MOSCOW, October 21 (RIA Novosti) — Maria Sharapova will participate in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games, Izvestia reports. The newspaper also points out that it will likely be her final Olympic event.
Sharapova had previously won all of the four Grand Slam tournaments: Wimbledon in 2004, and the US Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and in 2014. She has won a total of 33 WTA titles, including 12 victories in the Masters series.
"As a Grand Slam tournament winner, you do not spend all the hours on the training ground if you do not have other great triumphs in mind," she told Tennis Earth earlier this year. “"The gold medal in Rio would be something special," she added.
The Rio 2016 Olympics will be Sharapova’s third attempt to win the Olympic gold medal. She missed the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing due to an injury and was defeated by her chief rival, Serena Williams, during the finals in London, 2012.
If Shrapova prevails in Rio, Izvestia notes, there is a probability that she’ll finish her career as a professional tennis player and focus on her family and business.
During her career, Sharapova has never become world No.1. In 2006 and 2012 she ended up No.2, and last year she ended up No.4, according to the WTA.