Former Wimbledon champion looks UNRECOGNISABLE three years after retiring from tennis… as the star shows off new look in Miami
- During her playing days the Russian No 1 was synonymous with long blonde hair
- After retirement Sharapova has focused largely on her business interests
- The player remains the only Russian woman to have completed a career Slam
Maria Sharapova looked almost unrecognisable from her playing days as she sunned herself on a balcony in Miami last week.
The former Wimbledon champion rocketed to fame when she beat top seed and defending champion Serena Williams on Centre Court to win her first Grand Slam at just 17 in 2004 and become known for her trademark long blonde hair.
But after retiring in 2020, Sharapova has favoured a more natural look and after the former player shared a recent picture on her Instagram page, a number of fans were in agreement, after a double take.
The 36-year-old was in town as part of the Formula 1 race weekend, where she appeared alongside Lewis Hamilton at the Formula One Accelerate Summer.
Sharapova was part of a panel discussion where she extolled the virtues of increased gender diversity in sport.
Maria Sharapova showed off her chestnut locks in the Miami sun looking starkly different from her blonde-haired playing days (pictured right in 2004)
The former World No 1 was in town as part of the Miami Grand Prix race weekend in Florida
During her storied time on court, Sharapova become the first Russian player to complete the career Grand Slam after wins in Melbourne, New York, Paris and London and the third-youngest woman to triumph at Wimbledon.
But her career was marred by a 2016 failed drugs test, which saw Sharapova suspended for two years after she was found to have ingested meldonium, a substance which had been banned at the start of that year, ahead of the Australian Open.
Her suspension was later reduced to 15 months after she was found to have taken the drug as per her doctor’s advice, and Sharapova returned to competition in April 2017, and won the Tianjin Open seven months later.
After struggling with chronic shoulder issues for a number of years, Sharapova announced her retirement in 2020, sharing an emotional goodbye message with her followers that spoke to her deep connection to the game.
Sharapova won her last grand slam in 2014, winning her second French Open title in Paris
After returning to the circuit following a 2016 drugs suspension, Sharapova won the 2017 Tianjin Open
‘How do you leave behind the only life you’ve ever known?,’ Sharapova wrote.
‘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?
‘I’m new to this, so please forgive me. Tennis – I’m saying goodbye.’
Since retiring three years ago, Sharapova has given birth to a son, Theodore, and now devotes herself to her investment portfolio, which includes stakes in sports brands such as UFC and wellness tech company Therabody.
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