Maria Sharapova details why tennis, golf are 'most mentally demanding' sports

Sharapova explains the challenges athletes in individual sports face.

by Dzevad Mesic
Maria Sharapova details why tennis, golf are 'most mentally demanding' sports
© Getty Images Sport - Mike Owen

Former five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova has huge respect for F1 star Lewis Hamilton and his efforts but believes tennis and golf are "the most mentally demanding" sports." Sharapova, 36, turned pro in 2001 and retired from pro tennis after the 2020 Australian Open.

In tennis, a season starts in January and concludes in late November. Tournaments take place all over the world and tennis players are constantly on the move - something that many players describe as one of the most challenging things in tennis.

In recent years, players - including the top players such as Iga Swiatek - have openly been voicing that the tennis season is too long and demanding. Sharapova, who follows Formula 1, highlighted that F1 is also a very demanding sport but believes not as demanding as tennis and golf are.

Sharapova on why tennis, golf are 'the most mentally demanding

"I think you may have more opportunity because both golf and tennis, the schedules are so long. And this idea of constantly having to show up and having a responsibility and an average amount is probably like 19 to 20 tournaments a year.

And when you're not playing a tournament, you're training. So the pressure of constantly having to perform at a high level and everything that comes with just being an athlete at an event, the sponsor responsibilities, the interviews, the press, you have a schedule of things.

At Formula One. I mean, what Lewis [Hamilton] is doing ahead of a race. I actually was in Miami and I saw some of his sponsor responsibilities and I just couldn't believe the amount of events and interviews. And then how do you wake up and want to do your job? Beat someone when so much of your energy is drained? I think it just shows you when there is that individual and that star that wins over and over, how special it is because of everything else that they've also had to be responsible for," Sharapova said on the Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard podcast.

Maria Sharapova