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Maria Sharapova will go down as one of the all-time greats of tennis

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Clenched fist, true grit: Maria Sharapova is “saying goodbye” to tennis at the age of 32. It’s the end of the road for one of the biggest names in sport

Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from tennis, aged 32 following a long battle with injuries

Maria Sharapova is a global superstar and icon both on and off the court. But her sparkling career was tarnished by a drugs ban which cost her credibility from the sport she loved.

She made herself a global star when she dispatched Serena Williams – grunts and all – to win Wimbledon aged 17 in 2004.

She then added the US Open title in 2006 and the Australian Open in 2008. After completing her career Grand Slam – the 10th woman to do so – in 2012 at Roland Garros, Sharapova regained the French Open two years later.

When Sharapova called a press conference in March 2016, the speculation was that chronic shoulder problems were forcing her to retire. Instead, she revealed she had failed a doping test for the cardiac drug Meldonium at the Australian Open in January having not realised it had been added to the banned list at the end of 2015.

The Russian leaves tennis as one of its bona fide global superstars alongside the Williams sisters, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic
The Russian leaves tennis as one of its bona fide global superstars alongside the Williams sisters, Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic

It’s a long journey. It started from a very young age. It’s not over yet, you know. I’m not sitting here and saying I’m done, because I’m far from it. I have a lot more in me to achieve. I believe in my game. I think that’s one of the reasons that that’s why I’m sitting here with my fourth one and winning Roland Garros, is because I always believed I could be better, I could be a better player, whether it was on clay, whether it was on grass, whether it was on cement, anything

Maria Sharapova after winning the 2014 French Open

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Her career suffered a downward spiral. She was suspended for 15 months but, while authorities accepted she was not trying to cheat, the issue cast a cloud over her career.

Just a few days short of four years since that internet countdown, Sharapova has kept to her word by announcing her retirement through a glitzy version of notes in Vogue and Vanity Fair magazinesrather than at a “downtown LA hotel with a fairly ugly carpet”.

Sharapova’s return to the sport in 2017 was met with resistance and, although she reached the semi-finals of her comeback tournament in Stuttgart, she struggled to return to past glories thereafter, peaking at a high of 21 in the rankings.

She missed six Grand Slams and was also plagued by thigh, wrist and more shoulder injuries, which ruined the final years of her glittering career.

Sharapova won just one more title – in Tianjin that year – while her best Grand Slam performance was a quarter-final spot at the 2018 French Open. There may have been no lower moment than her first-round retirement at Wimbledon against Pauline Parmentier in 2019 as she left the court in tears. It turned out to be her last match there.

Sharapova’s story captured imaginations…

Born in Siberia after her parents moved from their home in Belarus fearing the effects of the nearby Chernobyl disaster, Sharapova showed exceptional promise at tennis.

The family took advice from Martina Navratilova, and Sharapova and her father Yuri moved to Florida to further her training when the Russian was only six.

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Neither could speak English and Sharapova did not see her mother until she was able to join them two years later.

The Russian, who first picked up a racket at the age of four, struggled with chronic shoulder problems and slumped to 373 in the rankings.

She was ranked world No 1 on five separate occasions for a total of 21 weeks. She first hit top spot aged 18 and got there for the last time after her first French Open success in 2012.

Sharapova also won 36 WTA Tour titles, including the WTA Finals in 2004, and claimed a silver medal at the London Olympics in 2012

Sharapova won Wimbledon aged 17 - becoming the third youngest female champion ever

Sharapova won Wimbledon aged 17 – becoming the third youngest female champion ever

Her rivalry against Serena Williams was supposed to be one that matched Federer-Nadal as one for the ages, and there was certainly no love lost between them, but on court it was startlingly one-sided, with Williams winning 19 straight matches dating back to 2004. The last of which was a 6-1 6-1 hammering in last year’s US Open.

Writing in her autobiography, ‘Unstoppable: My Life So Far’, Sharapova said: “I think Serena hated me for being the skinny kid who beat her, against all odds, at Wimbledon.”

In recent years, Sharapova has married her tennis career with business interests, including the launch of her sweet and chocolate line Sugarpova making her one of the most marketable and highest-paid female athletes in the world for over a decade.

Sharapova stands out from the crowd in front of the Eiffel Tower after winning her second French Open crown in 2014
Sharapova stands out from the crowd in front of the Eiffel Tower after winning her second French Open crown in 2014

Despite being often described as cold and unfriendly by her rivals, tennis will miss a woman who often stood out from the crowd.

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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.

Tennis – I’m saying goodbye.

Sharapova’s career in numbers:

36 The number of titles she won on the WTA Tour
5 Of those titles, five were Grand Slams, winning Wimbledon, the US Open, the Australian Open and the French Open (twice)
10 She is one of just 10 women to win all four Grand Slam singles titles
645 The number of singles matches Sharapova won across her 17-year career
$38,777,962 The prize money in American dollars that the Russian claimed
21 She spent 21 weeks at the top of the world rankings, over five separate spells
373 Her ranking had slipped to a lowly 373 by the time Sharapova retired
17 She became the third youngest Wimbledon women’s champion when she won in 2004, aged 17
15 Sharapova’s career was halted by a 15-month drugs ban in 2016
9.1 Winning just two of her 22 battles with Serena Williams gave Sharapova a shocking 9.1 per cent win rate against the American

Billie Jean King, a long-time friend and ally, was effusive in her praise, while on Instagram, there was a tribute from Sharapova’s boyfriend, British businessman Alexander Gilkes.

 

Boxing & UFC

Stylish or vulgar? With fluorescent interior, Floyd Mayweather rides around in an almost $8 million Rolls-Royce

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Boxing legend  Floyd Mayweather Jr. appeared this week sporting a new “toy”. On Instagram, he posted a video of the latest addition to his luxury car collection: a Rolls-Royce Cullinan. The vehicle, which is worth from $ 1.7 million in the U.S. market, has a completely customized interior.

With steering wheel, seats and part of the dashboard in a lime green color, Mayweather’s black SUV also features a “starry” roof. For the registration, the 45-year-old boxer wore an outfit to match the car’s style.

The customization was ordered by the former athlete from the Champion Motoring dealership in California. On social networks, the company had already published images of the car, but without “giving away” who would be the owner.

The Cullinan has a 6.75-liter V12 engine that generates 543 horsepower and 86.6 kgfm of torque. According to the portal ‘Auto Evolution’, the model can reach 100 km/h in 5.2 seconds and has a top speed electronically limited to 249 km/h. This is the sixth Rolls-Royce of Mayweather, who already had another Cullinan in his collection.

The legendary boxer has always been a supercar aficionado and says he owns more than 100 of them.

During his career in the ring, the boxer earned the nickname ‘Money’ for being the highest paid athlete in the world. The former boxer was only overtaken in 2016 by Cristiano Ronaldo.

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Boxing & UFC

Adrien Broner challenges Floyd Mayweather, his mentor: “We’d make $100 million each”

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Despite being officially retired for several years now, Floyd Mayweather Jr. remains a coveted name on any billboard. In addition, “Money” continues to be active by appearing in different exhibition fights.

In fact, he already confirmed to the FightHype portal: “I have three more exhibitions this year, it could be one fight and two exhibitions”.

And he added: “But guess what, the best thing is that, at least, I’m talking about $200 million”.

In this interview, “Money” stated that he is willing to put his illustrious 50-0 record on the line. So as he prepares for his September fight against MMA star Mikuru Asakura, he is also said to be negotiating a rematch against 34-year-old UFC fighter Conor McGregor.

Adrien Broner enters the Floyd Mayweather fight conversation.

Also weighing in on the conversation was Adrien Broner, Mayweather’s pupil and considered one of the top 10 fighters in the super lightweight division, according to The Ring magazine.

He thinks a “pupil vs. master” fight would be a big box office magnet with an estimated purse of $100 million each.

In an interview with Cigar Talk, Broner came clean: “If I were Floyd, I’d know I’d never have to fight again.”

“That exhibition, me being his little brother, would give us a lot. Hey, little brother (Mayweather), we’re going 10 rounds and we’re both going to generate over $100 million for that. We’ll never have to box again,” Adrien Broner said.

In addition, “The Problem” noted, “It’s time for everyone to get what’s coming to them. He’ll never have to box again. That’s what I would have done, because that’s what I should do. I don’t know if Floyd wants to see me with that kind of money.”

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He even said he is willing to comply with any of the requirements Mayweather requests to give people this opportunity to see him again in a professional fight. However, he doesn’t know if the proposal is attractive enough to convince him:

At the end of the day, I don’t know what his feelings are towards me. I don’t know how he feels. I can’t say anything. I just, I don’t know why that fight doesn’t happen. It would be the biggest moneymaker of his career,” Broner said.

Finally, “The Problem” noted, “I love Jake Paul, as well as Logan Paul. I love what they do for this sport. All I’m saying, I have a fight in three weeks. If Floyd calls me to fight him, I’ll cancel it.

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Formula 1

Floyd Mayweather Smashes $3 Billion Earnings Figure, Leaving Behind LeBron James and Michael Jordan

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Floyd Mayweather is among the wealthiest athletes of all time. Several times, the Forbes list (2012, 2014, 2015, and 2018) announced Mayweather to be the world’s highest-paid athlete. Additionally, In a year-old interview, ‘Money’ had revealed he was worth over a billion. Now, in a recent update, it has been claimed that Floyd Mayweather earned a total of three billion dollars.

In a recent assessment of Floyd Mayweather’s PPV sales, it has been found that Money, in his lifetime, has gathered an amount as big as three billion dollars.

A year back when Mayweather revealed he crossed 1.2 billion dollar, he was asked how he reached that point. Mayweather had said, “I mean, the first thing is belief. I mean, I tell everybody in this room if you don’t… You got to believe first. If you don’t believe first, then you ain’t gonna never trust. You ain’t gonna never get to where you’re trying to get to. I believe I knew from the beginning I was the best in boxing from day one.” 

Here is how Floyd Mayweather became the first three-billion-dollar man in the U.S. surpassing the likes of LeBron James and Michael Jordan.

The insane pay-per-view sales of Floyd Mayweather

Combining all the money Floyd Mayweather made from all the PPV sales we have the enormous figure of $3billion. These PPV sales that we take into consideration include his fights against the likes of Oscar De La Hoya, Canelo Alvarez, Marcos Maidana, Manny Pacquiao, Andre Berto, and ‘The Notorious’ Conor McGregor.

When Mayweather squared off with Golden Boy De La Hoya, it generated a PPV sale of 2.4 million. The fight against Canelo Alvarez on Sep 14, 2013 captured a PPV sale of 2.2 million. With Marcos Maidana, the numbers went down by a significant margin. The first fight against the Argentine generated only 900k, and the rematch, 925k total. However, the fights against Manny Pacquiao and Conor McGregor witnessed an unparalleled growth. With Pacquiao, it was 4.6million and with McGregor, $4.3million PPV buys respectively.

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Formula 1

Red Bull snap up F1 legend’s son in their bid to find the next Max Verstappen

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Red Bull have signed up Formula One legend Juan Pablo Montoya’s son in their bid to find their next Max Verstappen, according to reports. Sebastian Montoya has joined the Red Bull Athletes roster as he plots a career in motorsport.

The younger Montoya was previously part of the Ferrari Driver Academy. He received support from Ferrari while he was karting for a year in 2018.

Looking to follow in the footsteps of his father and former Williams and McLaren driver Juan Pablo, the 17-year-old started 2022 in good form. He recorded two wins for Mumbai Falcons in the Winter Championship Formula Regional Asia. Montoya Jnr is 10th in his rookie season in the Formula Regional European Championship, in which he is driving for Prema.

And Red Bull have now snapped up the teenager as they seek to find the gems of the sport’s next generations. His move does not mean he is part of the Red Bull Junior team, but he can receive sponsorship.

That is according to F1 Feeder Series, who point out that Montoya posted a picture to his Instagram clad in Red Bull gear. His caption read: “Don’t know about you but I love my new helmet. News for today, I am a Red Bull Athlete. Thanks Red Bull for the support!”

Montoya will have hopes of one day lining up alongside Verstappen, who is also the son of a former F1 racer – Jos Verstappen. Red Bull have enjoyed an excellent 2022 season in F1, building on Verstappen’s controversial Drivers’ Championship victory last year. The Dutchman leads the championship by 63 points just beyond the midway point of the campaign.

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Verstappen benefited from Charles Leclerc’s crash to win the French Grand Prix last Sunday. It was his seventh race victory of the season and means his rivals have plenty of work to do in their bid to catch the reigning champion in the final 10 races.

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Formula 1

Toto Wolff raises ‘brain damage’ fears for F1 drivers after Lewis Hamilton complaints

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Toto Wolff has called on the FIA to make more changes to address porpoising concerns to stop drivers from suffering brain damage. He claims drivers could suffer due to the intensity of the bouncing seen at several tracks this season.

It comes after Lewis Hamilton was seen clutching his back in pain when stepping out of the car at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix. Wolff said: “I still believe that the FIA and all of us must do something about it.

“Frequencies of 1 to 1 hertz that last for a few minutes can cause brain damage. We have 6 to 7 hertz for several hours.” However, Mercedes rivals have hit back at Wolff’s push, claiming the porpoising issues have not been as bad in recent races.

Red Bull boss Christian Horner claimed he “didn’t see any issues” at the French Grand Prix or over the past three or four races. He blasted the FIA for getting involved in the debate, stressing it was not their duty to ensure Mercedes were still competitive.

However, Wolff rejected his rivals and denied that more help is needed to address the problem. He explained: “That (argument) doesn’t count because Silverstone, Paul Ricard and Austria aren’t exactly tracks we bounce that much on anyway.

“I don’t want to come to Spa or some of the later races where the track isn’t as smooth as a conventional racetrack and we didn’t do anything about it. There is all this talk about lobbying in both directions, but what are we talking about here anyway?”

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The FIA will bring into force new rules to address porpoising concerns at the Belgian Grand Prix with a new minimum oscillation test. The governing body are also expected to raise the floors by a minimum of 25mm for next season’s regulations to help counter the issue.

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