Cape Town - Maria Sharapova was forced to retire in
her opening match at Wimbledon against Pauline Parmentier, but the
Russian has vowed to keep fighting.
It has been a difficult year so far for Sharapova as she has
struggled with a shoulder injury and underwent a small procedure in
She only returned to action in June and her clash against Frenchwoman Parmentier was only her third since the surgery.
The 2014 champion started pretty well as she won the opening set and
then found herself serving for the match at 5-3 in the second only to
then lose her way completely.
She eventually threw in the towel when she was down 4-6, 7-6 (7-4), 5-0.
"It's very rare that I withdraw from a match in the middle," the
"I got myself to a good enough place to be part of
this event, not be out of the draw. I don't want to put anyone in that
position. I'm here to play. Next time I come here, I want to feel great.
I want to do what I'm meant to be doing at the level I believe I can."
More questions are being raised about her future in tennis, but Sharapova is determined to continue playing.
"I'm still proud that I'm here. This is not the easy way," she said. "I think the easy way would be just for me to maybe do other things
because I've set up the opportunities for myself.
"I've never taken the easy route. I've always worked, committed,
focused. Like I said, these moments are hard, but I love what I do. I
still have a lot of passion for it."