Maria Sharapova thinks tennis as a sport should do a better job of promoting its stars and mentioned Coco Gauff's US Open win as the latest example where she feels the game didn't capitalize as much in the marketing aspect as it should have.
At this past US Open, 19-year-old Gauff lifted her first Grand Slam title and became the first American teenager since Serena Williams in 1999 to win it all at Flushing Meadows. This week, Sharapova appeared on Bloomberg and talked with host Jason Kelly.
During their conversation, Sharapova - who is well-established in the business world - was asked how tennis can improve as a business.
Sharapova: Who knew where Gauff was playing after the US Open?
"I mean it’s a loaded question.
There are a lot of options and roads. I mean look, let’s start with the fact you had Ted on the stage and I was listening to his talk on my way here and he spoke about engagement and the importance of engagement. You had Coco Gauff just winning her first Major at the US Open in New York City.
I mean the crowd, the bridging culture, sport, fashion, all in that moment. Two weeks later, three weeks later... How many people know that she’s playing a tournament [China Open] in Beijing. She got to the semifinals and lost but I’m sure 99 percent of the audience at the US Open had no idea where she was playing next.
Right away that’s off the bat, that’s a problem," Sharapova said on Bloomberg. Last year, Williams and Roger Federer retired from pro tennis. In 2024, Rafael Nadal will likely be playing his final season. When it comes to 36-year-old Novak Djokovic, he has indicated that he has no plans to retire in the near future. Now, it's time for tennis to get some new great champions that will carry the game for many years.