Maria Sharapova Reveals What Made Her Take an Early Retirement From Tennis

Published 12/05/2020, 10:30 AM EST
Tennis player Maria Sharapova poses for the media as she is unveiled as car manufacturer Porsche’s new brand ambassador at the Porsche Museum on April 22, 2013 in Stuttgart, Germany. (Photo by Thomas Niedermueller/Getty Images)


Former World No. 1  Maria Sharapova was an asset to the game. Having won her first Grand Slam at the age of just 17 years, Maria etched her name in history. The tall Russian has been a constant force in tennis for well over 15 years. 

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Recently, at the beginning of the year, Maria shocked the world by announcing her retirement from the game. It came as a huge surprise as she wasn’t too old. Taking Serena Williams as an example, at 39 years of age, she’s still competing at the highest level.

Maria Sharapova: Have to Pay Attention to the Body and Mind

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Talking about what prompted her to make such a decision, she said, “You have to search within yourself and what you’re feeling. Also what you’re body is telling you and also what your’re mind is telling you. You can have influences and people who are close to you can guide you to make the right decision. But ultimately you drive your career and you have to be comfortable with making those decisions.”

NEW YORK, NEW YORK: Serena Williams of the United States shakes hands with Maria Sharapova of Russia after defeating her in her Women’s Singles first round match during day one of the 2019 US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

While the conversation continued, Sharapova felt that she didn’t find that urge to compete anymore. She realized that she would show up for that particular event but mentally she wasn’t really there. 

Elaborating further on it, she said, “When you have a call or a practice, you have to show up, all of you. I realized I was showing up for my body. I almost lost touch of competing and competition because I was always a short step from getting there but my body didn’t allow me to get lose and enjoy it.”

The multi-time Grand Slam winner felt that after all these years of devoting her life to tennis, she could utilize that time elsewhere. She also added, “I realized that there is a lot of value in that time and I could apply it in so many better meaningful ways. For so many years, that was the sport and I just believed in committing it to other things in my life.”

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Coming back to Sharapova and her achievements, the Russian has won each of the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and the US Open once in her lifetime and she’s won at Roland Garros twice. 

 

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Rohan Kollare

735 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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