Russian beauty Maria Sharapova is undoubtedly one of the hottest tennis players around. She is a sporting icon who is – or was – loved by the masses, has a ton of companies lining up to get sponsorship deals with her, making her one of the richest women in the world of sports.
She is also pretty decent on the court, too. After bursting into the scene, achieving worldwide fame after winning the women's singles championship at Wimbledon at the tender age of 17, she has had an up and down career ever since. Despite that, she continued to be a threat in every tournament she competes in.
Her rise to fame after winning her first Grand Slam title was rapid. Modeling, sponsorship deals, plenty of cash, love, and adulation came her way, and Maria was able to handle everything brilliantly. She took it all in stride, balancing all of them while basking in the limelight.
The highs in her career are aplenty, but there has been some stuff as well that she would have wanted to banish from everyone’s memories; incidents that she would not want people to see, let alone see herself because of the memories that would come flooding back. These are 15 pictures depicting such moments, photos that tennis’s sweetheart and golden girl does not want you to see.
You have to feel for female tennis players. Guys can just slap on a t-shirt, a pair of shorts, and they are good to go. But for girls, especially when someone like Sharapova, Garbiñe Muguruza or Ana Ivanović are out on the court, it is as much about glamor as the game itself – playing awesome tennis while looking good doing it.
No one is better at combining those than Maria. But because the attire she wears are carefully designed, they may not always be the most comfortable. Thus, from time to time, there are occasional mishaps.
This one, however, was not taken while she was playing. Although Maria looks glamorous even at the beach, sometimes the swimsuit she is wearing is not always the most comfortable or the most snug.
Here is a rather embarrassing photograph of her trying to straighten out a wedgie. Not the best pic of Maria, but when you wear some of the things she puts on, it is bound to happen. And she would not want you to see this as it does not tie in with her stylish image.
14 Serious Shoulder Injury
Maria’s career has been marred by injuries, several of which are just niggles. Some though were seriously debilitating, causing her to spend a considerable amount of time away from the sport she loves, having had long-lasting effects on her game.
One of those more serious ones, and that has been recurring over the years, has been her shoulder injury. She had her first shoulder problems back in 2007, a period which coincided with her fall out of the top five.
The pain nagged her again a year later, and it came back to haunt her in 2009. She ended up having a torn tendon, which required her to have surgery, after which, she struggled to get back to form.
She had another operation performed in 2013, and it affected her game massively. Her serve is no longer the potent weapon it once was, and Sharapova has become tentative playing certain strokes, not wanting to aggravate the injury further.
She has not been the same since all of those shoulder surgeries. Understandably, this pic of her getting shoulder treatment would not be bringing back happy memories.
13 She's Absolutely Massive
Sharapova is a colossal figure in the world of tennis, and quite literally at that. A lot of people like tall women, as the likes of Maria tend to have endlessly long legs paired with a beautiful physique.
She would not really be bemoaning her nearly 6’3’’ frame, because it has helped her decimate opponents on the tennis court. But when it comes to posing for the camera, appearing in pictures with others who are smaller than her – especially if that someone else is former boxing champion Floyd Mayweather – looking like Goliath in a pic is not something she might find flattering.
I wonder whether the event organizsers who got them on stage together knew what they were doing. Because the two sports celebrities seem comical side-by-side each other, although Maria, and probably "Money" Mayweather as well, would like to beg otherwise.
12 Relationship With Camilla Belle
Maria Sharapova’s sexuality has always been the subject of tons of media speculation. Plenty have asked her, and lots of journalists have tried to ascertain what her sexual preferences are and which way she goes. However, their questions have always been rebuffed by the tennis star, which only serves to increase all the speculation.
Actress Camilla Belle is, and has been for a long time, Maria’s BFF. But there have been a ton of rumors saying that Maria and Camilla were once more than just besties. It is even thought that Maria broke off her engagement with Sasha Vujačić in 2010 because she could not carry on the charade, since she was actually with Camilla.
It is no biggie if Maria and Camilla were together in a relationship. But with Maria being Russian, if she came out, she would have faced one hell of a backlash from a society that is quite homophobic.
Even if she has never hooked up with Belle, this picture would bring back memories of all of those rumors; the kind of gossip that could affect other aspects of her personal life, hearsay that she would like to forget and for us to not know about.
11 Wardrobe Malfunction
Let’s face it. A lot of people watch tennis and tune into Maria’s matches just to check her out. Tons of people flock to the stadiums and turn on their TVs for that very reason. However, this guy has taken a different perspective at viewing things.
This pic is kind of hilarious at first glance, with its potential to become a viral meme, but Sharapova was not amused when this was brought to her attention. She is most likely aware that she is attractive, and that people come to watch her work it on the tennis court.
There are bound to be some times where Sharapova's tennis skirt goes up and exposes what's underneath. Fortunately, she had the proper gear on underneath.
10 No More Nike
Maria is not only one of the best tennis players around. She has also achieved worldwide fame because she is hot, glamorous on the court and off it, and is just a marketer’s dream in terms of her entire package and what she brings to the table.
That is why even if you do not consider her as the best tennis player in the world – her form has been up and down over the years – she is certainly one of the wealthiest sportswomen in the world. Or was.
Her wealth was mainly due to her endorsement deals, which over the course of her career, have vastly exceeded her tournament prize earnings. She has held deals with the likes of Nike, Motorola, Canon, and Porsche, although much of these were terminated after the whole drug fiasco.
After getting suspended due to a failed drug test, Sharapova lost millions as companies like Nike distanced themselves from her. Since these endorsements were her main source of income, these pictures of her being an ambassador for Nike would be invoking thoughts of regret . Parting ways with such a prominent company with whom she was raking in millions must have hurt her immensely financially.
9 Drunk Karaoke
Everyone, including tennis stars, deserve to let their hair down once in a while, go out to enjoy life and party. But this candid shot is far from flattering since Maria is all about glamor and sophistication. You can bet she had a hard time trying to laugh it off as just a silly pic.
Novak Djokovic, the guy with Sharapova in the image, is known for being laidback and fond of having a good time. But Maria… Well, she is not really that kind of person. She is trying to fit in, and it is a tad cringeworthy because we are not used to seeing Maria in this light. She is probably cringing too, as drunk pics are never a pretty sight.
Because it is a picture of her and Novak letting their hair down together, it may also bring up memories about those rumors of them being in a relationship – the reported fling is not something she wants to be brought up again.
Although Sharapova is fabulous to watch on the court, many people watch her but do so with the mute button on, because her grunting is just far too loud. It puts fans of the game off from watching her matches since those grunts that she makes when she hits the ball is plainly excessive.
Lots of tennisters grunt, but hers is ridiculously high pitched. And over the years, she has gotten plenty of flack for it, and it has even led to petitions from people wanting her gagged on court.
Since it does really bother people, experts have gotten involved to try and ascertain how loud her grunts actually are. It turns out that they are at the same decibel as a siren or an aircraft. That is seriously loud stuff, and you would not want to be sitting too close to that now, would you?
It must be embarrassing for her to find out that her grunts are on the same level as such things, but there is one way to stop the comparisons, Maria: stop grunting and give everyone’s eardrums a break!
7 Statement After Failing A Drugs Test
This picture undoubtedly depicts the lowest moment of Maria’s tennis career to date, possibly even her life. Hence, it is a no-brainer that she would not want this picture or any video footage from this event to be seen by anyone again.
Sharapova was a model tennis player, adored by millions, and one of the richest sportswomen in the world. She lost it all after failing a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open.
The excuse she gave also did not paint her in the best light. She described her taking a banned substance as an oversight; either she knew what she was doing and was trying to hide the fact she was caught red-handed, or she was just incredibly naïve.
She took a drug that she did not know had a substance that made it to the banned list, which provisionally suspended her from the game for 24 months, later reduced to 15 months. She has recently resumed her tennis career, but this “oversight” took her back considerably.
It would be amazing if she ever got back to being the player she once was on court, and one of the richest sportswomen off it.
6 The Geeky Look
With Sharapova being somewhat of a fashion icon, she occasionally likes to experiment with her look. But the one above, as I am sure you will agree, did not look good on her.
The geek chic look with the dorky glasses is probably something she tried one night, taking a pic meant for her private collection. But she never anticipated it would get out for people to see what look she dons when she is with her buddies.
Maria can pull off being glamorous, sophisticated, and elegant. But this one leaves a lot to be desired. She is almost unrecognizable. Perhaps why she went for this look after all – to get a little peace and quiet while out with her friends, although it did not really work, as she still ended up getting snapped.
5 Revealing Too Much
Oops, what’s going on down there?! That is what this picture is saying.
Like I mentioned in one of the previous entries, sometimes looking fashionable is not always a walk in the park and sometimes you are not going to be comfortable. On this occasion, Maria thought she could enjoy some time off at the beach (this was taken during her ban after the drug scandal, so she sure did have a lot of time off!) out of the prying lens of the paparazzi.
Nevertheless, she was not aware that she got caught on camera checking herself. Maybe she was looking at her tan line. Whatever the case may have been, it is not a picture she wants people ogling over. It begs the question of what the photographer was looking for.
4 Candid Tennis Snap
This truly is the ultimate tennis candid snap.
I have been harping on about looking chic and everything, because that is what Sharapova is all about and that is what she is known for on the court. But in a match, it is pretty much impossible to look like your best and be graceful every single moment.
When you are in mid-rally for example, it is really tricky, especially when the temperature is up, the match is getting heated, and your head is in the game. Maria certainly would not want people to set eyes on this picture because it is one of those rare instances where she looks awful.
It appears like she has been on the court for quite some time, a sweaty mess, her facial expression indescribable, and her skirt’s risen up, revealing more than enough. It is a candid snap she wishes was not taken in the first place.
3 Awkward Pic
Since winning Wimbledon at such a young age, Maria’s form has been patchy to say the least, but you would still back her against most of her opponents on the Grand Slam circuit. But there is one woman who has her number, and that is Serena Williams.
This Maria-Serena rivalry is one that fans have loved to see pan out, but Sharapova certainly would not be feeling the same. It has been a one-sided rivalry dominated by one of the greatest sportswomen of all time in Serena. This pic is just one of plenty of awkward moments that have been caught on camera between the two over the years, Maria watching on as the runner up after tasting defeat yet again at the hands of Serena.
Maria’s a businesswoman as much as she is a tennis player. But I reckon everyone was mightily shocked when she launched her new business named Sugarpova, which is essentially a candy company. Yes, Maria Sharapova is selling sweets, or premium candies as she describes it, to kids.
She must have had a sound business model, but her decision to launch a candy company raised plenty of eyebrows. An athlete starting a candy business and selling sweets? It does not really fit.
What is more ludicrous is that she once seriously contemplated legally changing her last name to “Sugarpova,” her brand name. I’m not kidding! Now that is commitment, one way to get your business out there.
Still, it was a crazy idea – thankfully one she did not follow through with. Many people feel the whole concept of a fit and healthy athlete making money by selling sugary sweets is seriously flawed.
1 No-makeup Days
Celebrity figures, those who are always in the public eye and are being scrutinized by the tabloids, often paint their faces with makeup before stepping out from behind closed doors. No is complaining there. It makes them look beautiful.
However, some celebrities feel that they are giving false impressions about themselves, that they are giving people a skewed view of what they actually look like. They certainly do not wake up in the mornings looking like goddesses, and this is a prime example of that.
In this pic of Maria, some makeup was certainly needed. It was one of those no-makeup days, but it should have been a no-camera day as well, because she looks awful and must have been horrified when this got out. In addition to no makeup, she seems to have some acne too – not the prettiest image, indeed.