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From an earlier version of the NYT article:

The fact that Sharapova was not as successful after her suspension could lead to the conclusion that she less successful without meldonium. She and her former coach Sven Groeneveld have both rejected that line of thinking.

“I understand that, and that might be the trend of what people are saying, but I can tell you right now that when we were at the end of 2015, she already went through a lot of injuries and illnesses,” Groeneveld said in a recent interview. “She was getting sick a lot. She always would get a cold out of the middle of nowhere. We tried to figure out what that was all about with her immune system, and she did everything possible to actually avoid the injuries. But in 2015 she was already getting the injuries, so listen, I know Maria and I trust her and I’ll put my hand in the fire for her.”


In the updated version they replaced Sven's comment with Maria's own words.

Maria Sharapova Is Retiring From Tennis at 32
 

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From a New Yorker article:

Watching that U.S. Open match between Sharapova and Williams, last August, I was reminded of how much Sharapova had shaped the sport, even when she didn’t dominate it. Tennis, particularly women’s tennis, is different because of her, and not only because of new marketing opportunities. Sharapova brought the mentality of a grinder with attack-first instincts, which you can see today in many of the game’s best young players. She also provided a blueprint. These days, the stories of immigrant families with little money and massive ambitions who went to Florida in search of sun and hard courts have become almost commonplace. That’s the story of Amanda Anisimova, a teen-ager who made the semifinals of the French Open last year and just signed a major sponsorship deal with Nike. It’s the story of Sofia Kenin, who just won the Australian Open. Sharapova was the model.

 

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For me the game will never be the same without her. She’s one of the few players who I absolutely had to watch every match she plays. The only other one I ever felt the same about was Agassi. I also love Roger, but even he doesnt inspire me as much as those two.
But Sharapova was never the perfect player, she has always had obvious weaknesses and lacked some fundamental tennis skills, but she was an awesome ball striker and at her best, she would make you, as a tennis viewer explore different areas of the tennis court you didn’t know existed. She knew how to paint the lines, how to find the angles, especially under pressure. And then there is that fighting spirit she had, the flair and the aura she brought around her. I got goose bumps watching her play live for the first time in 2017 against Simona at the uso. The ovation she got, the buzz around the stadium as it was her first match back there since the ban, the fact she was playing such a good opponent. You understood how much she was loved. If there were any haters that night, I did not see them or hear them. Everyone seemed to be rooting for her. It was amazing. Tennis has lost a lot with her retirement. No question about that.
 

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A career to remember': Doha players send well wishes to Sharapova

While battling for the Qatar Total Open title, the final eight at Doha all reacted to the retirement of former World No.1 Maria Sharapova.

By WTA Staff

DOHA, Qatar -- While the WTA's top-ranked players fought for quarterfinal and semifinal spots at the Qatar Total Open, the typical rigors of a top-tier event were rocked by a sudden development on Wednesday: five-time Grand Slam-winning superstar Maria Sharapova's retirement announcement.

The eight players who were still battling for the Premier 5-level title on that day reacted to the news after their round-of-16 or quarterfinal matches, offering praise and well wishes to the legendary Russian and former WTA World No.1.

• Current World No.1 Ashleigh Barty faced Sharapova three times, including at the Australian's home Grand Slam event in Melbourne last year. "I faced Maria a couple of times, and obviously we had great battles every single time," Barty said to the press after her quarterfinal win. "She's an exceptional competitor and achieved so much in our sport."

"I think whatever is next for her, whatever her next chapter is, I'm certain that she will excel at," Barty continued. "She's an incredible fighter."

• "I think she's a great champion and she did it her way," fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova told the media, when asked about her compatriot.

"Each athlete deserves to take the time when they're ready to say good-bye, and it's never easy," Kuznetsova continued, following her Doha quarterfinal victory. Kuznetsova, Sharapova, and Anastasia Myskina made up the wave of Russians to break through with Grand Slam titles in 2004 -- the first for their country in women's singles.

"I wish her the best, and I think she's very kind in heart and nice person," the 2004 US Open champion added, regarding the 2004 Wimbledon champion. "I wish her to be as successful in her life after career as she was in tennis."

• "She won five Grand Slams, she is a big champion," said Petra Kvitova, who claimed one of her two Wimbledon titles over Sharapova in the 2011 final. "She has really been a business lady off the court as well. So she achieved a lot in her life so far and she still has so many things to do, even after tennis."

"For me, it was a pleasure to be with her on the tour, sharing the court with her," Kvitova added. "It was always great battles when we play together. She's a big hitter as well, so it's been always nice to share the court with her and I do always have respect to her."

• "[Sharapova] is a big fighter, and she is pushing herself through everything and believing in herself," said Aryna Sabalenka, who was the vanquished opponent in Sharapova's last singles final, at Tianjin in 2017.

"She's a nice person, a good player," continued Sabalenka, who is into the final four at Doha. "For sure, it's a career to remember, and I think WTA will miss her, and I'm just wishing her good luck in the next chapter of her life."

• Fellow former World No.1 Garbiñe Muguruza, who reached the Doha quarterfinals this week, called Sharapova "a tough competitor," adding that "she was one of the tennis stars out there."

"She must feel like, 'Okay, my life is going to do another step in another direction,' and it's good, I feel it's normal," the Spaniard continued. "For sure, she has a lot of trophies at her home, so, yeah, she's going to do something different."

• "I'm really sad that she's retiring," said rising Tunisian Ons Jabeur, a quarterfinalist in Doha, as well as at this year's Australian Open. "We never got the chance to play each other, unfortunately, but she's a great player, been lucky enough to have been with her on tour and I wish her the best."

• Top 10 player Belinda Bencic noted that "I was also really lucky, you know, to play [Sharapova], I think, one time in [2016] Australian Open. Obviously also someone I was watching when I was growing up."

"Of course I wish her the best off the court after her career," Doha quarterfinalist Bencic continued. "It's great to have a career like her, so I think she can be very happy and I wish her the best."

• "When I was young, I always look up [to] her," Zheng Saisai told the press, after she moved into the Doha quarterfinals. "My generation, always watching her, the times she was fighting. She never gives up, she's always there, doesn't matter [if it's] 1-5, doesn't matter the scores. Her mentality always inspires us to try to be the same mentality from the first point to the last."

 

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Maria Sharapova Retires From Tennis After 5 Grand Slams. Here's What You Can Learn From Her

Inc. | February 27, 2020


She won because sge constantly felt "on the verge of falling off a cliff"

Tennis great Maria Sharapova announced her retirement from the sport on Wednesday, and she did it on her own terms. Where many athletes might have called a press conference, Sharapova chose instead to convey the news in an essay posted simultaneously by Vogue and Vanity Fair.

The 32-year-old Sharapova has won five Grand Slams and played tennis for 28 years -- since she was four years old -- so to say the game has been her life is no exaggeration. It's even the reason she's here. Aware early of her athletic talent, her family moved to the United States from Russia to give Sharapova her best chance to train and compete. "How do you leave behind the only life you've ever known?" she writes.

The answer: Because it's time. Sharapova writes that she's always listened closely to the voice in the back of her head and that was how she was able to accept "those final signals." Her shoulder has been an ongoing problem and she's had multiple surgeries just to keep playing. Last August, she writes, she had to have a procedure to numb the pain just so she could make it onto the court at the U.S. Open. At last month's Australian Open, she admitted to reporters for the first time that she might not be able to come back for another year.

Sharapova, perhaps more than any other tennis star, looks like a model. That has served her well when it came to gathering major endorsements and things like a slot in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. But in a video accompanying her essay she looks back on photos of herself on the court -- photos that she says expose every wrinkle and every imperfection. "When I'm sweating and I'm pumping my fist, and I don't look very pretty but I look tough -- I love that version of myself," she says.

The truth about success.

Her video also does a great job of exposing a brutal truth about success. There is no "there" there -- no point where you arrive at feeling happy and satisfied with your accomplishments and confident in your own abilities. Her tennis career, as she describes it in her essay, was a constant round of self-scolding.
You've taken a few days off -- your body's losing that edge.
That extra slice of pizza? Better make up for it with a great morning session.
Her advantage on the court, she says, never came from feeling confident in her abilities, but on the contrary, because she always felt like she was "on the verge of falling off a cliff," and so she was always clawing her way upward. Even winning Wimbledon at 17 didn't feel to her like the huge victory it could have. "You always think of what your first successful moment might look or feel like but you get there and it is very different because it's real," she explains. "Yes, you won this huge thing, but life goes on."

Sharapova's long career had plenty of bumpy moments. As one ESPN sportscaster noted, she might have dominated women's tennis if it hadn't been for Serena Williams. Though Sharapova beat Williams for her first Wimbledon win, Williams beat Sharapova 20 of the 22 times they played each other. Then in 2016, Sharapova was suspended from the sport for two years (later reduced to 15 months) after she was caught using meldonium, a substance that had been banned earlier that year. Sharapova said she'd been taking the stuff for years because of health problems and was unaware that it was forbidden. She returned to the game in 2017, but either because of her long hiatus, her chronic shoulder problems, or the lack of meldonium, she was never the same contender again.

That, the painful procedures, and having to retire from her sport at 32 could easily make someone bitter. But she's not. And she's looking forward, not back. At the end of the video, she says this: "If I look at myself in the future, this is what I would probably say: 'You have a long way to go and you will form many more incredible memories in your life.'" Her future will doubtless come with ups and downs, just as her tennis career did, she says. "'Don't forget who you are along the way and good things will always happen. Because they usually do.'"

Maria Sharapova Just Retired From Tennis. Here's the Brutal Truth About Success You Can Learn From Her
 

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Wow. It's taken me over a couple of days really to even feel able to come on here and post something about her. At first I assumed there'd be a retirement thread in the sub forum but realised it would be on GM and there's no use going there with all the ignorant people.

I've written a long letter to Maria on my twitter, and have even recorded a small video as part of a large project that a friend of mine is putting together for her, to show her the love and support SharaFamily will always have for her. But thank you, guys.

For those of us who have only been here a couple of years, to those who have been here for ten, for those who've been lifelong fans like myself but who only discovered the forum a few years back. Thanks to all of you, for supporting Maria and making me feel like I was part of a huge collective, with the same dreams and aspirations for our favourite player, our idol. Maria was and is an icon of the sport that will never be forgotten, and while it broke my heart that this news came so suddenly in a way, and on my birthday at that, I realised that all things do happen for a reason and when it's time, it's time. I can only wish Maria the very best in the next chapters of her life, god knows she deserves it after the last few years. Considering everything she gave us over the years, as one of the 6 women in the open era to win all 4 slams, I can only be grateful for the record breaking career she had, and look back with fondness on the memories that all of us share. Hope to see her down the road again one day!

Be good to yourselves guys, and all the best to you all :)

Pierre.
 
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