Following her first-round exit at the Australian Open to Donna Vekic, the five-time Major champion Maria Sharapova decided to end her career due to an ongoing shoulder injury. Sharapova finished the previous season outside the top-100 only for the second time after 2002 when she was only 15, playing just eight tournaments in 2019 and failing to deliver her best tennis after so many injuries and setbacks over the last couple of years.
The Russian recently got engaged, and there's an entirely new lift outside the tennis court waiting for her. In the recent podcast, Maria praised her greatest rival Serena Williams, calling the American one of the greatest athletes of all time.
Sharapova and Serena played against each other 22 times, with the American winning 20 of those, and every since 2005! Maria stunned Serena in the 2004 Wimbledon final at 17 and repeated that at the WTA Finals later that year.
Maria Sharapova praised her great rival Serena Williams.
Instead of becoming Serena's most formidable rival for the upcoming years, Maria lost the ground in the head to head encounters, finishing her career with 19 straight losses against the 23-time Major winner!
Sharapova and Williams shared the court for the last time in the US Open 2019 first round, with Serena scoring a dominant 6-1, 6-1 triumph for the strongest start of the campaign that would send her towards the final. Serena turns 40 in September and she is still eager to chase that 24th Major crown, losing four finals in 2018 and 2019 at Wimbledon and the US Open.
In 2020, the American suffered an early Australian Open loss and raised her level at the US Open to reach the semis. Serena made a good start against her friend Victoria Azarenka before losing 1-6, 6-3, 6-3, missing another chance of reaching that elusive 24th Major crown, and hoping for more opportunities in 2021.
"Well, I do think Serena would definitely be somewhere on top of that GOAT list when we consider every sport, no doubt. Her achievements are incredible. She's won over 20 Majors and still competes for more," Maria Sharapova said.