What happened to Maria Sharapova? From a Tennis Star to an Entrepreneur is a full written Documentary of the Life of the Super-star Tennis Player that became a Business Woman.
We will be following her timeline from when she started Playing Tennis and grew to stardom and then suddenly moved to become a full time Businesswoman.
Maria Sharapova is a sensational and terrific Russian professional tennis player; who has made a big name for herself in the world of tennis. This article is about what happened to Maria Sharapova at the start of her sports career, before her career, and after she dropped her racquet. We will also talk about her biography and her life outside tennis.
Maria Sharapova Early Life
Maria Sharapova was born on the 19th of April, 1987 in Nyagan, Russia to parents, Yuri and Yelena whom were from Gomel, Belarussian but left their homeland shortly after Maria Sharapova was born because of the regional effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident.
However, Maria Sharapova, in 1989, moved with her parents to Sochi Krasnodar Krai, in Russia when she was only two years old and there her father befriended Aleksandr Kafeinikov who in turn gave Maria Sharapova her first tennis racquet in 1991 when she was four years old and then onward she began to practice regularly with her father at the local park.
Maris Sharapova Career
Maria Sharapova was allowed to take her first tennis lesson with the Russian veteran coach named, Yuri Yutkin who was completely taken aback at Maria Sharapova’s performance and then in 1993 at the age of six, she attended a tennis clinic in Moscow.
This clinic was handled by Martina Navratilova who recommended for Maria Sharapova a professional training at the IMG Academy in Florida, USA, which had trained players like, Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Anna Kournakova.
In 1994, she and her father traveled for the training at IMG Florida but her mother could not travel to join her because of visa restrictions.
Remarkably, her father truly sacrificed a lot to see her breakthrough success as he practically took various low paying jobs which included dish washing to fund her training and lessons until she was old enough to get admitted into the academy.
Prior to when she entered the IMG business, she trained with Rick Macci in his academy and she was offered a deal from IMG but she could not see Rick any longeplays the “r. Going forward, in 1995, Maria Sharapova got signed by IMG who agreed to pay her tuition fee to stay at the academy and enroll at the age of nine.
Maria Sharapova Vs Serena Williams Career Feud
What happened to Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams on the tennis court?
First, it is important to understand that in the game of tennis, it is normal for one player to own the field at a given time. From 2002 to 2003, when Sharapova was just starting her career, Williams was that player.
Sharapova and Williams met for the first time in early 2004, when she lost to Williams in a tournament. They met again in Wimbledon later that year when Williams was playing while recovering from an injury.
Being a 17-year-old, blonde, Siberian-born player, Sharapova was as good as anyone on the women’s team. She ended the game with Williams, with a domineering win. Sharapova and Williams faced off again at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships where she won again.
She had a lot of hype surrounding her as the only worthy opponent of Serena Williams, after these two consecutive wins. However, the WTA Tour Championship was the last time she won against Serena Williams.
Over the ears, there has been mild bad blood between these two tennis stars. From making snide comments about each other, to stirring attention and controversies.
Between 2004 and 2019, Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams have faced off a total of 23 times. During this time, Sharapova has lost 20 matches, keeping her number of wins at 3.
Maria Sharapova Relationship
Maria Sharapova has had relationships with various men at one time or the other. First, she dated Maroon 5 singer, Adam Levine in 2005 for a short period of time after the two met at her 18th birthday party and in 2008, she again briefly dated an American television producer named Charlie Ebersol.
She got engaged to Sasha Vujacic, a Slovenian professional basket ball player in 2011. But on the 31st of August, 2012, she ended her engagement with the Slovenian basket ball player and later got engaged again in the same year to a Bulgarian tennis player named, Grigor Dimitrov and the two lovebirds confirmed their relationship in 2013 Madrid Open.
However, she and Dimitrov ended their relationship in July 2015 and went their separate ways.
Maria is currently engaged to Alexander Gilkes and they welcomed a son named Theodore in 2022.
Maria Sharapova’s exploits on the tennis court have secured for her lucrative commercial endorsements that greatly surpasses her tournament winnings.
This resulted in Forbes Magazine listing her as one of the biggest paid female athletes in the world with annual earnings of over $16 million US dollars, majority of which are from endorsements and sponsorships.
Some of her endorsement deals include Head, a racquet company, Sugarpova, Nike, Tag Heur watches, Porsche, Avon, Evian, and Sugargoop, Canon, Motorola, Colgate-Palmolive.
Awards and Recognition
Maria Sharapova topped the Forbes Magazine list of highest paid female athlete every year since 2007 and in 2011 Forbes listed her as No 29 in their list of 50 top paid athletes, the only woman in the list. In 2012, she was listed again in the top 15 and was also named as one of the most beautiful celebrities in the world.
In a pull put together by the Britain FHM magazine she was voted the seventh most eligible bachelorette which was based on both looks and wealth. She equally posed in a six page bikini photo-shoot spread in 2006 Valentine Day Issue of the Sports illustrated swimsuit issue with 25 other supermodels.
Maria Sharapova Luxury Automobile
She owns a few of the best luxury automobiles in the world which include Audi, Mercedes Benz, Range Rover and Porsche.
Maria Sharapova Net Worth
Maria Sharapova net worth is estimated at a whooping sum of $196 million US dollars in 2020 and as such she has been listed by Forbes as one of the richest athletes in the world.
Maria Sharapova Retirement from Tennis
What happened to Maria Sharapova that led to her retirement?
After so many years on the tennis court, and consistently rising to become one of the richest and most globally recognized player in women tennis, Sharapova dropped the racquet at 32.
She experienced a 15-month suspension after failing a drug test. She was found to be using meldonium — a banned drug known to help an athlete’s oxygen uptake and endurance.
According to her claims, she was using the drug because of a magnesium deficiency, dizziness and a family history of diabetes, and had no idea it had recently been added to the updated list of banned drugs by the World Anti-Doping Agency.
She says had neglected to click on the emailed link that explained the change. This seemingly harmless act had apparently cost her 15 months of her career.
However, she was constantly battling with tendon damage in her right shoulder and inflammation in her forearms, following her comeback. Having ruled out a shoulder operation, her comeback lasted two seasons and ended with a first-round defeat of Donna Vekic on Jan. 20. at the Australian Open.
An excerpt from Sharapova’s piece on Vanity Fair magazine reads:
“How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known? How do you walk away from the courts you’ve trained on since you were a little girl, the game that you love — one which brought you untold tears and unspeakable joys — a sport where you found a family, along with fans who rallied behind you for more than 28 years?” Sharapova, 32, wrote.
“I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis — I’m saying goodbye.”
“In giving my life to tennis, tennis gave me a life. I’ll miss it everyday,” Sharapova continued.
“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.”
Implicitly, her career came to an end officially in 26 February 2020.
Her Entrepreneurship Journey
For sometime, a lot of people wondered what happened to Maria Sharapova after tennis. After her retirement from the court, Sharapova became a full-fledged business person. From a globally recognized tennis star to an entrepreneur, she has rapidly been making a name for herself in the candy industry.
Sharapova launched her candy line, Sugarpova, in the peak of her tennis career in 2012. During her suspension in 2016, she channeled her energy, time and resources into building the company.
With a $500,000 capital, the right PR agency and the right marketing strategy, she launched a wide range of candies and gumballs of various shapes.
While Sugarpova has increased Sharapova’s net worth exponentially, the business has also grown a great deal. From dealing with gumballs, the company now deals with a variety of chocolates and other candies.
The company is spread across 22 countries, and is currently valued at $12 million.
Maria Sharapova Today
In the course of finding out what happened to Maria Sharapova after tennis, we have burrowed into the other things she does apart from business.
Sharapova owns and runs a non-profit organization, Maria Sharapova Foundation, which aims at helping young children around the world achieve their dreams.
She has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations’ Development Programme since 2007, and has donated $100,000 to Chernobyl-related projects during that period.
However, she recently launched a scholarship scheme, Maria Sharapova Foundation Scholarship, in partnership with UNDP. The $210,000 scholarship programme is designed for youths in the Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus, and aims at awarding five-year scholarships to 12 students at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts and the Belarusian State University.
Aside from her NGO, Sharapova has supported several other charities and organization. Some of them include:
In 2020, Maria Sharapova joined Public, an investing platform, as an investor to bring more women into the investing playing field. The app with over 1 million platforms is made up of 40% women, 45% people of color, and 90% first-time investors.
At Public, Sharapova has constantly shared insights about her investing and entrepreneurship journey.
The Future of Maria Sharapova
Seeing her successful and industrious shift from the tennis court to the business world, much is expected from Maria Sharapova in the coming years.
She has firmly debunked the likelihood of making a comeback as a tennis coach. This gives us the notion that she has bigger and better plans for herself and her new found love – entrepreneurship.