Maria Sharapova says she is "rooting" for Tunisia's Ons Jabeur to become a Grand Slam champion one day. Last year, Jabeur became the first-ever Arab and African player to reach a Grand Slam final at Wimbledon. Since then, Jabeur has been to three Grand Slam finals but she has yet to win a Slam, having lost the finals back-to-back Wimbledon finals in 2022 and 2023, as well as the 2022 US Open final.
"The rivalries, you either have one dominant player or everyone has a shot and I think in your time what made it interesting were the rivalries because you picked teams and you hope somebody wins, somebody loses now we are getting there with the Ons Jabeur, the Sabalenka, Rybakina," Andrea Petkovic said during her conversation with Sharapova on the Rennae Stubbs Tennis Podcast, via Sportskeeda.
Responding to Petkovic's comments, Sharapova said: "I'm rooting for Ons to win her first Grand Slam, she deserves that so much."
Sharapova unlikely to play pro tennis ever again
In recent years, there have been several cases of players making successful returns after giving birth.
Sharapova, 36, retired from pro tennis after the 2020 Australian Open and welcomed her first child last year. On the podcast, Sharapova was asked what are the chances of her coming back to tennis after giving birth. "I don't know how they do it, I don't see that in my future," Sharapova said.
During her tennis days, Sharapova accomplished very much on the court. Now, Sharapova feels accomplished by just being a mother. "I became a mother about a year ago which I think was one of the greatest accomplishments that I’ve ever experienced.
I have an entirely new respect for motherhood and parenthood and just that this is the moment of how you like you know your body is experiencing completely different, your mind somewhere else," Sharapova said.
• Maria Sharapova bumps into Ons Jabeur after saying this about Tunisian in September• Maria Sharapova hilariously responds to question about potential tennis return• Anett Kontaveit candidly reacts to losing to Ons Jabeur in farewell match in Tallinn• Ons Jabeur has heartfelt message for Anett Kontaveit after farewell Tallinn match• Fans destroy Iga Swiatek: "She will never surpass Maria Sharapova's legacy"• Ons Jabeur's heartbreaking tears over the war in Gaza