Maria Sharapova is retiring from tennis to spend more time with her meldonium

TENNIS - Australian Open 2020 - 21/01/2020

Tennis is super-weird at the moment. Roger Federer shocked everyone last week when he suddenly announced that he had undergone knee surgery, and that he would be out until the grass season (late June). Andy Murray just confirmed that he’s still facing tons of medical issues due to his bad hip, even though he underwent hip resurfacing surgery last year. Murray may need another surgery and he might be out for months longer. My fave Juan Martin del Potro also had yet another knee surgery several weeks ago and God knows when he’ll be back. Add to all of that, I swear to God, Serena Williams is playing worse right now than she was in her first year back from maternity leave. It’s a struggle when all of my faves are broken. What’s NOT a struggle? When a doper retires after her body can’t handle the tour drug-free. Maria Sharapova is retiring.

Maria Sharapova, the tennis star who became one of the richest and most famous athletes of the 21st century, is retiring at age 32, worn down by injuries that hindered her as she tried to return to the top of the sport following a suspension for using a banned substance.

Sharapova, a tall and intense Russian who punctuated her flat groundstrokes with piercing shrieks, won five Grand Slam singles titles, starting with Wimbledon at age 17 in 2004, when she beat the No. 1 seed Serena Williams in a hard-hitting final. Yet Sharapova made an arguably more indelible mark off the court as the highest-earning women’s athlete for 11 straight years, according to Forbes. With endorsements from companies like Nike and Evian, she reportedly earned close to $30 million in 2015 before her suspension in 2016 knocked her down the game’s pecking order.

She was punished for using meldonium, a drug developed for heart patients that is said to improve blood flow and help athletes recover faster. Sharapova said she had been taking it for 10 years because of a magnesium deficiency, dizziness and a family history of diabetes. But she claimed to be unaware that the drug had recently been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances. Her suspension was cut from two years to 15 months on appeal, with an arbitration panel declaring that “under no circumstances” should she be considered “an intentional doper.”

She met resistance after returning to the tour in April 2017, with some tournament officials choosing not to offer her invitations to play, and some players expressing discontent when she was granted wild cards, arguing that it was unfair for a player returning from a ban to receive such a boost.

[From The NY Times]

Maria barely played last year – she kept getting wild cards into big tournaments, and then she would end up cancelling. She’s had a few surgeries in the past few years, since her big return from suspension too. Her body really couldn’t handle the tour, honestly. And very few tennis commentators wanted to say it either – it was shocking at the US Open last year, when Maria lost to Serena Williams in the first round (their first time playing in New York), and then Patrick McEnroe went off about how Maria came back to the tour to prove that she could still be a champion post-doping, and she hasn’t proved it at all. If anything, she’s proved that the meldonium WAS performance-enhancing. Anyway, I can’t say Maria will be missed, but I will say this: Serena needs more players she can see as rivals. One of Serena’s problems is that she adores all of the younger girls. She was filled with a fiery contempt for Maria and it fueled her to win, win, win. So on that count, I’ll miss Maria a little bit.

Christopher Clarey at the NYT also says that Maria won’t be doing a “farewell tour,” meaning she’s not looking to play all of her favorite tournaments one last time. So… is it over? She’s not even going to lose one last match at Indian Wells or whatever?

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27 Responses to “Maria Sharapova is retiring from tennis to spend more time with her meldonium”

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  1. Snazzy says:

    I didn’t even read the article I just came to say that I laughed out loud at the title. I will go back and read it now 😂

  2. Tiffany says:

    I will never forgive commentators thinking she and Serena, a damn GOAT, were equals and competitors.

    It really is amazing how pretty (*coughwhitecoughcough) can be perched up and live off of a single victory for decades.

    • Moneypenny says:

      That’s how good it is to be an attractive white, blond woman.

      • Chanteloup says:

        Yup, and it must be nice to be able to afford to retire off that.
        I’ll still be working when I’m 95, if I live that long. [sad face]

  3. lana86 says:

    Her bf is modell- looking

  4. Beach Dreams says:

    Good riddance. So arrogant that she had the gall to blame anyone and everyone for getting caught doping (after she initially claimed she would take full responsibility 😂). Her career will always be marred by meldonium no matter what her delusional fans say.

  5. Mabs A'Mabbin says:

    You know, she’s had a really good run. Good career. Commercials. Some fame. Aside from some silly behavior and meldonium (the name cracks me up for some reason, makes me think I need some), a graceful exit would be mature. BUT. Do household names largely take the mature route? Nope.

  6. Scandi says:

    This is the best title you’ve ever written! So savage and I laughed so loud😂

    But yes – I really want Serena to land the last title(s?), so she can be the greatest of all time. In my mind she is, but she needs to the last bit. Go Serena.

  7. Jess says:

    Love this! As soon as I saw the news I wanted your take. She is so full of it.

  8. Snappyfish says:

    Good riddance to the Blame others for her mistakes & an all around poor sport.

  9. Valiantly Varnished says:

    Bye bish! Good riddance to this racist, cheating cow.

  10. SJR says:

    Glad to see her go, Bye you cheater!

  11. Lowrider says:

    I get annoyed on how she describes herself as some weak small player playing against stronger bigger players. Maria is 6’3 inches and muscular with the widest shoulders. She’s one of the strongest players on your.

    She has a family history of diabetes and she’s pushing her sugar candy all over the world.

  12. ClaireB says:

    I have nothing useful to add, but I had to comment to show my support for mocking Maria Sharapova and her legacy of “innocent white woman” doping.

  13. Seri says:

    All athletes dope. It is “pharma” rather than sport competition.

  14. Andrew’s Nemesis says:

    I WON’T miss the shrieking. (Or the, you know, elitism or poorwhiteme farce.)

  15. Jb says:

    Thank God she’ll be gone. I would always have to put the TV on mute during her matches because of all her shrieking. Ugh.

  16. Meghan says:

    When I heard this on NPR this morning i thought “oh Kaiser is going to love this!”

  17. Meg says:

    Correct me if I’m wrong-didnt she accuse Serena of cheatit with her married coach years ago at a press conference? So shady the clip I saw. She seemed so petty

  18. Catherine says:

    1. I think she was caught doping (AGAIN) and was given a choice, retire Immediately or face another 2 year ban. Otherwise there would be a farewell tour and she would end her career at her “favorite” tournament like all the other top players have always done.

    2. Did you see Kim Clijsters play Margaruza in Dubai? She’s got such a vicious attack and reads the court so well. Kim has the heart/demeanor of a champion, she can close if she can get her fitness level up. I would love to see her back beating the young ones and a great fun rival for Serena.