She is far from the top of women's tennis, suffering injuries and admits: "I don't know if I can go back to being what I was" • However, Maria Sharapova, 32, who flew in the first round of the Australian Championship, refuses to retire - and the way her business is progressing
Sharapova in the last impeachment game. The shoulder makes it harder for her
With five wins in Grand Slam tournaments and a superstar status, on and off the field, Maria Sharapova participates in tournaments as long as she desires. So it happened that the 32-year-old Russia entered the first round of the Australian Open on the Wild Card standard, despite being ranked 145th in the world and hardly playing in 2019 due to injuries (15 games in 7: 8).
Sharapova's hope was to seize the opportunity to instill a bit of backwash into her fading career, but the opposite happened. A 6: 3, 6: 4 loss to Croatian Donna and Kich (19 in the tournament) sent her home in the first round of the Grand Slam tournament for the third time in a row, dropping her below the 350th in the world rankings.
The new slump to which someone who was first ranked in the world in 2005 raised the obvious question: was that the end of the Sharapova tennis player?
This question just couldn't answer the Russian at the end of the game. "I don't know, really I don't know," she murmured in front of the journalists; "It's hard for me to tell you what will happen to me in 12 months," she replied to those wondering if she would return to Australia next year. Of course, Sharapova's uncertainty can be understood. It's been five years since she was relevant at the top of the women's round, when she reached the finals in Australia and the semifinals at Wimbledon, but has since been like a spider trying to climb a wet wall.
"Gives me all"
Missed most of 2016 and 2017 due to delays due to the use of performance-enhancing materials, in 2018 managed to lift its head above the water with entry into the Top 25 and Quarterfinals in France, and in 2019 came injuries, surgeries, and again the problematic shoulder that prevented her from participating in numerous Tournaments. "I can't believe he can get back to her peak," past actress Chris Everett told ESPN. "Her shoulder is complete, she has been playing since the age of 15 and she has an amazing career behind her. In addition, she is a successful business woman who wants to do many more things in life."
Sharapova certainly does a lot of things - headed by her candy chain SUGARPOVA - and some say the game allows her to further her pursuits, as happened recently in Dubai, where, while participating in the tournament, she has launched another branch for the sweet chain. On the other hand, others believe that her competitive nature simply does not allow her to raise hands and surrender.
With fans. Still very popular // Photo: GettyImages
"I can sit here and tell you about all the health obstacles I've been through lately, but that's not my style," she said this week. "I go up to the field and give it my all, always, and obviously this time it didn't end the way I wanted to."
Although the end was not desired, Sharapova had moments when she demonstrated a forgotten tennis. It was short episodes and far from the moments of decision, but maybe those moments would convince her that there was a reason to keep trying. "I don't know if I can go back to being what I was, I don't have a crystal ball," she declared, "but I certainly would."