Krystle Clear: The Maria Sharapova Dilemma

Maria Sharapova has been out of tennis the past year or so, and her rankings have dropped significantly.  However, her face remains present  on our billboards, Fifth Avenue, and commercials reminding us to “make every shot a power shot” with Canon.  This is the time where she must  decide if she will come back to tennis full force or a small pop, disappearing into Kournikova land.

Maria Sharapova: Model or tennis player?

Maria Sharapova: Model or tennis player?

At this point, she has earned more money than many people will see in  their lifetimes.  She won grand slams, performed what she needed to do to become a memorable female athlete, and if she wants to forget her number one ranking, I don’t know if I would do anything else in her place.  She is a young girl.  Tennis schedules get hectic, her other modeling/spokeswoman career is more lucrative and fascinating.  Why not play halfheartedly and enjoy life?  She could become an actress, movie producer, fund her own sports ventures, anything she dreams of!

The flip side of the coin is sports are about passion.  You don’t care about money once you have it but winning, being the best to save your dignity.  I believe that’s what other top players have and top athletes in every field: drive.  Miss Sharapova could demand to be the best, extending her presence beyond today’s tennis to ages from now, the way we talk about Babe Ruth, thei height of Wayne Gretzsky, etc.

It’s her choice.  What would you do?