reach the semifinals."