Steffi Graf was main reason for Maria Sharapova to join Pickleball Slam 2: "Who I admired for so many years"

Sunday, 04 February 2024 at 12:00
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Maria Sharapova hasn't really been involved in sport since she left tennis back in 2020 aside from a few talks she has given and podcast appearances and so perhaps her move into pickleball and playing the upcoming Pickleball Slam 2 which takes place on Sunday is somewhat unexpected.
But Sharapova admits that it is for a reason and that is to face one of her idols in Steffi Graf who herself like Sharapova has in the main snubbed any sort of forward facing role in tennis since retiring. It will be the power couple of tennis with Graf teaming with Agassi to go against Sharapova and John McEnroe with $1m on the line in Las Vegas. Despite using Graf as motivation, she still has the competitive streak of before.
"The main reason I wanted to participate in this event was to play against Steffi Graf, who I admired for so many years," she told Forbes.
"It’ll be great to compete against (Graf) and Andre with John—all of us playing this sport that’s having such a moment. I’ve been practicing a bunch, so we’ll see. But I think John and I are going to be a formidable team," she said.

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