From Hingis to Capriati: How Maria Sharapova can garner inspiration on road to redemption

The Maria Sharapova meldonium fall out reminds me of a poignant comment by Rachel Griffiths. “There’s nothing as exciting as a comeback,” said the Australian actress and director. “Seeing someone with dreams, watching them fail, and then getting a second chance.” The creative wisdom of that thought acquires loaded significance in the context of Sharapova’s two year suspension for using performance enhancing drugs.
The Russian is all of 29, but she can be excused for thinking she was into her third life. Her rags to riches story inspired great attention ever since she broke into the big league with a thundering victory at the spiritual home of tennis.
Sharapova’s rise as a talented tennis player with cover page looks drew comparisons with Anna Kournikova, another Russian star that made good on her looks without accomplishing anything of significance on the tennis court. Sharapova shattered the stereotypical mould when she won Wimbledon in 2004, drawing attention to her work ethic, the sacrifices of her family and her enormous talent as a tennis player. She never let go from there – playing with great resilience through injury and loss of form to add to her reputation as a formidable tennis player. Victories at the US Open in 2006, Australian Open two years later and finally the French Open in 2012 and 2014 helped create a great legacy for the Russian diva.
Naturally, it shocked the tennis world when she revealed in March that she had failed a drug test. The 29-year-old had been using Meldonium since 2006 and the drug was added to WADA banned list starting 2016. The incident has thrown Sharapova’s flourishing career off the rails, but it also sets the stage for a stirring comeback by the determined woman.
I found Maria’s statement on Facebook very reticent, but it is heartening to see her resolve to return to the tennis courts at the end of this sordid saga. The clenched fist of Sharapova and her resolute battles on the court captivated her fans. She scripted some memorable victories even while struggling to serve with a dubious shoulder and her legion of fans would revel in her comeback, if she can script one. And I have no doubt that the Russian deserves a second chance at life to redeem herself in the eyes of the tennis
world. It would be a test of character that would be compelling to watch.

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