The semi-final in Shenzhen, in January 2018, could make you think of another whole story, but the season of Maria Sharapova was overall negative. Not only because of her performances, but also because of the injuries and physical problems, which affected her season.
The elimination in the third round of the Australian Open was an alarm bell. She struggled on the hard courts thereafter before slightly bettering her performances on clay. In fact on clay, she played the best tennis of her season, reaching the quarter-finals in Madrid, semi-final in Rome and quarter-finals at the French Open.
At Wimbledon, the only grass event played by the Russian, came the sensational elimination in the first round against Vitalia Diatchenko. Her season was interrupted in the fourth round of the US Open; a match in which she was defeated in straight sets by Carla Suarez Navarro.
Sharapova struggled this year, but once she gets back her fitness and form, she could become a force to reckon with again. Or, could she? Because, her career after she returned from her 15-month ban for Meldonium use has been punctuated by numerous injuries and therefore, even 2019 will be a difficult year to predict for her.
It will all depend on her physical integrity. Only with that extra weapon, associated with her charisma and her willpower, will she be able to return to great successes. ALSO READ: Jo Konta gives her verdict on gender pay gap