Maria Sharapova is one of the biggest names in tennis. She was born on April 19, 1987. The beautiful blonde has amazed us all with her flawless game since she first turned pro in 2001. Her rise is without a doubt impressive and spectacular. As opposed to other players that have graced the game of tennis with their appearance, Sharapova managed to stay among the best players in the world for the last 15 years. Unfortunately, an incident that occurred in the March of 2016 has lead to the player being suspended from the world of tennis. If you want to find out everything about the rise and fall of Maria Sharapova, one of the best tennis players of all time, read the following lines.
Sharapova’s impressive tennis career
Maria Sharapova first hit the tennis scene in 2000. She then won the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships at the age of 13. After winning this title, she was given the Rising Star Award, a distinction that is awarded only to players of exceptional promise. The player made her professional debut on her 14th birthday in 2001. She played in her first WTA tournament at the Pacific Life Open in 2002, where she won a match, after which she lost against another great tennis player, Monica Seles. At only 14 years and 9 months of age, the Russian beauty would amaze everyone by being the youngest girl ever to reach the Australian Open junior championship. In 2003, Sharapova made her debuts at the French Open and the Australian Open, but she didn’t manage to win any games in either of these competitions. She was given a wildcard at the Wimbledon Open in the same year, where she managed to reach the fourth round. By the end of September 2003, Sharapova won her first WTA title at the Japan Open Tennis Championships, after which she won her second title of the season at the Bell Challenge. Due to her impressive debut in the world of professional tennis, the player was awarded the WTA Newcomer of the Year honor. She won her first Grand Slam title in 2004 at the Wimbledon Open, when the Russian defeated Serena Williams to take this major title. On August 22, 2005, Sharapova rose in the WTA rankings and become No. 1. In her 15-year career as a professional tennis player, the impressive Russian player won 35 WTA single titles, and 3 WTA doubles titles. She has 601 wins and 145 losses in her single’s career, and 23 wins and 17 losses in her double’s career. The player won almost 37 million dollars from the tournaments that she played in during this period of time.
The player’s surprising fall out of grace
Sharapova was one of the most feared tennis players out there since March 2016 when she was suspended. This came as a shock for all the tennis lovers, especially for those who idolized her. The fall of the Russian player came on March 7th of 2016 when it was revealed that she had failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open. She described the incident as being an oversight. The player admitted to using meldonium, a drug that is used for heart conditions, and that has been added to the World Anti-Doping Agency banned substance list on January 1, 2016. Even though she said that this was an oversight and that she took the substance without realising that it was forbidden, a lot of tennis players reacted negatively to her statement. They didn’t show support or sympathy in general for the sweet Maria Sharapova, mainly because this is a mistake that is hard to make and that ultimately ruined her career. After all, when you have been playing this sport for such a long time, it’s hard to not know what you’re allowed to do and what’s forbidden. She lost her contracts with Nike and TAG Heuer, and Porche postponed promotional work with her. This was an enormous hit on the player’s career. She will face a suspension that will last at least one year. The maximum time of suspension that she is faced with is 4 years, but considering that other professional sports players that have been found using banned substances only got a 1-year suspension, this will most probably be her punishment as well.