Maria Kirilenko Comments on Canceling Engagement with Alex Ovechkin

Matt FitzgeraldCorrespondent IIIJuly 21, 2014

Jul 30, 2012; London, United Kingdom; Washington Capitals left wing Alex Ovechkin, right, watches Maria Kirilenko (RUS), left, warm up before the women's doubles secound round match between Kirilenko and Nadia Petrova (RUS) against Yaroslava Shvedova (KAZ) and Galina Voskoboeva (KAZ) during the 2012 London Olympic Games at Wimbledon. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Women's tennis standout Maria Kirilenko called off her engagement to Washington Capitals superstar Alex Ovechkin, and she spoke publicly about canceling it for the first time on Monday.   

The Associated Press, via, reported what Kirilenko had to say regarding the split.

"Our relationship is over, but I respect Sasha [Ovechkin] as a person and as an athlete, and I respectfully wish him further sporting success," said Kirilenko.

The Russian Tennis Federation originally had Kirilenko's comments, and she said there were "a lot of reasons" for her ending the engagement. Kirilenko had risen to a career-best No. 10 in the WTA rankings in June 2013, but injuries have contributed to a recent slump. However, her game may be coming around, as she upset young American star Sloane Stephens in the first round at Wimbledon 2014.

Pavel Golovkin/Associated Press

Ovechkin was not on hand to witness Kirilenko's triumph, which led to the Russian press questioning the status of his relationship with his now former fiancee, per the AP report.

The split between the two stars reminds of another recent breakup that stole headlines, when Kirilenko's peer Caroline Wozniacki and professional golfer Rory McIlroy recently called it quits.

Matt Slocum/Associated Press

McIlroy won the European Tour's flagship event, the BMW PGA Championship, in his first start after his engagement was canceled. This past weekend, the 25-year-old then added his third career major title, capturing the Claret Jug at The Open Championship.

Meanwhile, Wozniacki won her first singles title of the 2014 season at the WTA Istanbul Cup the same day McIlroy won the British Open.

Kirilenko and Ovechkin had been dating since 2011 and were engaged in late 2012, per's Brian Stubits. Both will surely be hoping for similar professional success as McIlroy and Wozniacki following their break.

Kirilenko will look to continue her encouraging comeback. Presuming Ovechkin is able to carry on and play at his usual, sensational level, he ought to help the Capitals bounce back after they missed the most recent NHL playoffs.

Washington's recent letdown wasn't all on Ovechkin, because he did his part, leading the league with 51 goals.

Even when their relationship was apparently on the decline—in light of Monday's comments from Kirilenko—both Ovechkin and Kirilenko were excelling in their respective sports. That likely bodes well for them moving forward.