Maria Sharapova: "Naomi Osaka must be respected for her decisions"

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Maria Sharapova: "Naomi Osaka must be respected for her decisions"

In her career, Maria Sharapova has won five Grand Slam tournaments (1 Australian Open, 2 Roland Garros, 1 Wimbledon and 1 US Open) and became one of ten players in history to have completed the Career Grand Slam, a milestone reached on 9 June 2012 with the victory of his first Roland Garros.

She also boasts 36 singles tournaments, including the WTA Finals in 2004, and twelve Premier category tournaments. She has occupied the first position of the world ranking in singles on five different occasions, for a total of 21 weeks, becoming the first Russian player in history to lead the top of the rankings.

She became number one for the first time at age 18 on 22 August 2005 and for the last time in July 2012. She has been awarded the ESPY Award for best tennis player five times (2005, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014). Naomi Osaka, on the other hand, has won seven WTA titles out of eleven finals played in her career, winning four Grand Slam tournaments: the US Open in 2018 and 2020 and the Australian Open in 2019 and 2021.

Following the first Australian success, on January 28, 2019 she became the first Asian to reach the first place in the world ranking. She was the first Japanese to win a Grand Slam title and the third in the Open era to qualify for the WTA Finals.

In 2019 and 2020 she was the highest paid female athlete ever, grossing $ 37 million and $ 60 million respectively. On 23 July 2021, at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games, she was the torchbearer who lit the Olympic brazier.

Sharapova on Osaka

During the last interview released, Sharapova, former Russian tennis player who for a year has said goodbye to tennis, talked about the particular moment that the young Japanese star Naomi Osaka is experiencing.

From Roland Garros 2021 to today, Naomi explained to all her mental health problems, which also led her to question her future in tennis. Sharapova said: "We should support all athletes going through difficult times. Naomi Osaka is an incredible tennis player and a fantastic person who has a bright future ahead of her.

You have to respect the decisions that people make in a time of strong vulnerability. People don't know what's going on behind the scenes or how a player feels. We must support everyone: the more support we give to the players, the more they will play and feel better.

Even on difficult days, an athlete must attend press conferences, have a professional attitude and talk about tennis. "