Maria Sharapova finally lost at the US Open, ending her deranged ‘fairy tale’

US Open Tennis 2017 - Day 3

With so many top players out of the US Open this year – because of injuries and babies – it’s been sort of nice to see what other storylines are coming to the forefront. Would we be paying THIS much attention to Sam Querrey and Sloane Stephens if Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Serena Williams were playing in New York this year? Maybe, maybe not. But it was always going to be a big story that the US Open gave Maria Sharapova a Wild Card following her fifteen-month-long doping suspension. Sharapova has been “back” on the tour since April, although she’s been plagued with injuries since her return.

The US Open is the first Slam Maria competed in since her suspension, and the New York crowd seemed to welcome her back passionately. Maria has been milking it for a week, treating her “comeback” as a fairytale, like she overcame the most trying and devastating conditions, as opposed to “serving out a doping suspension.” Many people weren’t buying what Maria was selling, and it didn’t help that Sharapova is a sh-tty actress. Maria played on the biggest court, Arthur Ashe Stadium, for all of her matches, including Sunday’s fourth round match, where Latvian player Anastasija Sevastova FINALLY handed Maria her ass, deservedly. Maria even had to call for the trainer mid-match because she had a blister on her hand!

Before Maria got her ass handed to her (deservedly), she threw some shade at Caroline Wozniacki. The Woz is a former world #1 and currently ranked in the top ten. Wozniacki came into the US Open with more match wins this year than any other player in the WTA. The Woz has never been suspended for doping either. This is what The Woz said about Maria, after Caroline lost in her first round, which was played on a smaller back court.

To me, Caroline had a valid point – she wasn’t saying she lost her match because she was on a smaller, less prestigious court. She’s saying that it’s morally wrong to play into Maria’s deranged fairytale-narrative that Maria has, like, overcome the odds or whatever. It’s a bad message to send to younger players and all of the players who manage to compete without doping. Maria’s reaction was just what you would expect: petty. Maria said in one of her last press conferences that the court she plays on is “not what matters to me. All that matters to me is I’m in the fourth round. I’m not sure where she is.”

The WTA needs to figure out a better way to handle this, honestly. Tournaments can’t keep on treating Maria like her “comeback” has been some kind of fairytale, especially not at the expense of top players who have never been suspended for doping. Especially when they have truly great stories to promote, like Sloane Stephens and Petra Kvitova, who are both onto the quarterfinals following their legitimate injuries in the past year. I’m not sure where Maria is.

US Open Tennis 2017 - Day 3

Photos courtesy of WENN.

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30 Responses to “Maria Sharapova finally lost at the US Open, ending her deranged ‘fairy tale’”

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  1. Dragonlady Sakura says:

    Nelson voice: Ha Ha!

    • Amanduh says:

      Best.comment.ever!!!! (…not bc it’s about this chick ^, it’s just such an apt expression in SO many situations)

  2. Vovicia says:

    It’s pretty shameful that they gave her a wild card to begin with. She’s not even an American player! I’ve never felt that Sharapova ever thought she did anything particularly wrong. I genuinely think that she thinks she’s above rules and regulations like that as long as ‘she knows’ she wasn’t trying to cheat.

    Tough shit.

    • abby says:

      There was never any sense of remorse because she did not feel she did anything wrong.

      And her apologists are all too eager to muddy the waters and rationalize the situation.

      For me it’s quite simple:
      – Regardless of whether you agree that meldonium is a PED or should be a banned substance is irrelevant. The point is meldonium was placed on the watch list a year prior to its placement on the banned substances list. The new additions to the list were emailed out in September/October to the various tennis federations. it’s their job to inform their players. However, players are obligated to know what they put in their bodies. They are to stay updated with the rules. If Maria chose to delegate that responsibility that’s on her.
      – Maria never declared her use of meldonium. Yes, I know she was familiar with it by another name but the fact remains the same. She never declared her usage in the many years that she was using it although all players are required to declare all meds that they are taking when they are tested by the anti-doping agencies.
      – She never applied for (or received) a medical exception to use it. If she had these medical problems she could have been given a medical exemption to take the drug. But she never declared her issues or needed treatment for them or that she was taking the drug. So she never received a medical exemption.
      – Maria is no novice. She knows all of this. But she played by her own rules and when she got caught she was indignant and obnoxious. That the WTA and USTA allow her to rewrite this situation pisses me off. No wonder the other players are pissed.
      Petra Kvitova is hardly getting the same glorifying and she has a real comeback story.

      I usually love a second chance/comeback but in this case, I am glad she lost.
      Keep on losing,

  3. whatever says:

    Agree Kaiser, its shameful that Sharapova’s comeback is being treated like a monumental occasion of celebration. Kvitova deserves the praise and media attention more that Sharadopa.

    • Kaiser says:

      The Kvitova-Muguruza match yesterday was like a final, it was so good. I didn’t think Petra was going to pull it out but g–damn, she has a much better story than Maria.

      • DavidBowie says:

        Yes! Petra can’t feel anything in two of her fingers and she beat the #2 seed. Now THAT is a story.

  4. Marlene says:

    Off topic – that dress is fugly in the pastry colour and with the black bra and shorts underneath.

  5. Esmom says:

    I had no idea about the “fairy tale’ spin Sharapova was putting on her return. How very Trumpian. Team Woz.

  6. SoulSPA says:

    Caroline was right about Meldonium Shamelesspova. And she’s out. LOL. But she should have not been there in the first place. She’s taken the spot of a more deserving non-doping sportswoman. I have not followed the US Open so far in protest at Shamelesspova’s participation. Now I can watch it.

  7. TarheelPixie says:

    So glad the cheating, lying, over-hyped Sharapova lost. I was so angry she was given a wild card, which was nothing more than a ratings grab. Why was this cheater allowed all her matches on the main court? She didn’t return to the tour due to injury or illness. She was suspended because she was a Cheating Cheater. My hubby thinks she “deserves” a second chance and we’ve watched all her matches at the Open. He finally turned one off when, with every play, I’d narrate about the Cheating Cheater. She has shown no remorse, no respect for her fellow players…nothing but her woe is me shtick. She should can it, literally no one believes her.

  8. Annetommy says:

    There are people who were robbed of Olympic gold medals because of dopers. Soviet bloc athletes really had no choice; they had to take them. Western athletes
    including multi-gold medal winners Carl Lewis and Florence Griffith – Joyner did have a choice, and they chose to take them. So while Maria is rightly criticised, she is part of a very long line of athletes who, unlike Lance Armstrong, went unpunished.

    • molee says:

      Was there any evidence proving that Flo-Jo was doping or was this a where-there’s-smoke-there’s-fire situation? I liked her as a kid and don’t remember doping charges, but that was a long time ago (haha) and I might have forgotten this or straight up missed it.

      • kwallio says:

        Flo-Jo never tested positive for anything, she was assumed to be doping for a variety of imo stupid reasons, but nothing was ever proven.

  9. diana says:

    Caroline is a bit pathetic these days and I like her just fine most of the times. I just wish other players would express those sentiments as well.
    As for Maria; I didn’t mind her coming back. She did serve her time after all (whether i think her punishment was justifiable or not, is a different story). I enjoy watching her compete. What I resent is the spin. Tennis commentators are actually saying stuff like “she needed a break from tennis” and that “she took some time off”.

    Anyway, I can’t believe some of my favourite players advanced! Pity that one of Sevastova and Stephens has to go, love both.

  10. Zan says:

    During coverage the other day, one of the commentators said, “After her 15 months away…” like she was off on vacation or some sort of vague sabbatical! I can’t really imagine many other players having their doping suspension referenced that way.
    I know it isn’t quite the same, but every time Richard Gasquet played right after his suspension, we heard exactly what he was suspended for.

  11. CFY says:

    I was on a cruise during her first match and ESPN was one of the few channels we got at sea. The tone of the coverage surrounding her match, from the commentators to the crowd to Maria herself, you would have thought she’d won the final after suffering some truly awful and traumatizing event. When the real GOAT comes back, I certainly hope the brouhaha surrounding Serena’s return exceeds this doper’s “fairytale” comeback.

  12. Lilyfield says:

    I was mad when they were showing the Sevastova/Sharapova match on ESPN yesterday instead of the Goerges/Stephens match. Call me a homer, but I want American players featured on an American channel. Especially when Sloane has been having such a great summer and her comeback story is way better than, “Doper gets rewarded with wild card and center court assignments.” But I guess that’s why I don’t run a television network.

    Thankfully, I was able to watch the stream of Sloane’s match on ESPN3 and I learned you don’t have to listen to the usual ESPN commentators. No John McEnroe, no Pam Shriver, and no god-awful Brad Gilbert! Win-win!

  13. Elisa the I. says:

    I’m so glad Anastasija Sevastova won as she already retired a few years ago due to constant injuries and managed to come back.
    Also, I really don’t understand why Sharapova was always going for the winners and hitting the corners like crazy. She made more than 50 unforced errors. Still the crowd seemed to totally love her, although Sevastova was clearly playing better (she was anticipating so many of Sharapova’s shots and is in amazing physical shape).

    ETA: Keep your fingers crossed for Domi Thiem today!!

  14. Kezia says:

    “I don’t know where she is” is the new Mariah Carey ” I don’t know her”

  15. adastraperaspera says:

    I think Caroline is trying to tell us that younger players are conflicted and may indeed be turning to doping since it doesn’t seem to be punished. She wouldn’t mention it if they aren’t all talking about it. I think she’s trying to get people to see that this kid gloves treatment of Maria is becoming a larger problem. And it’s more than just a narrative that gets spun–real people in sports and politics and the wider world hear the message loud and clear that cheating will get you on top and you won’t really ever be stigmatized or punished. It is terrible.

  16. magnoliarose says:

    Good. She deserves to fail. The message they have sent to young women:

    It doesn’t matter if you lie or cheat as long as you are perceived to be pretty while you do it.
    All will be forgiven.

    Now I hope she disappears. Her arrogance is supported by the WTA. It is a center court display of misogyny. That it was it looks like. Maria thinks she deserved to be center court and deserved to be welcomed back like a hero.


  17. Justwastingtime says:

    On some level it’s too bad that one of the Williams sisters didn’t deliver her ass to her on a silver platter. With regards to her earlier commentary on Serena, I totally agree that this chica is Trump/like in trying to create her own narrative all the time

  18. Dixie says:

    Genuinely confused about why, if her doctor prescribed the meldonium for a valid reason, she hasn’t applied for medical exemption to continue taking it. She must be putting her long term health at risk? Or maybe not……..

  19. Ally says:

    Totally agree about Sharapova, but not sure why everyone is so into Stephens. Her attitude is awful and she is so rude.