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Maria Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic will wed in Turkey, despite being ‘saddened’ by all the stray dogs

Mar 23, 2012, 2:27 PM EDT

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Scientists can confirm that we are now closer than ever to a Maria Sharapova-Sasha Vujacic Super Baby, after the couple on Thursday officially set a wedding date. Following a whirlwind 18-month engagement, the tennis diva and former NBA (and current Anadolu Efes Basketball Club) star have set Nov. 10 in Istanbul, Turkey, for the nuptials. That’s where Vujacic is currently employed.

But I have a feeling that, given a choice, Sharapova would have picked a different wedding locale. From the National Turk:

Former La Lakers player Sasha Vujacic plays since 2011 for Turkish giants Anadolu Efes, the couple stayed in Istanbul as Maria Sharapova visited Turkey and Istanbul last October for TEB Paribas WTA Championships.

Sharapova said then she loved Istanbul but also added that the number of stray dogs in Istanbul saddened and upsetted her.

And she’s not kidding. There are reportedly 100,000 stray dogs roaming the streets if Istanbul, a problem that goes back centuries, to the Ottoman Empire.

Mark Twain, in his notes on İstanbul, wrote in 1861 that he had never seen such “doleful-eyed and broken-hearted stray dogs” anywhere else in his life.

One reason the problem is so bad is that the city has resisted killing the dogs, relying instead on a spay and neuter campaign. But many suffer and die due to starvation, or residents poisoning them. the city is still working on ways to solve the problem.

Sharapova has a dog herself, and is a noted penguin enthusiast. But aren’t we all?

Maria Sharapova and Sasha Vujacic have scheduled a November wedding in Turkey [Sportress of Blogitude]