Maria Sharapova Recalls the Mental Challenge of Battling Injury Trauma During Her Tennis Career

Published 01/17/2021, 1:00 PM EST
Maria Sharapova of Russia looks on during her WTA St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy 2019 tennis match on January 28, 2019 in Saint Petersburg, Russia. (Photo by Mike Kireev/NurPhoto via Getty Images)


Former Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has opened up on how her body is holding up post-retirement. Apart from winning five Grand Slam titles during a fulfilling career, Sharapova also faced and overcame grave injury challenges.

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Sharapova was out of tennis with a dodgy shoulder close to retirement

Even close to her retirement from the game, the Russian was forced on the sidelines for a fairly long spell with a shoulder injury.

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On a podcast, the two-time French Open champion was asked if she feels detoxed and cleansed from the after-effects of injuries and surgeries that plagued her during her playing days.

SINGAPORE: Maria Sharapova of Russia in action during a round robin match againt Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland during the BNP Paribas WTA Finals at Singapore Sports Hub in Singapore. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)

“I wouldn’t say that it’s been a cleanse because I had a phenomenal team. I had a physio that would work on my shoulder, probably more than the amount of time I spent on court in the last couple of years.

“That’s how much it took to get me court. So I realized the importance of having my body worked on, which was nice but also excruciating because you wake up and you’re constantly thinking what you need to do for your shoulder.

“It was like constant maintenance,” the former World Number 1.

Sharapova said never felt comfortable taking an hour off practice

Recalling experiences of dealing with injury trauma, Sharapova said she never felt comfortable taking an hour off from practice or training, fearing it might affect her game. 

“So that’s been nice, but it’s been more mental. You can’t just let it go and not constantly be on edge that if you have an hour off that means you are doing something wrong, that you are not taking care of it,” the 2004 Wimbledon champion said.

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The Russian, who now heads her candy line ‘Sugarpova’, recalled days when she felt like she couldn’t go through practice but yet had to show up for it as she had hired spot people for the purpose.

“There are days when you can’t even get to practice and you have this team that you employ, spot people that are there in the practice court and your body occasionally lets go and breaks down and you can’t even finish practice,” she said.

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Sharapova finished with an incredible 37 career WTA titles, including the five Grand Slam titles.

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Priyabrata Chowdhury

984 articles

Priyabrata Chowdhury is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. He has been a print journalist for a decade, producing news pages for leading national dailies such as the Hindustan Times and The New Indian Express. His passion for sports eventually drove him to tennis writing.

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