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It’s so sad to see Maria having so many injury set backs with the forearm and shoulder.
Let’s all be honest here even before the ban Maria’s injuries were costing her big chunks of her season, the difference being she had more match confidence and she still had that aura that other girls on the tour feared especially on clay where the serve wasn’t such a key element to her game.

During the ban she took some time off from practicing tennis (who can blame her) and obviously the lack of matches greatly effected her game and confidence.
she has shown some flashes of brilliance but due to her injuries she hasn’t been able to be consistent. This on top of the fact that she is lacking in match confidence which in turn means the other girls all feel like they can beat her makes it more difficult for her.

Also Maria is not getting any younger so injuries are slower to heal and easier to pick up. Even Serena is struggling against the new players who now feel like they can beat her.

Marias had an amazing career and if she wants to continue I’m sure we will all support her. However if she decides to call time on her tennis career we can hardly blame her with all her injury problems. Let the haters hate all they want Maria always had haters who were jealous and only to happy to jump on the bandwagon when the ban happened.
I am a true fan since she won Wimbledon when I was 13 years old. I have followed her career closely since then watching every match I could. There have been so many highs and lows but Maria always showed passion and fight and left her heart on the court. She is an extremely hard working athlete with an amazing amount of drive and determination which all of us got to witness throughout the years.
It really is sad to see Maria struggle because you can see it in her face how much she is hurting emotionally on the court. She really wants to get back to doing what she loves but her body is not cooperating.
I get the feeling Maria is close to the end, I doubt the French open will give her a wild card (when they didn’t before) and if she can’t stay healthy she can’t gain the necessary ranking points. Who knows what will happen but whatever Maria decides I will support her. She has given us some amazing memories throughout her career. I will miss her so much when she does retire.
 

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To be honest she was away in Italy for such a long period of time and now she gets to spend some time at home it’s probably gonna do her good. Her ranking isn’t getting direct entries anyway so it’s all about WC.

It’s okay, it’s not easy for her to just keep flying everywhere. She probably just wants to choose smartly.

I lived through her suspension without much update so waiting is not an issue for me lol


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She had her reasons when she wanted to end her career in 2017. She knew her body is not going to hold on the effort of WTA tour.
If not the ban it would be the 3rd season without her.
Maybe she had a hope 15 months off the tour let her prolong her career but as soon she steps on the court to play real matches injuries started to haunt her even more.

Really curious what her next step will be.
Indian Wells with a wild card and another 1st round loss, some smaller tournaments or retirement? Hope she will find the best solution, but I'm getting more and more sure it's her last year on tour.
 

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I think this year is a safe bet. She had a surgery less than 12 months ago, so obviously she was willing to keep going and at least test her health out this season. I'm curious what will happen around RG/Wimbly since she most likely won't be a DA by then.
 

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AUSTRALIAN OPEN

January 21, 2020

Maria Sharapova

Melbourne, Victoria, Australia

D. VEKIC/M. Sharapova

6-3, 6-4

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. You found your way back in the second set and seemed like your game was finding the right way. Was it a question of lacking matches and being on these stages?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think part of it. And on my serve I started with two games that were -- at that point in the match I was up 30-Love, and there is no reason I shouldn't follow through with being up with that type of advantage in each of those games.

You know, if I'm looking at that part of the match, it's a combination of she definitely stepped up on those points, played well, played big, deep, and a little bit of making the wrong choices.

Q. The radio commentary I was listening to, the guy said we may not see you again here at the Australian Open. Is that something in your mind?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't know. I don't know. I was fortunate to get myself to be here and thankfully to Craig and the team allowing me to be part of this event. It's tough for me to tell what's going to happen in 12 months' time.

Q. You had a good run here last year so your ranking will dip a bit after this. Curious if you will consider scaling down tournament-wise to 125 in Newport Beach, somewhat near one of your homes, or anything like that that you might try to just get matches?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Honestly, I'd give you the answer, I just don't know. I haven't thought of my schedule moving forward from here yet.

Q. How much of a struggle was it to even get here at this point?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I mean, I think I'm not the only one. You know, I can speak about my struggles and the things that I've gone through with my shoulder, but it's not really in my character to.

So, you know, I was there. I put myself out there. You know, as tough as it was, you know, I finished the match and, yeah, it wasn't the way that I wanted.

Q. You have been practicing, working hard in Italy with Riccardo Piatti and so on. That means that you still have a great motivation to come back to your levels and so on. So how much disappointed you are in finding yourself out after 10 years the first round of the Australian Open, and next week you should be No. 360-something, which is almost unbelievable to my eyes. What is your reaction? How do you explain it in how the motivation is still there?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I start with, last year I think I played seven or eight tournaments. So I don't know if I can look at the ranking and really think about it in depth, just because I really haven't played, and I was injured most of the year. You know, I certainly have to take that into account.

As far as the work that I did, yeah, I did all the right things. I put in all the right work. There is no guarantee that even when you do all of those things that you're guaranteed victory in a first round or in the third round or in the final. That's the name of this game. That's why it's so special to be a champion, even for one time.

Q. With Riccardo Piatti will go on?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I have really enjoyed my work with him, yeah.

Q. Caroline Wozniacki is having her last tournament here. Your careers overlapped a lot, have played a lot of matches together. I'm curious what you think her mark she left. Anything about your time on tour with her?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: She's had an amazing career. I just found her amazing that she's gone through a whole offseason just to play two more events. That's a really good effort, because offseasons are not easy, so I admire her for that.

She's done really well and she was always a really challenging opponent for me.

Q. You've obviously spent time with Jannik Sinner. What sort of talent is he and what kind of person is he?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, we spent a few weeks in Italy in the offseason together training. Yeah, he's kind of in front of everyone's eyes, really improving with every week. It's really fun to see. He has a really good, humble personality, which is I think even better to witness.

Q. Do you feel like you can get your body into shape to be able to play the number of tournaments that you want to or need to?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I would like to. I don't know -- you know, I don't have a crystal ball to tell you if I can or if I will, but I would love to, yeah.

Q. You have had this incredible career, which in many ways is the product of so many decisions. If you had to step back and just say what the one or two most momentous or best decisions you have made in your career, what would that be?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I surrounded myself with great people and a great team, and I think it starts with that, because you can't always get to where you want to go alone.

I have been really fortunate to work with some really great people, from coaches to everything in between and around that. There are a lot of people that get you to a position of victory. And, yeah, I have had really great people around me. I think that's the most important thing.

Q. Do you think the past few weeks have put you in the right direction or are you still doubting?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, I don't doubt the work that I have put in, if that's what you're asking. You mean the offseason?

Q. No, this match and the exhibition in Kooyong. Do you feel now you're in the right track or are you still searching at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It's tough to say I'm on the right track right now 45 minutes after the match. But, I mean, there is no way to get out of it except to keep believing in yourself, because if you do do all the right things and you don't believe in yourself, then that's probably a bad formula.

Q. In terms of the uncertainty of knowing, like, what your schedule looks like over the next few weeks or next few months, is that purely related to physical or is it related to any other factors that are in your head?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just I really -- even just a few weeks ago we just didn't really have a schedule in mind, yeah.

Q. Are you planning to go back to Italy after this event, or you don't even know? I understand you just lost, but, I mean...
MARIA SHARAPOVA: You understand but you still ask (smiling).

Q. Well, I try. And you can answer what you want.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, you definitely try.

I don't know. I really don't know. I was in Italy for a couple of months, so I'm not sure what the plan is right now. I do, I really do like it.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
 

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I very much doubt it...I cant really see her coming back to the tour at this stage. Exhibitions and charity events yes...but in my heart of hearts I cant really see the tour being part of her future anymore. I hope Im wrong but its awful seeing her go through these struggles and Id rather see her enjoying her life and move on.
 

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No one knows what she's been doing in last 4 weeks. No schedule, no training, no interview, no announcement of retirement, only a few irrelevant public appearances in parties and fashion shows. I don't think losing to world no.20 is a disaster she can't recover from, all these weeks taken off tennis seem to be good for nothing.

An active exhibition-only tennis player is a very insulting idea: if you can play, play the real game, if you can't, quit.
 

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She loses a match, she spend the next 4 weeks between party, promotional stuff, museum etc...

A player who touches the racket one time in a month is pretty much a former player
 

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She was training in Italy for 3 months, played 4 matches in Australia including exhibitions and 1 in Abu Dhabi and now went on hiatus

If she’s back to LA I’d hope she’s planning to play the 2 PM even though pretty much reliant on WC.

To be honest though, I’d rather hear a retirement announcement.


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I very much doubt it...I cant really see her coming back to the tour at this stage. Exhibitions and charity events yes...but in my heart of hearts I cant really see the tour being part of her future anymore. I hope Im wrong but its awful seeing her go through these struggles and Id rather see her enjoying her life and move on.

It is awful, but I think she will definitely play IW, probably lose in the first round or two and then take another long break until the clay court season. It can be hard for these successful athletes to know it's time to let go. I don' t think she has reached that point yet. She still thinks she has something left.
 
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