“I did fail the test and I take full responsibility for it,” said Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner said to be worth some 5 million.The disclosure sent shockwaves through the international tennis community, as Sharapova was placed on provisional suspension (reports say her cooperation could shorten her suspension to months instead of years).Maria Sharapova has been hearing it from everywhere of late.
“It’s hard to tell [the reaction from players] because Maria Sharapova has always isolated herself from the rest of the tennis world, from the players.
She doesn’t have a lot of close friendships on the tour.” As Sharapova told the Telegraph in 2013, “I’m not really close to many players.
“It became a joke amongst everyone [in pro tennis].” Part of the problem may be that this is the one game Sharapova doesn’t know how to play.
Says the coach, “[Women’s tennis] is very much like high school and ‘Mean Girls,’ except there aren’t any cliques.” In fact, many players look at the tour as being every woman for herself, rather than like a sorority.
Meanwhile, Nike, TAG Heuer and Porsche immediately froze their longstanding relationships with the superstar, who, according to Forbes, made $23 million from endorsements in 2015 (other sponsors include Head rackets, Samsung and Evian).
It was a devastating blow, especially considering that Sharapova, 28, said she had been taking the drug for 10 years for a magnesium deficiency but neglected to notice it had been added to the banned list this year.
And Dick Pound, former president of the World Anti-Doping Agency, said that there had been a “fairly high prevalence of [meldonium] use in tennis.” But if there was any sympathy from Sharapova’s fellow pros, it wasn’t to be found in print.
Wozniacki sniffed, “As athletes, we always make sure there’s nothing in it that could put us in a bad situation.” Petra Kvitová seconded that opinion, telling the Desert Sun newspaper, “We should all know what we are putting into our body.” Said Victoria Azarenka, “A lot of players are upset and disappointed.” Sharapova’s longtime rival, Williams, gave the closest thing to a pat on the back, saying, “[It] showed a lot of courage to admit to what she had done and what she had neglected to look at.” But perhaps the most damning commentary came from the woman long known as tennis’ sweetheart — 18-time Grand Slam champ and ESPN analyst Chris Evert.
Supposedly, the two are to get married on 9th July, the same day as the Women's Singles final in Wimbledon.
ALSO READ: Kuznetsova about Sharapova: ´I have to listen to what they say behind the scenes´ .
“It’s something players cultivate to keep their edge,” Mary Joe Fernández, a former top-10 player who is now the captain of the American Fed Cup team, told Vogue.