The iconic poster girl of tennis Maria Sharapova has called curtains on an illustrious career. Her two decades on the circuit have been worth $38,703,609 in prize money, five grand slam titles and much more.
Commercially, the major gains were bigger off the court. Maria’s career revenues, including sponsorships and brand endorsements, as per Forbes stand at $ 325 million, second only to tennis’ richest lady Serena Williams. Only five men – Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Andy Murray and Pete Sampras – have earned more in tennis. Her $ 38.8 million career prize money also puts her among the top three in the women tennis stars – only behind Williams sisters Serena ($ 92.7 million) and Venue ($ 41 million).
While announcing her decision on Monday, Maria Sharapova also confirmed that her association with the sport will continue as the 32-year-old said that she was retiring from tennis but not quitting it.
“Tennis showed me the world — and it showed me what I was made of. It’s how I tested myself and how I measured my growth,” Sharapova tweeted on Wednesday. “And so in whatever I might choose for my next chapter, my next mountain, I’ll still be pushing. I’ll still be climbing. I’ll still be growing.”
Tennis showed me the world—and it showed me what I was made of. It’s how I tested myself and how I measured my growth. And so in whatever I might choose for my next chapter, my next mountain, I’ll still be pushing. I’ll still be climbing. I’ll still be growing. pic.twitter.com/kkOiJmXuln
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) February 26, 2020
Maria further expressed her feelings in an article in the Vogue magazine. “After 28 years and five Grand Slam titles, though, I’m ready to scale another mountain – to compete on a different type of terrain,” she said.
“One of the keys to my success was that I never looked back and I never looked forward,” Sharapova said on Wednesday. “I believed that if I kept grinding and grinding, I could push myself to an incredible place.
“I’ll miss it every day. I’ll miss the training and my daily routine: Waking up at dawn, lacing my left shoe before my right, and closing the court’s gate before I hit my first ball of the day.
“I’ll miss my team, my coaches. I’ll miss the moments sitting with my father on the practice court bench. The handshakes – win or lose – and the athletes, whether they knew it or not, who pushed me to be my best.
“Looking back now, I realize that tennis has been my mountain. My path has been filled with valleys and detours, but the views from its peak were incredible.”
She remained Forbes’ highest paid female athlete for 11 consecutive years before injuries and a ban for consuming banned, performance-enhancing substance derailed her career and growth in the last four years. The year before her suspension in 2016 was the peak period of Maria’s commercial success with annual revenue of $ 30 million.
Maria, according to Forbes, would command a price tag of $ 500,000 in appearance fee for an exhibition game. She launched her own range of candies Sugarpova in 2012 and expanded it into clothing and accessories lifestyle brand.
In a career spanning two decades, which saw 6 foot 2 inch Russian beauty bec0me a tennis sensation at the age of 17 when she beat Venus in the 2004 Wimbledon final, Maria endorsed brands like Nike, Tag Heuer, Canon, Motorola, Colgate-Palmolive, Evian, Head and Porsche among numerous others.
On social media, she is followed by close to 15 million people on Facebook, 8.6 mn on twitter and 3.8 mn on Instagram.