The internet backlash over Maria Sharapova's new short hair has forced the Russian tennis star to release new photographs showing what her truest fans will claim they had always known in their hearts.
It was a wig.
The three-time Grand Slam champion and fashion icon, renowned for her long blonde locks, sent gasps of cyber shock around the world when she appeared on Facebook on Tuesday sporting a short choppy look.
"Wow, when I posted those photos with the short hair I had no idea everyone would all go bananza," Sharapova wrote Wednesday above a new photograph with her very own curls trailing down her back.
"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!!!)."
"My dear friends, I never actually said I cut my hair!"
But she had most of the world fooled.
Sharapova’s faux short look attracted a wide spectrum of comments that ranged from complaints it was a turn-off to offers of marriage.
“I am in shock! It's too short!” Singaporean fan Keith Chern wrote.
“It’s perfect for you,” wrote Keita Sugihara from Japan.
So far in 2012, Sharapova has reached the final of the Australian Open, losing to Belarusian player Viktoria Azarenka 6-3, 6-0, and lost in the finals of the Indian Wells and Miami tournaments.
The world No. 2, engaged to Slovenian basketball player Sasha Vujacic, is eligible to play for Russia at this summer’s Olympic Games in London.