NEW YORK — Maria Sharapova beat Caroline Wozniacki in an exhibition at Madison Square Garden on Monday — though she lost the only point she played against Wozniacki’s boyfriend, top-ranked golfer Rory McIlroy.
With the Dane a game away from losing 6-3, 6-4, she invited McIlroy onto the court just hours after he won the Honda Classic to ascend to No. 1 in the world for the first time.
Andy Roddick beat Roger Federer 7-5, 7-6 (7) in the night’s second exhibition at the BNP Paribas Showdown. Roddick was 2-21 in his career against Federer.
"I’m obviously in Roger’s head," Roddick joked after winning in his first appearance at the Garden.
"I think Jeremy Lin wanted me to win tonight," Roddick added.
In jeans and a sweater, McIlroy showed off a one-handed backhand, and Sharapova hit his lob wide.
Asked if he was surprised, McIlroy said with a smile: "I’ve won a few off Caroline."
Wozniacki has been ranked No. 1 for 67 weeks in her career, though she’s currently down to No. 4. McIlroy knows he’ll need to stay on top for "another couple of years" to catch his girlfriend in that stat.
In between taking photos with fans after the match, McIlroy said, "It’s nice to take a little break from golf." The couple plans to meet up in Miami before he plays a World Golf Championship event there and she heads to Indian Wells, Calif.
McIlroy stopped signing autographs for a moment to listen to Wozniacki’s on-court interview. "He’s 100 per cent against Maria," she told the crowd.
Asked earlier Monday whether she sent him flowers after his win Sunday, Wozniacki said, "Well, I don’t want his head to become too big, so, um, no."
Sharapova and Wozniacki got into the spirit of the exhibition at times: exchanging smiles after a well-played rally, surrendering a point to make up for a missed call, dancing with fans before the final game.
The second-ranked Sharapova wasn’t conserving energy, though. After breaking back to 4-4 in the second set, she chased down a drop shot and then a lob, throwing her hands up in frustration when her shot ricocheted off the scoreboard.