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Sharapova Shines at Wimbledon Again

Sharapova Shines at Wimbledon Again

By Richard Pagliaro | @Tennis_Now | Tuesday, July 2, 2024
Photo credit: Stephen White/CameraSport

Maria Sharapova closed the curtain on her career in 2020, but shows staying power at Wimbledon.

Twenty years after a 17-year-old Sharapova shocked Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final dethroning the defending champion in a straight-sets blow-out, she’s again emerging as a winner at SW19.

More: Shoulder Injury Knocks Sabalenka Out of Wimbledon

In response to a journalist’s question about the ideal dinner guest, both current world No. 1 Iga Swiatek and former No. 1 Naomi Osaka cited Sharapova as the champion they’d choose to meet and break bread.

“For sure Steffi Graf. I would love to talk to her and meet her, share some experiences,” Swiatek told the media after her Wimbledon first-round win over Sofia Kenin today. “Also I think Maria Sharapova, ’cause we never really talked because she kind of retired when I was still going up.

“And I feel like she made some good decisions off the court in terms of her business, and she handled everything well. You can kind of take example from her. And Serena.”

Asked the same question following her Wimbledon opening-round win over Diane Parry, four-time major champion Osaka cited fellow Swoosh star Sharapova alongside two other Grand Slam champions.

“Andre Agassi, Li Na…Sharapova,” Osaka replied when asked her dream dinner guests.

Perhaps both champions will get their wish as Sharapova has visited Wimbledon with her son Theo and shared some of that experience on social media.

At her best, Sharapova was one of the toughest, loudest, fiercest, boldest champions of her era who scored Grand Slam final victories over former No. 1 players Serena Williams, Justine Henin, Ana Ivanovic and Simona Halep.

Sharapova showed a spirited love of the battle and established a well-earned reputation as a charismatic, combative and controversial champion.

World No. 1 and fellow Head endorser Novak Djokovic developed a friendship with Sharapova and praised her fighting spirit when she announced her official retirement in a 2020 essay she wrote for Vanity Fair.

“She’s a great fighter and as dedicated as someone could really be in our sport,” Djokovic said of Sharapova. “Her willpower and willingness to kind of overcome all the obstacles she had in the last five, six years with injuries and surgeries and trying to fight back and come back and played on her desired level,…

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