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Maria Sharapova: Is the four-time Grand Slam champion considering retirement?

By Abhimanyu Nagpal    + Follow

Reads: 2,197, Comments: 3

Keywords: Serena-Williams | Maria-Sharapova
Maria Sharapova: Is the four-time Grand Slam champion considering retirement?
Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova is the darling of the tennis world and has millions of fans all over the world. The Russian however has been injured since Wimbledon, and there is a rumour going around that the Russian may well consider retiring from the sport altogether.

After the long drawn out rumours of her being pregnant with boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov’s baby, four-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova the latest rumour about the Russian seems to be about the tennis superstar’s retirement.

While there is nothing concrete, there are quite a few signs that may suggest that Sharapova may well go on to announce an early retirement and in the process shock the world. Pointing in the direction of retirement are her actions in the off season – the time she is suppose to be recovering from a severe shoulder problem.

The 26 year-old, who in general is quite active in attending high profile parties, has been at more than her usual share this year. That in itself is quite a statement as the world knows how much of a socialite Maria is in general. The amount of news flowing in about her is almost as if she’s releasing an autobiography that she has written recently and she is on a promotional tour.

She was first at the Dream for Africa Foundation Gala last month where she looked absolutely stunning in a black lacy dress which almost seemed like an audition for a role in a Hollywood flick with several industry stars at the event. Then, the Russian also gave a longish interview to the Wall Street Journal recently as she promoted her candy brand – Sugarpova.

Maria admitted in the interview that she loved foraying into the business world and it was almost like an education for her, having missed school all her life due to her dedication to tennis. Also as a promotion strategy, she said that she had almost changed her name to ‘Sugarpova’ at the US Open this year, but later decided to withdraw. Just the prospect of it got the 26 year-old so excited that she couldn’t stop rambling on about what Sugarpova was all about.

"Sugarpova is the candy, although now I type in my last name and it autocorrects to Sugarpova," said Sharapova.

Maria had previously spoken about her retirement plans, when she was younger. In fact, at one point in time she was almost convinced that she was going to retire by the time she was 24 much like Kim Clijsters did. The Belgian of course returned later and won a Grand Slam too.

In 2007, she had vowed to retire at 24, emulating Kim Clijsters, who left tennis that year only to return in 2009. "I want to have a family, of course. I want to try other things in my career,"

Of course, she then had to go through a career threatening shoulder injury which made her realize her love for the sport even further. In her recent interview with the WSJ, she said that it’s tennis that has given her everything and she planned to continue as long as her body allowed her to.

"Time will tell, the body will tell," she said. "I certainly didn't think when I was 16 or 17 years old that when I am 26, I will still be playing but here I am and I still feel that I have quite a bit to go," said the four-time Grand Slam champion.

That of course is reassuring to her fans, who absolutely adore her. Nevertheless there are quite a few sceptics who on the other hand believe that she would actually do herself a favour by retiring.

That school of thought originates from her unbelievably poor displays against current World No.1 Serena Williams. With a head to head record of 13-2 against the younger Williams sister, Sharapova continues to be overwhelmed whenever she comes up against the American.

At last year’s WTA championships when Maria made the final only to lose convincingly to Williams, she said that she thought that her 6-4,6-3 loss was a close match. Statements like those tell you what the state of mind of a player is against a particular opponent, Maria comes into a match against Williams as an already defeated player.

The American continues to play some mind boggling tennis which is why it seems that instead of the road becoming easier for Sharapova, it only get tougher with Serena still at her absolute peak.

Another something to ponder over for her admirers is the fact that the rivalry between the two is still fierce, meaning every loss to Williams will undoubtedly pinch Maria especially with her dating Dimitrov who was previously involved with Serena.

Retirement might seem like a “weak” alternative, but on careful examination may well prove to be the right alternative. Having mentioned that, Maria in the same WSJ interview that it is ‘being tough’ that has won her so many accolades all along her career.

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Posted By theoh,   Posted about 404 days and 1 hour ago

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Hi, oscar.mendoza: Thanks for your comment. My "something special" alluded to an unexpected rumor--being pregnant. Certainly there is no reason for Shapov to quit playing tennis. If it were true, temporary retirement would be okay, & she is young enough to pick up the racket again to take part in the tournament. What I'm worried about is her body figure might be vulnerable if taking a couple of years to have a break.

Posted By oscar.mendoza,   Posted about 404 days and 2 hours ago

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This is no true, Maria juts announced some days ago the ticket for her defense the title in BN Paribas tournament.

Posted By theoh,   Posted about 404 days and 13 hours ago

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So long as Shapov's mental toughness & health condition permit, why not keeps on playing tennis? If there has been something special that happens to her, temporary retirement would be no sweat: Hingis & Clijsters were the brilliant examples set for Shapov to follow. However, her tall figure may eventually be prone to gain weight + her long legs lacking explosive power may cause her serious problem after deciding to return from retirement.--difficult to resume her high quality of performance. Hopefully her shoulder injury will get a quick recovery. With respect to the battle between Shapov & Serena, seemingly the latter has a bit more edge over the former, but to my thinking so long as Shapov can well control her emotion & tries to adjust her game accordingly so as to keep her rhythm & timing in a balancing form instead of blindly seeking outright winners all the time (perhaps her relatively slow footwork may lead her to extreme way of playing), she has the ability to deal with Serena. Most likely she donated lots of free points to Serena. Besides, she needs to have zero tolerance for her double faults--the only way is to get 1st serve well in & well-placed, than getting more spin for the 2nd serve. It's ridiculous that such kind of top excellent player can't handle the service which is the unique stroke not interfered/hindered by opponent but it actually will be affected by one's own emotional fear of failure at crucial moment.

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