Maria Sharapova suggests there were people who “didn’t like the idea of her being more than just a tennis player” so she had to stand up for herself many times. Sharapova, who became a Grand Slam champion at the age of 17 at 2004 Wimbledon, quickly became one of the most marketable and popular athletes in the world.
On the court, Sharapova was enjoying great success but she also had some other interests, most notably in fashion. “When I gained success at a young age, I was genuinely surprised by how much interest there was in my life in every single lane.
I’ve had to stand up for myself many times. It wasn’t popular to be more than just a tennis player — to be interested in fashion, to have your own line. You’re in this sandbox, and you’re not allowed to play with anything else,” Sharapova said in Unmatched Gender Equity in Sports Conference.
Sharapova on retiring from pro tennis in 2020
Sharapova, who turned 36 in April, retired from pro tennis after the 2020 Australian Open.
But before deciding it was time to end her tennis career, former five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova tried hard to get back to feeling fully healthy and being in great shape. But it just wasn’t happening for Sharapova and the former world No 1 eventually decided to retire at the age of 32.
“Toward the end of my career, I tried very, very hard to get my body back in shape and injury-free. And a lot of that came from my stubbornness because I truly believed I could repair my ligaments and my tendons in my shoulder just if I worked harder.
And sometimes, you have to let go of that stubbornness in order for there to be more beautiful things in your life to open up,” Sharapova. Last year, Sharapova became a mother for the first time in her life and raising a child is one of her top priorities right now.