Russia’s Maria Sharapova just called curtains on her career last month after being the highest-paid sportswoman of the world for 11 years on the trot and after winning 5 grand slams. There are not many sports stars with careers as controversial and as glittering as Sharapova’s.
Sharapova, born in Siberia and aged 32, completed her rags to stardom story when she defeated Serena Williams in 2004. Aged just 17 back then, Sharapova was touted as the next big thing in Tennis.
“I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis — I’m saying goodbye. Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain. My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible. After 28 years and five grand slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain, to compete on a different type of terrain,” said Sharapova while announcing her retirement.
Shamil Tarpischev, President of the Russian Tennis Federation, also commented on her retirement and said, “It’s a shame, of course, because Maria was a role model for everyone. Many girls compared themselves to her. She was number one for the popularization of Russian tennis. Her image was huge.”
Sharapova’s otherwise illustrious career took a turn for the dark when she was defeated for the 18th time by Serena Williams in 2016. Other than the defeat, reports of her failing an anti-doping test took the world of Tennis by storm. She was banned for a couple of years by the ITF and went from being the most loved sportswomen to having all her sponsorships taken away from her.
Sharapova later claimed that she didn’t realize the meldonium she had taken for health issues was included in the list of banned substances by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
While her confectionary company, named Sugarpova, will keep her busy, Sharapova will surely miss the thrill of competition.
“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life, ” Sharapova said.
“I’ll miss it every day; I’ll miss the training and my daily routine.”
YouTube Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cM1xZPaAJR8