After 19 years and six Grand Slam titles, tennis great Maria Sharapova has decided to call it quits. Tennis fans have long regarded Maria Sharapova as one of the greatest competitors on the court, especially after the win against Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon Final. There was an outpour of tribute for Maria Sharapova and her extensive list of achievements moments after she announced her retirement. Current World No. 1 Novak Djokovic also hopped on that bandwagon following the news of the Maria Sharapova retirement.
The Maria Sharapova retirement news was greeted with a horde of messages from fans and sports personalities alike, detailing how the former World No. 1 inspired people from all corners of the globe. Novak Djokovic also spoke on the Maria Sharapova retirement news at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships. Novak Djokovic paid a classy tribute to the Russian tennis legend after being asked about his thoughts regarding her retirement.
"She's a great fighter. As dedicated as someone can really be in our sport... She had a fantastic career." @DjokerNole on @MariaSharapova's career and retirement announcement.#MissYouMariapic.twitter.com/j6cL1UOOZm— WTA (@WTA) February 26, 2020
“She’s a great fighter. As dedicated as someone can really be in our sport. The willpower an the willingness to kind of overcome all the obstacles she had, especially with injuries and surgeries and trying to fight back, come back to the court and play on her desired level. It’s truly inspirational to see what mind of a champion she has. I’m sorry that it had to end with an injury obviously but at the same time she had a fantastic career and she can be proud of herself.” - Novak Djokovic on the Mario Sharapova retirement news
A number of sports personalities recalled Maria Sharapova's exploits on the court, paying tribute to the Russian tennis great on social media. The likes of Billie Jean King and Petra Kvitova joined Novak Djokovic in wishing the five-time Grand Slam champion well in her retirement. Academy Award-winning actress Reese Witherspoon also joined the list.
From the day @MariaSharapova won her first #Wimbledon title at age 17, she has been a great champion.— Billie Jean King (@BillieJeanKing) February 26, 2020
A 5x major champion and a former World No. 1, her business success is just as impressive as her tennis achievements.
Maria, the best is yet to come for you! #MissYouMaria
With the Maria Sharapova retirement news coming to light, a number of tennis fans have posed the question, 'Why did Maria Sharapova retire?' Sharapova has been plagued by injuries, all the way back to 2008 when she underwent surgery on her shoulder. While she did make a return to the sport after a 15-month doping ban, she has only managed to reach one major quarterfinal since her return, which, quite possibly, could have led to her calling time on her career.