Maria, can you comment on the story about the pictures with Sasha and [gymnast Karolina Sevastyanova] on social networks, which are being so vigorously discussed in the media?
Maria Kirilenko: Believe me, over the years I have seen so many pictures of Sasha in the company of young ladies, that I have gotten used to it. That is normal. We are public figures, and people often want to take pictures with us. This is the first time I heard about this girl, and I made my decision to break up the engagement long before these pictures appeared on the social networks. It is laughable to point to them as the main reason behind the breakup – after three years together couples do not break up over a couple of pictures. There are much more significant reasons. I will not go into any more details about them. But let’s just say it is not a secret for anybody that Sasha has certain habits and particulars of behavior that I did not consider worth tolerating anymore.
Everybody was a bit surprised when they didn’t see Alexander Ovechkin next to you during the French Open and Wimbledon.
Maria Kirilenko: Why? Sasha has his own schedule. He needed to be present at the NHL Awards ceremony in Las Vegas because he was the top goal scorer of the season again. Also, they won the Worlds recently… Obviously, he was in high demand and we cannot be together all the time.
It’s just that everybody got accustomed to seeing Ovechkin accompany you to the tournaments during the offseason.
Well, you’ll need to lose that habit then. Because, secondly, Sasha and I are no longer together. That was my decision – to break off our engagement. I do not want to go into specifics, although there are a lot of reasons. I’ll just tell you – I continue to respect him as a person and wish him to continue with his achievements. And I need to focus on my own career.