Farewell Maria Sharapova: the ice queen who was more respected than loved

28 Février, 2020, 08:09 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
  • Farewell Maria Sharapova: the ice queen who was more respected than loved

Shoulder injuries are nothing new for me-over time my tendons have frayed like a string.

Maria Sharapova is hanging up her tennis shoes.

The five-time grand slam victor made the announcement in an essay for Vogue and Vanity Fair.

Those numbers - as meagre as they are for a woman of mighty achievement - serve just one objective, they show that she tried, she toiled.

Sharapova has hardly played in the past year because of long-standing shoulder problems. "For someone that has won five Grand Slams and has been No. 1 of the world, a legend of the sport, it's not easy to kind of restart all over again".

"The will power and the willingness to overcome all of the obstacles she had especially in the last five or six years with injuries, surgeries and trying to fight back and come back to the court and play on her desired level is truly inspirational to see what a mind of the champions she has".

The Russian was eliminated in the first round of the final three Grand Slams of her career - Wimbledon and the U.S. Open in 2019 and the 2020 Australian Open, which was her last competitive appearance.

"My edge", she wrote, "was never about feeling superior to other players".

When Sharapova returned in 2017 her world ranking had disappeared, leaving her at the mercy of wildcards into tournaments.

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"I'm sorry it had to end with an injury, but at the same time she had a fantastic career".

The 32-year-old Russian retired as the eighth highest-earning female athlete but was the highest-paid for much of her career. "I'm not going to make myself ugly", she said.

"Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain".

Wins first tour title in Tokyo in 2003.

Spotted by Martina Navratilova, she was encouraged to move to Nick Bollettieri's Florida academy, the proving ground of Andre Agassi and Monica Seles. I'll still be climbing.' Words like determined, driven, focused, competitor, thorough professional are often used to describe Sharapova.

Every night, perhaps, except the one four years ago when she lost to Williams in the quarter-finals (as she had done in the previous year's title-decider) - and subsequently learned that her long-term use of the banned drug meldonium would cost her suspension from the sport. Only her father and her agent knew she was taking it until she informed the Russian team doctor the year before her positive test.

You sense she has a shrewd business brain, although her "premium candy" line Sugarpova - perhaps a dubious product for an athlete to promote - may need a serious rebrand if it is ever to prosper in a more health-conscious world.

She shot to fame as a giggly 17-year-old Wimbledon victor in 2004, the third-youngest player to conquer the All England Club's hallowed grass courts. She added an Australian Open title in 2008, and then won the French Open in 2012 and 2014. Sharapova's father made a decision to move to the US at that time and when she was 9, he was able to enroll her in the academy.

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