Sharapova Retires – No More Fancy Outfits
It was an amazing run for Maria Sharapova. She burst into the scene by blowing Serena Williams off Centre Court in 2004 and winning her sole Wimbledon title at the age of 17. Fast forward 16 years and she now retires with five Grand Slams, a former number one ranking – and hundreds of millions of dollars in her bank account from prize money and endorsements. What a ride for her.
Another interesting part of the announcement was how she felt no need to do any sort of farewell tour or say goodbye at a specific tournament. She stated that it’s just not her personality, and that she always envisioned walking away without much notoriety. I’m not surprised by this. For all her flashiness off the court and fancy outfits inside the court, Maria has always been a very matter of fact and business like on court. She took her commitment to tennis very seriously. In all honesty, I never saw her smile or have fun on the court during a tour level match. I am sure she’ll take her shrewdness into the business world and build something big.
So, what will I miss most about Sharapova? Well, certainly not the squealing after ever shot. Nobody will miss that. I will miss the intensity and pure ball striking ability she had. When she was winning those French Opens in 2012 and 2014, she was moving beautifully and striking the ball with depth, purpose and consistency. For me that era of Sharapova is probably the best. She was the most consistent she’s ever been. I also think I will miss the element of glamour that she brought to the court. Serena brings that same celebrity each time she steps on the court, but Sharapova commanded that same level of celebrity as well. Her fancy outfits and relationship with Nike will be remembered. What I’m sure she doesn’t want remembered is her record against Serena. She ended with a 2-20 record. That’s pretty pitiful. She beat Serena twice; in the 2004 Wimbledon Final, and at the 2004 Year End Championships. Maybe she’ll get a shot at Serena in an exhibition some day.