Maria Sharapova has been retired from tennis since 2020, but that doesn’t mean she’s completely out of the game. Last week during New York Fashion Week, the athlete and entrepreneur caught up with fashion journalist Laura Brown to talk sport and style as part of the event series Glam Slam, the joint venture between IMG and Spring Studios in partnership with Chase Sapphire.
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There, Sharapova spoke about rising tennis stars Naomi Osaka and Coco Gauff, as well as the Williams sisters.
Sharapova and Serena Williams have a long and compelling history as competitors, with Serena averaging an 18-2 record against Sharapova throughout her career.
“She deserves this moment,” Sharapova Brown said of Serena on stage US Open final that took place earlier this month. “To see them shine and to see their performance. Watching her match at Wimbledon and losing early on I think was the best gift because she wanted to come out a lot stronger than she had played at Wimbledon. It was spectacular to see her step up her game and compete and fight, which she has done with such determination and grace throughout her life.”
During the event, Brown and Sharapova also discussed inequality in women’s sport – something the tennis star has faced firsthand.
“I saw it from the sidelines, that I was a woman in a sport that didn’t get equal pay, that didn’t have equal rights… I saw Venus Williams compete for the same prize money at each of her press conferences, at every single one. Do you know how challenging but brave it is of her to show up and do that?” she said.
Since then, Venus has been one ardent advocate for change when it comes to raising awareness of the gender pay gap. And like Venus, Sharapova uses her power and platform to support women.
“I want to grow into my business and invest in people and businesses that I believe in, especially women. As we know, this is a space that is currently very challenged and not as heavily supported as it should be. So always fight for it [in my sport]I feel like this fight has become my business now.
Outside of tennis, she has several business ventures and is an investor in companies such as Bala, Therabody, Supergoop and more. Last year, Sharapova invested in the investment platform Public.com to improve investment conditions for everyone, especially young women, and to bring more women into public markets for the first time.
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