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TENNIS

Maria Sharapova understands event's move from Carson to La Costa

She loses geographical advantage as World Tennis Assn. event moves south but says she loves the new venue too.

September 04, 2009|Diane Pucin

Maria Sharapova says she's happy the World Tennis Assn. event that has been held at the Home Depot Center for the last seven years is moving to Carlsbad starting next year, despite losing a geographical advantage.

Sharapova lives in Manhattan Beach, which is much closer to Carson than the new venue of La Costa.

"I love La Costa as well," she said after her 6-2, 6-1 win at the U.S. Open over 17-year-old Christina McHale at Arthur Ashe Stadium.

"One of the pitfalls that we had was that it was all the way in Carson," she said. "I think for the tennis fans that are in the sort of West Hollywood, Beverly Hills area, they didn't have much enthusiasm to make an hour or hour-and-a-half drive in rush hour."

Sharapova had been the biggest draw for the final event held at the Home Depot Center, where she lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Flavia Pennetta.

La Costa had played host to the World Tennis Assn.'s Acura Classic until 2007, when its owners sold the event back to the WTA.

Sharapova was the winner in 2007.

-- Diane Pucin

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