Maria Sharapova vows not to take easy route and retire, saying: I still have a lot of passion
It was a sad Wimbledon exit for Maria Sharapova as the former champion retired from her first-round match against Pauline Parmentier, but the Russian has vowed to fight on.
It has been a difficult year so far for Sharapova as she has struggled with a shoulder injury and underwent a small procedure in February.
She only returned to action in June and her clash against Frenchwoman Parmentier was only her third since the surgery.
The 2014 champion started pretty well as she won the opening set and then found herself serving for the match at 5-3 in the second only to then lose her way completely.
She eventually threw in the towel when she was down 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 5-0.
“It’s very rare that I withdraw from a match in the middle,” the 32-year-old said. “I got myself to a good enough place to be part of this event, not be out of the draw. I don’t want to put anyone in that position. I’m here to play. Next time I come here, I want to feel great. I want to do what I’m meant to be doing at the level I believe I can.”
More questions are being raised about her future in tennis, but Sharapova is determined to continue playing.
“I’m still proud that I’m here. This is not the easy way,” she said. “I think the easy way would be just for me to maybe do other things because I’ve set up the opportunities for myself.
“I’ve never taken the easy route. I’ve always worked, committed, focused. Like I said, these moments are hard, but I love what I do. I still have a lot of passion for it.”
More from Tennis365:
Andy Murray in race against time to play at Australian Open after testing positive for COVID-19
Andy Murray tests positive for coronavirus – report.
Andy Murray Australian Open appearance in doubt after positive test for Covid
Murray is hoping to be able to arrive in Australia at a later date.
Dominic Thiem’s coach tests positive for COVID-19, but hopes to link up with Austrian ‘soon’
Nicolas Massu hopes to fly Down Under in a few weeks.
‘It feels great,’ says Hubert Hurkacz after starting 2021 with Delray Beach Open trophy
Hubert Hurkacz captures second ATP Tour title.
Australian Open drama as player reveals he was allowed to board flight despite positive COVID-19 test
Tennys Sandgren allowed to fly despite positive test.
Rafael Nadal suffers Australian Open setback as his coach Carlos Moya opts not to travel Down Under
Carlos Moya won’t be in Rafael Nadal’s box.
Notable Australian Open qualifiers: From Tsvetana Pironkova and Francesca Jones to Bernard Tomic
Oli Jefford on the notable Australian Open qualifiers.
‘I’m really happy to keep winning,’ says Aryna Sabalenka after capturing third title in a row
Another tournament, another title for Aryna Sabalenka.
Francesca Jones overcame injury and ‘wee mental breakdown’ ahead of Australian Open qualifying
Jones is in the main draw of Australian Open.
Naomi Osaka backed to win ‘another five to 10 majors as she that all-court game right’
How many Grand Slams will Naomi Osaka win?