There are many doubts and many questions about Maria Sharapova's tennis future after her defeat in the first round of the Australian Open 2020 against Donna Vekic. The Russian is going through a very long crisis: technical, physical and mental.
The injuries affected her too much after she came back to the Tour following her suspension for using Meldonium. A crisis that clashes with the image of Sharapova, that image of a proud warrior who always highlighted her long and amazing career.
Does she still need to be a tennis player? She is a very successful businesswoman who is building a bright future away from the tennis courts. Investments that will allow her to have a great professional career, in an arena away from tennis.
Yet a tennis player with her charisma would be extremely useful in the WTA Tour, full of great stars, but with only one real dominatrix with an innate charisma: Serena Williams, who, at 38, still fights for records and glory.
Sharapova version admired at the Australian Open against Donna Vekic is the stunt double for the one admired during the best years of her career. she is struggling, especially by a physical point of view, to keep up with the same strength of her younger opponents.
In short, she is not competitive at the moment. Perhaps Sharapova has now gone beyond the best part of her tennis career, so, after a new defeat, the time has come to ask some questions, because there are indeed doubts. Maybe we are close to the end of her career: "It is difficult for me to think about what will happen in the next twelve months" she said after the defeat with Vekic, who will make her slip out of the top-300 of the WTA ranking.
Only one thing is certain: despite the defeats, if Maria Sharapova still enjoys playing tennis, then she will be able to continue until she feels the time to say stop.
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