Injuries taking its toll, but too early to talk about Maria Sharapova’s retirement
It has been bumpy ride for Maria Sharapova since her return to tennis, but talk of her retirement is a bit premature.
It has been a difficult year for the five-time Grand Slam winner as she has competed in only 11 tournaments with her best performances a couple of semi-final appearances at the Shenzhen Open at the start of the year and the Italian Open in May.
Much like what is happening in the men’s game with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal limiting their schedule, Sharapova has skipped a lot of events in an attempt to prolong her career.
On Tuesday her team confirmed that her 2018 season is over as she would miss events in Beijing, Tianjin and Moscow in order to rest her troublesome shoulder.
She is expected to make her comeback at the Shenzhen Open, which is due to start in the first week of January, and there is now talk that the 2019 season could well be her last as a professional player.
“I heard that Masha’s agent Max Eisenbud gave strong hints that Sharapova could retire after the next season,” former Russian player Andrei Chesnokov told Championat, with the quotes translated by rt.com.
It has been more than a year since Sharapova made her comeback to competitive tennis after completing her drugs ban and she would be the first to admit that things have not gone according to plan.
She has shown glimpses of form, especially during the clay-court season, but unfortunately it is a case of two steps forward, one step back with her right shoulder injury flaring up often.
Shoulder problems are nothing new to Sharapova as she has been troubled by it throughout her career, forcing her to miss large chunks of seasons to recuperate.
Of course being on the other side of 30 means it usually takes a bit longer to get over your injures, but she can take a leaf out of Federer, Nadal and Novak Djokovic’s books as they have proven that if you take care of yourself, you can return to the top of the game.
She will be the first to admit that she was never really in any decent form this year to add to her 36 WTA Tour singles titles, let alone win a sixth Grand Slam trophy.
Yet, women’s tennis is so open that you should never discount anyone when it comes to winning majors with eight different players winning the last eight Grand Slams.
And if you have the experience and the bloody-mindedness that Sharapova possesses, then you are always with in with a chance.
Victoria premier sticks to his guns over double-vaxxed stance for Australian Open as he criticises double standards
Victoria Premier Dan Andrews refuses to change his mind.
Andy Murray highlights key reason for his ability to chase more balls down after upset win over Hubert Hurkacz
“It was a good win in tough circumstances,” says Andy Murray.
Andy Murray finally delivers a knockout punch against a top-10 player as he beats Hubert Hurkacz in Vienna
The pieces continue to fall into place for Andy Murray as he finally gets a win over a top-10 player.
‘I don’t think there is any pressure, but everyone should be a little patient with me,’ urges Emma Raducanu
The US Open winner is seeking her first WTA Tour match victory.
Cameron Norrie headlines Great Britain’s Davis Cup Finals squad with Andy Murray left out as expected
World No 14 Norrie is Great Britain’s top-seeded player in the ATP Rankings.
High praise for Emma Raducanu from Simona Halep as Romanian highlights US Open champion’s feature qualities
“I think what impressed me was her aggressiveness.”
WTA Finals race between Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit heats up as Tunisian jokingly urges rival to ‘back off’
Ons Jabeur and Anett Kontaveit enjoy some online banter.
‘Becoming the No 1 in the world is still the goal’ for ‘experienced’ Daniil Medvedev
“If I’ll catch up with him this year, excellent, but if not I will try to do it down the road.”
‘I am proud of putting myself in a position to compete with the top guys,’ says Andy Murray
“It has been amazing that I have been able to even get back and be playing,” says Murray.
Novak Djokovic and co to be given Australian Open lifeline? Leaked email suggests vaccination policy U-turn
Policy U-turn set to open door for unvaccinated players?