Maria Sharapova: Controversial Star and Authentic Brand

Until her retirement, Sharapova still caused people to debate whether she was a great tennis player or not. But one thing is certain: “Russian doll” has built itself into a true brand.

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The Russian tennis player is not only successful on the tennis court with 5 Grand Slams out of 36 WTA titles, large and small, but she is also the owner of a huge fortune thanks to her passion for business, as well as being the face of Representing many big brands.

Authentic brand

The first time Maria Sharapova appeared at a Grand Slam, when she faced Ashley Harkleroad in the first round of Wimbledon, the tabloids called it the “Battle between two dolls”, with the implication of emphasizing a beauty match between These two blonde teenage girls. Sharapova defeated her American opponent 6-2, 6-1, and advanced straight to the fourth round. The 16-year-old girl only stopped after losing to compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova 1-6, 6-2, 5-7 .

In the press conference room after the victory over Harkleroad, a journalist asked Sharapova: “How will you fill the void of (Anna) Kournikova? What is the most difficult thing about having a pretty appearance while still having to focus on the sport you pursue? Last Wednesday, Sharapova announced her retirement from professional tennis due to age and persistent shoulder injuries. But with 36 titles, including 5 Grand Slams (1 career Grand Slam), and 39 million USD in prize money, that seems to be the late, but most accurate answer to the above journalist’s question.

Sharapova’s announcement of her retirement in two famous magazines, Vogue and Vanity Fair, seems to be how she wants to be remembered: A rare athlete whose influence extends beyond the sport in which she competes.

In fact, Masha’s position has existed for a long time. Even at its peak with Grand Slam titles, her career is still best known for topping Forbes’ list of richest female athletes. No female tennis player in history has a big brand like Sharapova. “Her influence on this sport, not only women’s tennis but tennis in general, is really huge. It’s still the same now. I think, her brand is still very attractive , and it goes beyond career achievements”, commented world number one male tennis player Novak Djokovic.

"Uncle Sharapova and her Sugarpova candy brand

Sharapova’s passion for money has always intrigued people, because, like her first experiences at Wimbledon, it is simply a reflection of a society that values and values appearance. After building a brand, the Russian tennis player knew how to make the most of that factor for her company, and that helped her stay busy after retirement. And it’s an experience that many of Masha’s colleagues cannot have.

Sharapova is not Kournikova 2.0

But Sharapova is absolutely not a second Anna Kournikova. Besides her perfect image off the court, what she contributes to this sport is very special. At 21 years old, Masha is already the owner of Wimbledon 2004, US Open 2006 and Australian Open 2008. Many people only remember the shock that Masha created against Serena in the Wimbledon final 16 years ago and forget that she once made Justine Henin surprised. How strong will be the Grand Slams that follow?

Sharapova played strong tennis, with strong, flat shots (no spin), and knew how to shine at the most important moments. But her play has been limited since shoulder surgery in 2009, causing her serve to be greatly affected. Obviously, it is difficult for a tennis player to continue to shine when the strongest weapon loses its lethality. However, even when faced with such difficulties, Sharapova still knows how to promote her strength thanks to her fighting instinct, to return to number one in the world after winning Roland Garros 2012 and completing the Grand Prix. Career slam.

Forget the “Sharapova doll”, on the tennis court is the “Masha warrior”. In 2008, when the crowd at Roland Garros booed her unreasonably, Sharapova hit a forehand winner and spun on one leg before roaring out a curse (Allez up your f**king ass). . Many people may find it disgusting, especially when compared to Masha’s beautiful image off the court, but it is the most authentic way to express the nature of a true warrior when competing.

The ban for testing positive for doping cast a shadow over Sharapova’s career. It is worth mentioning that this tennis player used meldodium legally for up to 10 years until the substance was banned in 2016, but she did not update, and tested positive at the Australian Open that year.

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