Photos of an apparently sheared Maria Sharapova blazed through the internet as fans expressed both dismay and support, but the tennis star herself quashed discussions Wednesday with a post explaining it was part of a photo shoot.
Sharapova posted two pictures on her Facebook page Monday showing her long blonde locks replaced with an ear-length hairstyle and bearing the caption "So what do you guys think?? I kind of love it!"
Fans left comments in Spanish, English and Russian ranging from "you look old now" and "Nooooo" to "I love it!"
Sharapova responded with photos of her getting her hair styled and an explanation that she did not cut her hair.
"Wow, when I posted those photos with the short hair I had no idea everyone would all go bananza," Sharapova wrote. "My dear friends, I never actually said I cut my hair! … my hair is still long ... and blonde ... and well it's pretty much the same! We did a shoot a few days ago and I sported all types of hair styles ... long and yes short (a wig!!!)" she said.
Sharapova, who is engaged to Slovenian basketball player Sasha Vujacic, also received offers of marriage. She is ranked as the number two tennis player in the world and is eligible to play for Russia at the Olympic Games in London.