Early exit - GulfToday

Early exit


Maria Sharapova. File

Maria Sharapova, one of the most proficient women’s tennis players quit the court. She is just 32, much younger than the famed Williams sisters who are still in the circuit, to be ‘saying goodbye’. But that’s fine, the tennis sensation hasn’t had had much of a healthy run since her return from the doping ban. What’s intriguing though is the silence from some of her peers and former teammates on her retirement decision (“Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova announces retirement”, Feb.26, Gulf Today).

Usually, social media networks are immediately abuzz with farewell messages and good wishes when a noted sportsperson retires. But that has not happened in Sharapova’s case. Some consolation though, as praise came her way at the ongoing Dubai tennis championships. World No 1 Novak Djokovic is reported to have said that he has great respect to her and that she should be proud of her achievements.

Agreed that her decision was not much of a surprise considering that she was struggling with injuries and poor form since returning from a 15-month drugs ban in 2017. She was found to have used meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open. Apart from that affecting her career, the fact that there are very few women castigated by the WTA for doping, sullied her success.

I have been a great fan of Sharapova and it was always a pleasure to watch her play. Based in the UAE, I have had the opportunity to see her at the Dubai Tennis Championships at the Aviation Club and last year at the Abu Dhabi event. It’s sad to see her leave the court so early.

Noreen Sherawat

By email

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