Serbian Tennis star Novak Djokovic feels that Russian legend Maria Sharapova, who called time on her illustrious career on Wednesday, had a “great” impact on Tennis.
Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova revealed in a column in Vogue and Vanity Fair magazines that recurring injuries in recent years has led to her making the decision.
“Her impact on the sport, not just women’s tennis, but tennis in general, was great. It still is great,” said Djokovic in Dubai as quoted by PTI via AFP.
“She’s a very smart girl, someone that I know very well for a long time. She has the mind of a champion, someone that never gives up. She’s shown that especially in the last five years,” he added.
Notably, long-standing shoulder problems in the past year kept the Russian in and out of the game. Sharapova last played at the 2020 Australian Open where she lost in the first round.
“She had a lot of obstacles and difficulties, especially with her injuries and everything that she had to endure in order to give herself at least another chance to play competitive tennis,” said Djokovic.
“For someone that has won five Grand Slams and has been No. 1 of the world, a legend of the sport. She should be proud of everything she has achieved,” he added.
Sharapova shot to fame when she won the Wimbledon in 2004 at the age of 17. She went on to complete a career slam — winning all four Major titles — when she won the French Open in 2012.