A former world no. 1 and the five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova will not remember the first seven months of 2019 for too long, struggling with a shoulder injury and playing only six WTA tournaments. Playing on a decent level in Shenzhen and the Australian Open, Maria was forced to withdraw after beating Daria Gavrilova at St.
Petersburg Ladies Trophy at the end of January due to a right shoulder injury, deciding to undergo a small procedure in February and announcing the withdrawal from both Indian Wells and Miami. Returning to the practice court, Maria worked hard on physical strength, skipping the entire clay season and returning in Mallorca and Wimbledon where she grabbed just one victory.
Receiving a wild card in Toronto ten years after playing in the final there, Sharapova lost to Anett Kontaveit following a high-quality clash and will have to find the form ahead of the US Open if she wants to fight for some wins in New York.
Back in July, Maria spent some time working with Riccardo Piatti and it seems he will be with her in New York, parting ways with Thomas Hogstedt who had been with here since the beginning of the clay season in 2018. The president of the Russian Tennis Federation Shamil Tarpishchev is not convinced this will provide the necessary improvements in Sharapova’s game, reminding she and Thomas have known each other for a long time and that she can’t make radical cuts at this part of her career.
“It is more of a tactical and psychological move for Sharapova to announce the change of coaches at her age,” Tarpishchev said. “Maria and Thomas grew accustomed to each other, worked a lot and this is a change of the psychological background.
There will be no drastic changes in Maria’s game. We know how she moves, we learned her style and she is all-settled in her play technique.”