Love match. Rory helps Caroline at MSG tennis exhibition against Maria Sharapova

Story highlights

  • Rory McIlroy turns his hand to tennis at an exhibition event in New York
  • New golf no.1 'wins' rally against Russian superstar Maria Sharapova
  • Sharapova beats McIlroy's girlfriend 6-3 6-4
  • Andy Roddick beats Roger Federer 7-5 7-6 at Madison Square Garden

Not content with dominating the world of golf, Rory McIlroy showed off his tennis skills at an exhibition in Madison Square Garden featuring his girlfriend Caroline Wozniacki.

The Dane was struggling at a set and 5-4 down to Maria Sharapova when she lightheartedly asked McIlroy, who was among the audience, for his help.

The 22-year-old from Northern Ireland needed no second prompting and to the delight of the sell-out 18,000 crowd took up her offer.

Addressing the tennis ball as if playing a golf shot, McIlroy tried surprise tactics on Sharapova by quickly starting a rally with a top-spin forehand.

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It came back with a bit of interest and McIlroy had to produce a nifty backhand slice to stay in the rally.

After trading a couple more gentle shots, Sharapova sent a backhand volley wide and McIlroy quickly ran back to his seat before the world number two could get her inevitable revenge.

Unfortunately for fourth-ranked Wozniacki, her Russian opponent was not so generous to her and closed out a 6-3 6-4 victory.

McIlroy, who went to the top of the golf rankings after his superb win at the Honda Classic on Sunday, was besieged by autograph hunters and told onlookers it was "nice to take a little break from golf".

He is back in action to defend his top spot in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral Thursday.

Meanwhile, Andy Roddick had some rare cheer in a disappointing season as he beat Roger Federer 7-5 7-6 in the other match played at the star-studded exhibition.