On February 26, Maria Sharapova, one of the greatest female tennis players of all time waved goodbye to the tennis family. Maria came from playing tennis at a local park in Russia at the age of 4 to winning the biggest of tournaments on the women’s tennis circuit.
Sharapova turned professional in 2001 on her fourteenth birthday, which was just a stepping stone of what was ahead. At the age of 17, the Russian won her first grand slam title at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships, defeating then world number 1 and defending champion, Serena Williams. In 2005, she became the first Russian woman to be ranked first in the world at just the age of 18.
Throughout her career, Maria has been world number 1 on five separate occasions, spending at least 21 weeks on the top of the rankings. She has also won 36 titles on the circuit, five of which grand slam singles titles. The former world number 1 is also just the 10th woman to complete a career grand, winning each of the 4 at least once, with two of them coming at Roland Garros.
However, throughout her tennis career, she was plagued by several shoulder, thigh and arm injuries, which caused problems for the athlete as she had to undergo multiple surgeries on crucial moments of her tennis career.
Despite a decorated tennis career, she has also featured in the modelling industry, the most notable features being on Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue and Cole Haan, which is a huge model house. She has also been a brand ambassador for Nike, Prince, Head and Porsche over the course of her career.
She has also featured on Forbes list of most paid athletes for more than a decade. Maria has been a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations since 2007, although they suspended her duties in 2016 due to her meldonium controversy in 2016. However, she got reinstated in April 2017 when her suspension from the Women’s Tennis Association was over.
In 2016, Maria announced that she had tested positive for a banned substance, meldonium at the Australian Open. She was taking the substance as per the doctor’s prescription but she was banned for 2 years from playing professional tennis. which was reduced to 15 months. This resulted in the loss of several endorsement deals, goodwill assignments with Head being the only brand that stuck with her throughout the suspension.
She returned to professional tennis in April 2017 and made a return to the top 25 in 2018. However due to arm,thigh and shoulder injuries, she ended the 2019 season ranked 131. It seems she could not recover and find her best form in 2020, which led to her ultimate retirement at the age of 32. She will be remembered as one of the greatest female athletes in the world of sport.
Disclaimer : PunjabToday.in and other platforms of the Punjab Today group strive to include views and opinions from across the entire spectrum, but by no means do we agree with everything we publish. Our efforts and editorial choices consistently underscore our authors' right to the freedom of speech. However, it should be clear to all readers that individual authors are responsible for the information, ideas or opinions in their articles, and very often, these do not reflect the views of PunjabToday.in or other platforms of the group. Punjab Today does not assume any responsibility or liability for the views of authors whose work appears here.
Most shared Punjab Today articles:
KYUN KE HUM HAIN HINDUSTANI
Three Women of 1984
FROM 1984 TO BARGARI - Hurt & angry, we’ve tried rage, anger. Did we miss karuna?
REVISITING 1984 – RIOT AROUND A POLE
KARTARPUR SAHIB: A CLARION CALL FOR PEACE IN AN AGE OF CYNICISM
If it could happen to Arun Shourie, imagine what could they do to you?
Healers & Predators – The Doctor is In, & is very corrupt
Amarinder, Badals, AAP — Every party in Punjab is now an Akali Dal
Welcome to 1947. Happy Independence Day. Would you like to step out?
In Pakistan, a donkey pays for democracy – bleeding, its nostrils ripped apart
WOOING THE PANTH: Amarinder a little less Congressy, Akali Dal a little more saffron
"Captain Amarinder Singh ji” and "Rahul”: Reading Sign Language In A Relationship
The Comrade In Punjab - Lost, Irrelevant, Asleep, Even Bored!
WATERS ROYALTY - The Loot that Rajasthan Committed
AMARINDER GOVT's LOVE FOR FARMERS, AND MY DAD's FOR HIS SCOOTER
OF SUNNY KID & HORSE SENSE: The Punjab-Punjab Ties
TRUDEAU VISIT AND RIGHT-WING MEDIA MACHINE
OF NIRMAL SINGH'S EYES
Mr. CHIEF MINISTER, PLEASE CALL OFF JANUARY 7 FUNCTION
MR PRESIDENT, PLEASE TAKE BACK HIS GALLANTRY MEDAL
A SAFFRON JOURNEY VIA CANADA
BAD, BAD WOMAN!
Punjab Today believes in serious, engaging, narrative journalism at a time when mainstream media houses seem to have given up on long-form writing and news television has blurred or altogether erased the lines between news and slapstick entertainment. We at Punjab Today believe that readers such as yourself appreciate cerebral journalism, and would like you to hold us against the best international industry standards. Brickbats are welcome even more than bouquets, though an occasional pat on the back is always encouraging. Good journalism can be a lifeline in these uncertain times worldwide. You can support us in myriad ways. To begin with, by spreading word about us and forwarding this reportage. Stay engaged.
— Team PT