Maria Sharapova Slams Victoria Azarenka Over Retirements
by Staff | May 18th, 2012, 3:02 pm
  • 19 Comments

Maria Sharapova went on the attack today in Rome after beating Venus Williams in straight sets. Sharapova was critical of Victoria Azarenka’s propensity to widthdraw or retire from tournaments with injury.

On Wednesday, after easily beating Shahar Peer, the top-ranked Azarenka curiously withdrew from Rome with a shoulder injury. Via twitter, she explained her situation.

“I was conflicted and disappointed to withdraw from Rome… I tried my hardest but I wasn’t healthy going into the tournament..” she wrote on twitter. “If WTA rules were different then I could have focused on getting healthy, but I could not afford another zero pointer on my ranking. Hopefully in the future there will be more protection for players rights”.

Azarenka’s beef is that she had to risk further shoulder issues just to avoid a zero pointer ranking penalty. Azarenka, however, did win the match!

Speaking today, Sharapova questioned the Belarussian’s motives stating that if you are really injured then don’t play and just pay the fine or do the necessary tournament promotions.

“First of all she is probably injured more than any other player and to be number 1 in the world and be able to play a full schedule,” Sharapova said. “I think last year she had more retirements that anyone but played a full schedule and after 2 days retirement you would see her practicing and so its tough to know what her state is and what she is feeling.

“Personally, if I am injured however big or small the fine is,” she added, “if this is the tournament where you have to participate or get zero points, to be honest I don’t really care about that because but for me the health is the most important thing.

“Sometimes all the top players are not there because some players get injured but sometimes you have to pay a little out of your pocket and not play or you do a little more media for the tournament but if you are not healthy then you are not going to play.”

According to WTA rules, Top 10 players like Azarenka must play in all four Premier level events (Indian Wells, Miami, Madrid, Beijing), four of five Premier 5 events (Doha, Rome, Canada, Cincinnati, Tokyo; playing each event every other year) and two 700 events (Dubai, Charleston, Stuttgart, etc). Since Azarenka played Rome in 2011 she was not required to play the event this week.

Last season Azarenka retired/withdrew from five WTA matches with an assortment of ailments including hip, elbow, thigh, hand, shoulder and foot problems. This season Victoria has been plagued by a right shoulder and ankle injuries.

Two weeks ago Sharapova blew out Azarenka in the Stuttgart final.


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19 Comments for Maria Sharapova Slams Victoria Azarenka Over Retirements

jane Says:

Well Sharapova does say “for me the health is the most important thing”. What she is questioning, it sounds like (based on the bits posted here), is that Azarenka played because of points and/or not getting fined.


Humble Rafa Says:

Two Gruntesses hate each other. Enough said.


RZ Says:

I think Shriekapova may be feeling a little sore from not being the #1 player and having only one title this season.

As much as I admire Maria’s fighting spirit (really, she’s one of the best competitors on court), I just don’t like her. In addition to the screams that get louder as the match gets tenser, she’s often made rude and catty remarks about the other players. I’m assuming the above was in response to questions asked by the media, but she also brings up her own passive-aggressive comments during speeches and on-court antics (like her “This is my house!” comment when she beat Hantuchova at Indian Wells, which was akin to rubbing salt in Daniela’s wound and not at all being a good winner).


Kimmi Says:

“Sometimes all the top players are not there because some players get injured but sometimes you have to pay a little out of your pocket…..”

i think maria has a lot in the pocket, she makes more money than any female athlete alive.


Kimmi Says:

Maria is right about azarenka retiring. I think last year alone she retired more than any male or female player.

she is improving though. i believe this is her first retirement this year.


Nate Smith Says:

Hey look the Williams sister’s seem to miss a lot ,what about that .


Justin Essex Says:

Nate Smith, you missed the very obvious point Sharapova is trying make. The Williams sisters miss a lot because when they are injured they do not play… because they dont care about ranking points.


Iwonka Says:

Azarenka -rules are the same for everyone!
Stop complaining!
If you want to stay no 1 play by the rules .
When you played Radwanska you had trouble with your ankle and yet you played very well. . .


Anna Says:

Sharapova needs to pay attention to her own business/game and let Azarenka worry about Azarenka. All new #1 players are going to do what’s in their best interest to both maintain their health and their ranking. This sort of copmplaining does nothing for Maria’s image.


cecilio galdo Says:

congratulations again maria for the superb, high quality tennis yesterday may 18, 2012 in the qf match against venus williams. you are absolutely correct. never mind the bashers. you have more than 7 million fans following in your twitter and facebook accounts. to all the fans of MISS MARIA SHARAPOVA, please, please continue STORM THE HEAVENS WITH PRAYERS for todays semi final against KERBER IN ROME. PRAYER IS THE INVINCIBLE WEAPON AS NO ONE CAN DEFEAT, AS PRAYERS CAN MOVE MOUNTAINS. continue the winning streak, keep focus on the game AND THE ALMIGHTY GOD WILL TAKE CARE OF THE REST. TO GOD BE THE GLORY. MORE POWER AND GODBLESS U AND YOUR ENTIRE TENNIS TEAM INCLUDING YOUR FAMILY.


Mary Healey Says:

It’s very refreshing to see a young woman such as Maria have the self-respect and cofidence that is usually shown by men. For once, it would be refreshing to hear young female fans to get behind such a contemporary model for all young women instead of downing her. Maria is confident, persevering, honest, deserving of her wealth, and just a great young woman of today.


Reed Says:

Despite being a devout Williams Fan, I admire the tenacity of Sharapova. She is and will be #1 in my book over (I don’t have a game yet) Azarenka any day point blank dot org.


Kimmi Says:

early break for djokovic. federer leaking errors at the moment.


jeanius Says:

Anna-I agree with you. Maria benefits when Azarenka bows our for injury, so why does she even care? Why should she judge the basis for the decisions of others? She is in charge of her own life, not that of others. It’s the fans’ loss, not hers. This kind of comment doesn’t win her any fans or friends; she should keep her opinions to herself. If she wants to pay the fine or do extra media, fine. Who is she to judge what other players do or don’t do for their own reasons. I certainly admire Sharapova’s tennis, but not her personality or character, or her deportment on the court, with all that screaming.


cecilio galdo Says:

CONGRATULATIONS AGAIN MARIA. YOU MADE IT AGAIN WINNING FOR TODAYS SEMI FINAL IN ROME AGAINST KERBER. A VERY SUPERB, HIGH QUALITY TENNIS PERFORMANCE. THANK YOU LORD FOR MAKING HER WIN. AGAIN TO THE 7 MILLION FANS OF MARIA, please, please continue STORMING THE HEAVENS WITH PRAYERS FOR tomorrows FINAL IN ROME AGAINST LI NA AS MARIA WILL DEFEND HER TITLE. VIVA MARIA, TO GOD BE THE GLORY. GODBLESS.


jane Says:

I am happy for Maria, but it’s interesting because after saying that about Vika she said this about Serena’s decision to withdraw:

“Maria Sharapova sympathizes with Serena Williams’s decision to pull out of her semifinal in Rome against Li Na as a precautionary measure not to further injure her sore back ahead of Roland Garros.

“It’s tough and in terms of Serena playing six matches in matches in eight days and only one day off coming here and its difficult to play and when you have five or six matches because she didn’t have a bye,” Sharapova told reporters. “It is challenging and so in a week or so with the French Open. I was in her position also here and it’s a tough because you get yourself into that position and you just want to be healthy. You have a additional big event and with the French Open in a week’s time then Wimbledon and then the Olympics and then the US Open – like, 4 Grand Slams in a row back to back and not getting scared and just monitoring how you feel and not over do it. Some people can play more and some less.”

source: Tennis.com


jeanius Says:

I saw that comment on tennis.com, and thought it was odd that she would say this, especially since Serena has been accused many times of faking injuries.


Wog boy Says:

jane,

If you have a go at Serena you will end up second best.

I got your point and that really takes credibility from what she said about Azarenka.


cecilio galdo Says:

TO GOD BE THE GLORY, PRAISE THE LORD, VIVA MARIA SHARAPOVA FOR RETAINING THE 2012 WTA ROME FINAL CHAMPION AGAINST LI NA IN A VERY CRUCIAL TIE BREAKER POINT YESTERDAY, MAY 20, 2012 IN ROME. TO ALL THE 7 MILLION FANS OF MARIA, CONGRATULATIONS AND MORE POWER. SEE MARIA IN THE COMING FRENCH OPEN VERY SOON. GOD BLESS.

Top story: Wozniacki Ousts Sharapova At US Open; Federer, Dimitrov Start Slow, Tsonga-Murray Monday
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