London (AFP) - Maria Sharapova found the sour taste of defeat at Wimbledon lingered longer than expected as she had to deal with renewed questions about her decision to launch a range of sweets.
Sharapova, who won Wimbledon in 2004, brought out the 'Sugarpova' range of candy in 2012 and opened a pop-up shop in Wimbledon High Street last month to publicise and sell the treats for the two-week duration of the tournament.
The 27-year-old Russian, the world's wealthiest female athlete, has had to deal with criticism from nutritionists who claim she shouldn't be endorsing a food regarded as unhealthy at a time when obesity is on the rise.
And, after dealing with questions about her surprise 7-6 (7/4), 4-6, 6-4 loss against Angelique Kerber in the fourth round, the reigning French Open champion was given another grilling on the issue by one health-conscious reporter during her post-match press conference.
"(There's been) criticism but great sales afterwards," Sharapova said.
"It's kind of like the best day (of sales was) after the criticisms. If you want to provide some more..."
She then seized a chance to plug the product: "I kind of go back and forth between my favourites.
"At the moment it's called Quirky. It's a licorice type, marshmallow middle with a strawberry flavour. You should give it a try.
"You can smile more often, by the way!"