That article in Telegraph and similar in other newspapers is pure speculation.
First there is nothing new in it. It was known last year that Maria will not renew the contract with PepsiCo And second, the decision has nothing to do with Maria not playing tennis in 2009.
“Sources are telling CNBC that Maria Sharapova is close to signing a deal with the company. HealthSport lost $3 million in the first quarter of 2008 and has a stock worth 12 cents, but the supposed deal would provide the tennis star with up-front cash and a piece of the company that would be worth more annually than the deal she had with Gatorade.
Gatorade signed Sharapova to a two-year, worldwide deal in January 2007 that we heard was worth about $900,000 a year. Sources say Gatorade tried to extend that deal at a reduction, citing a rough economic environment that forced its parent company PepsiCo [PEP 52.13 0.17 (+0.33%) ] to cut 3,300 jobs last month. But Sharapova's camp instead looked to Enlyten, whose only other major active star on their endorsement roster is Washington Redskins defensive end Jason Taylor.
The deal would enable Sharapova to help grow a company, get a piece of the brand and also allow her do other drink deals. “