Maria’s Long Road Back

Player Profiles
By Hiland Doolittle, December 5th, 2009

What fans forget about Maria, is that she is just 22 years old.  Her glamour girl image, very public profile and photo appeal make it seem like she has been around longer.  The biggest problem for Maria is that she has suffered physical issues and perhaps lost some of her concentration along the way.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

2010 will be a defining year for the statuesque Russian blonde who happens to sport one the game’s loudest grunts.  Her resounding on-court antics have alienated many of her competitors and she is known as an “unfun” matchup.  As the cameras and throngs around her testify, a match against Maria is all about Maria, her glitz, her glamour, her camera-presence, drawing power and behavior.

Despite the glitter, 2010 will be a crossroads year for the 6’2” blue-eyed looker.  In other words, Maria Sharapova, it is time to put up or shut up!

After she cashed in with her third Grand Slam title in Melbourne in 2008, Maria’s career has floundered hitting a holding pattern for months at a time.  Her use of rehabilitation time as endorsement recruiting and modeling opportunities has not inspired confidence in her tennis fans, who have begun to question her commitment to the game that made it all possible.

Her 2009 Grand Slam performances have done little to sway her dwindling galleries.  She is now regarded as just another opponent and, frankly, a bit past her prime, a bad fate for any 22 year-old.

Since her 2008 Australlian Open title, she was bounced in the 4th round in Paris, 2nd round at Wimbledon and did not play at the 2008 Open.  She withdrew from the 2009 Australian Open, reached the quarters in Paris, lost in the 2nd round in London and 3 round in New York.  These are hardly the credentials of one of the game’s elite stars.

Birth Date19-04-87
ResidenceBradenton,  FL
Weight130 lbs
Year Turned Pro2001
Current Rank – Singles14
Career Prize Earnings$13,092,900
Year-To- Date – Earnings$923,619
Grand Slam (Singles)$3
Australian Open2008
French Open0
U.S. Open2006

Maria in 2009

Basically it was an inactive, unproductive season for Sharapova.  Injury sidelined her in the early months and she appeared out of competitive shape when she returned.  Despite moments of competitive fire, her overall play lacked the passion the big names bring to the table.

Maria withdrew from all tourneys until May but fared better than expected at Roland Garros.  It was September before she was able to capture her first event of the year in Tokyo.  That win marked her 20th career singles title.  However, the field lacked the biggest stars.

Her yearly earnings were just below $1 million while her career earnings stand at more than $13 million.  It seems that as the 14th ranked tour player, Maria will have to prove herself allover again.  We hope she has the heart!


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