After breaking onto the skilled tennis scene at simply 14 years outdated in 2001, Maria Sharapova rapidly grew to become one of many sport’s greatest stars. This February, lower than two months earlier than she turned 33, she known as it a profession. In between, the 6-foot-2 Russia-born star reached No. 1 on the earth rankings, gained 5 Grand Slam tournaments, posed for Sports activities Illustrated, and collected a fairly spectacular internet value, between her tennis winnings, sponsorships, and different offers.
Sharapova was born in Russia in 1987, however has been a everlasting resident of the U.S. since 1994, when she was a baby. She started taking part in tennis whereas nonetheless in Russia, first hitting a ball at 4. Two years later, she attended a camp run by girls’s tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who was impressed along with her skills at such a younger age.
That have led the household to maneuver to the USA, to assist Maria pursue tennis. She and her father moved to Bradenton, Fla., house of IMG Academy, which she would attend on the age of 9, with IMG footing the invoice after signing the younger budding star.
In 2000, at 13, Sharapova gained the Eddie Herr Worldwide Junior Tennis Championships, incomes her the group’s Rising Star Award. 5 months later she’d make her professional tennis debut. After a powerful run by way of the junior world ranks, she put in her first full skilled season in 2003. It didn’t take lengthy for her to peak as a tennis participant from there.
Sharapova’s Tennis Profession:
In 2003, Sharapova didn’t win her first match at each the Australian and French Opens, however pulled a giant upset at Wimbledon, knocking off eleventh seed Jelena Dokić, and reaching the fourth spherical. That 12 months, she gained the Japan Open Tennis Championships and the Bell Problem, her first skilled wins.
Her true star flip got here at Wimbledon in 2004. At tennis’ most hallowed grounds, she upset Lindsey Davenport within the semifinal and famous person Serena Williams within the ultimate to seize her first Grand Slam title, at simply 17 years outdated. She grew to become the third-youngest Wimbledon winner ever. She’d beat Serena once more later within the 12 months, to take house the 2004 WTA Finals title, getting back from a 4-0 deficit within the ultimate set for the victory.
In 2005, Serena Williams obtained her revenge on Sharapova on the Australian Open, beating her within the semifinal earlier than happening to win the occasion. She didn’t win a Grand Slam occasion that 12 months, however had a powerful season in any other case, reaching the No. 1 rating on the earth twice throughout the second half of the 12 months.
Her success continued by way of the mid-to-late 2000s, with Grand Slam victories on the U.S. Open in 2006 and Australian Open in 2008. Round this identical time, she started to cope with shoulder points as nicely. Her 2008 was lower brief as a result of a rotator cuff tear in August, which held her out till the next spring. After a chronic droop, she’s reemerge within the High 10 towards the top of 2011, and in 2012, full her profession Grand Slam with a victory over Sara Errani on the French Open, making her the tenth girl to win all 4 main occasions. Throughout her run at Roland Garros, she regained the world No. 1 rating as nicely. Later that 12 months, she’d take house the Olympic silver medal on the London video games.
Shoulder points continued to plague Sharapova, and ended her 2013 season early. In 2014, she gained her fifth and ultimate Grand Slam, defeating Simona Halep on the French Open to win the event for the second time in three years.
Maria Sharapova’s profession was beset with scandal in 2016. She failed a drug take a look at on the Australian Open, testing optimistic for the banned substance meldonium. She stated that she had been taking the drug for a decade for well being causes, and was unaware that it was banned by the Worldwide Tennis Federation. She was initially banned from the game for 2 years, however it was diminished to fifteen months later that 12 months.
Sharapova had a little bit of a profession renaissance in 2018, after getting back from the suspension, however shoulder and forearm accidents continued to take their toll. Initially of 2020, Sharapova misplaced in straight units to Donna Vekić within the first spherical of the Australian Open. Weeks later, she introduced her retirement in an essay printed by Self-importance Honest.
How do you allow behind the one life you’ve ever recognized? How do you stroll away from the courts you’ve skilled on because you had been a bit of woman, the sport that you simply love—one which introduced you untold tears and unspeakable joys—a sport the place you discovered a household, together with followers who rallied behind you for greater than 28 years?
I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis—I’m saying goodbye.
Tennis confirmed me the world—and it confirmed me what I used to be made from. It’s how I examined myself and the way I measured my progress. And so in no matter I’d select for my subsequent chapter, my subsequent mountain, I’ll nonetheless be pushing. I’ll nonetheless be climbing. I’ll nonetheless be rising.
Months later, it seems that she’s at actual peace with the choice.
Internet Price, Profession Earnings:
In accordance with the WTA, Maria Sharapova is third all-time in profession girl’s tennis earnings, behind solely Serena and Venus Williams. Throughout her profession, which spanned from 2001-2020, she took house $38,777,962, making her the highest-earning non-American girl of all time.
That’s, after all, solely a fraction of what she’s made in her life, as is commonly the case with famous person athletes.
Between 2006 and 2016, Forbes listed Sharapova because the highest-paid feminine athlete on the earth each single 12 months. Throughout her run, she signed endorsement and sponsorship offers with quite a few enormous corporations, together with Motorola, Land Rover, Canon, Tag Heuer, Tiffany, Gatorade, Tropicana, Nike, Head Sport, Evian, NetJets, and Porsche.
In 2020, Forbes ranks Sharapova at No. 87 on its listing of wealthiest self-made girls. The publication estimates Maria Sharapova’s internet value at a whopping $200 million.
Maria Sharapova’s Private Life: Is She Married?
Sharapova has been in just a few high-profile relationships throughout her profession. She has not been married, although it has practically occurred.
In 2011, she was engaged to former Los Angeles Lakers ahead Sasha Vujačić, after two years of courting. The 2 separated and broke off the engagement the next 12 months.
In 2012, she started courting Grigor Dimitrov, a Bulgarian skilled tennis participant. The 2 broke up in 2015.
Since 2018, she has been in a relationship with British businessman Alexander Gilkes, the co-founder and former president of on-line public sale platform Paddle8 and co-founder of the enterprise studio Squared Circles. Gilkes was married to dressmaker Misha Nonoo from 2012-2017.
What’s Maria Sharapova Doing Now?:
Based mostly on her social media profiles, Sharapova has been having fun with her time away from tennis, simply as she deliberate it. From her Self-importance Honest essay asserting her retirement:
Within the meantime, there are just a few easy issues I’m actually wanting ahead to: A way of stillness with my household. Lingering over a morning cup of espresso. Sudden weekend getaways. Exercises of my selection (hi there, dance class!).
By the appears to be like of it, she’s had loads of these non-tennis targeted exercises, in addition to loads of hikes, some cooking, and a few normal stress-free. Given what 2020 has introduced, that’s concerning the extent of what one can hope for.
She has additionally been arduous at work operating Sugarpova, the confectionary model that she launched in 2013.
In accordance with Forbes, the corporate posted gross sales of $20 million in 2019. She owns 100-percent of the model.
She’s additionally began to pop up within the leisure world over the previous couple of years. She has had a pair of cameos on the Showtime hit drama Billions, in addition to 2018’s Ocean’s 8, the Apple TV+ drama collection The Morning Present, and in 2020, served as a visitor shark on the hit TV collection Shark Tank.
Whereas her tennis profession could also be over, we must be seeing a lot of Maria Sharapova for years to come back.