Portugal rejoices in Larcher de Brito's Sharapova win

LISBON Thu Jun 27, 2013 7:08pm IST

Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal reacts after winning a point in her women's singles tennis match against Maria Sharapova of Russia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 26, 2013. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Michelle Larcher De Brito of Portugal reacts after winning a point in her women's singles tennis match against Maria Sharapova of Russia at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Stefan Wermuth

LISBON (Reuters) - Portuguese qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito's stunning win over third seed Maria Sharapova at Wimbledon has captured the imagination at home with media hailing her triumph as the country's greatest tennis moment.

Larcher de Brito, ranked 131 in the world, was bombarded with attention from journalists and fans after sending four-time grand slam winner Sharapova crashing out 6-3 6-4 in the second round out on Court Two.

"I know the Portuguese president is trying to talk to me," she told Portuguese daily A Bola. "I'm in roaming mode (on my mobile) so it will cost me, but when I finish all these interviews, of course I will call him."

Portugal has three sports dailies whose front pages rarely feature anything other than football news, but on Thursday Larcher de Brito's heroics merited wide coverage.

"It's the happiest day ever in Portuguese tennis," A Bola daily wrote on its front page next to a photo of a smiling Larcher de Brito.

"For us Portuguese, the most famous of the grand slam (tournaments) already has a winner: Michelle Larcher de Brito," Portuguese O Jogo daily wrote on Thursday.

"She may not be pure talent in the professional circuit but she is a phenomenon in terms of belief and determination".

Larcher de Brito was best known at Wimbledon for the wailing that accompanies every shot but the 20-year-old, who is 1.65 meters tall, will hope this win will take her to new heights.

She faces Italy's Karin Knapp in the third round on Friday when she will be favourite against her 104th ranked opponent.

Larcher de Brito moved to the United States at a young age after her father and coach Antonio Brito was unimpressed with her career prsospects at home.

Now there is hope that she will inspire the development of the sport in Portugal, which has been further hampered by an acute financial crisis.

"In a country struggling with a deep economic crisis, with sports federations suffering budget cuts, the triumph of this child-prodigy may open a lot of doors," Record sports daily wrote.

(Reporting by Daniel Alvarenga; editing by Ken Ferris)

Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

Soccer

SPORTS SHOWCASE

Rodriguez for Real

Rodriguez for Real

Real Madrid sign Colombian Rodriguez.  Full Article 

Fit for the Games

Fit for the Games

Bolt fit and raring to go in Glasgow.  Full Article 

Tour de France

Tour de France

Bardet, Van Garderen suffer as Rogers wins Stage 16.  Full Article 

Test Series

Test Series

England's Buttler to make test debut v India.  Full Article 

World Cup Failure

World Cup Failure

FA chairman backs manager Hodgson despite World Cup flop.  Full Article 

Transfer Window

Transfer Window

Stoke sign Bojan from Barcelona.  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage