Maria Sharapova has been away from tennis for a few years now but the Russian still remains one of the more influential players in recent tennis history.
Most tennis fans are familiar with what Sharapova was able to do in her career. She had an excellent career which started pretty early in her life with a breakthrough as a teenager. She was extremely popular as a player and under a tremendous amount of pressure which probably contributed to her career not hitting the peak many thought it would but still, she's a player whose impact can't be easily replicated.
2023 French Open Roland Garros ATP and WTA Prize Money and Points Breakdown with €49.6m on offer
According to her compatriot Pavlyuchenkova, Sharapova can't be copied:
"Well, first of all, Maria Sharapova, she's Maria Sharapova. For me it's just like in tennis or every sport, there are some special athletes who you have, and they will never be replaced or copied or, you know. So she's one of them for me for sure. I think for me I always admired. I was impressed by her fighting spirit and character."
"Dealing with -- I still believe all the pressure that she had and the attention, that was amazing. Also obviously that was also inspiring seeing her because she's very tall, so that makes it more difficult I think playing on clay. Just how she was always fit most of the time when she was playing, especially Grand Slams."