From a teenage sensation to 5 times-grand slam champion, the right-handed tennis player, Maria Yuryevna Sharapova announced her retirement on Wednesday. This might not be the way she would have a dream of ending her spectacular career, which also might be the reason that she has denied any farewell tour.
“I don’t feel I need to go on the court for the entire world and every fan to know that this is my last time on the court,” Sharapova said.
Her career came into limelight when as a wild card entry into the 2004 Wimbledon, she defeated the might Serena Williams who was holding the title for two continuous years. This was the period when William sisters used to rule the court be grass or clay, but this defeat showed the world that their hegemony in tennis is ready to be challenged.
Moving into the US as the Chernobyl poison refugee in 1994, she rose like a phoenix and bagged five grand slam titles to her name. Another rare feat attributed to her name is being ranked for 11 years in a row as the highest earner in women’s sport.
Sharapova as a person is never the one who would please everyone, whether it is on the court or off the court, she lives by her own terms, hitting everything hard that comes her way. Some of her rivals on the court have praised her for grit and determination while others have not made such charming comments.
However, she has said she is only retiring and not quitting from.
“As I think you’ve seen throughout my career, my perseverance has been my greatest tool, my greatest strength,” she said in an interview. “But I’ve started feeling like it was becoming a weakness because the stubbornness that was keeping me going was keeping me going for wrong reasons.”
However, history will kind to her as a sportsperson because the manner she pusher herself bravely from injuries is remarkable. At the time, her shoulder injury that keeps recurring or the forearm inflammation made it excruciatingly painful for her to even get a proper grip of the racket. The former world No. 1 has been in continuous pain for the last two years. On Tuesday she said, “I look at photos of myself and of the motion where I’m just about to hit the ball, and I’m in the air or just as I’m making contact, and I can’t even look at it because it makes me cringe. I have so much pain.”
Besides the injuries, it was the meldonium episode that can have been one of the lowest points of her sports career.
Nevertheless, her trademark screeching accompanying her ferocious and powerful serve would always be reminiscent. She had almost all the features that one needed to be a world-class tennis player one of which was the two-handed backhand best in the business.
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