Maria Sharapova Talks About the Fame Game, Social Media, Naomi Osaka and More - WWD

Fresh from an extended European summer holiday, Maria Sharapova is looking at the world with a sharpened vision and a focus on entrepreneurship.

As her 4.1 million Instagram followers can attest, the former tennis pro whiled away much of the summer touring castles in Scotland, catching the Venice Film Festival, indulging in tapas in Menorca and admiring Dubrovnik’s Old Town. It all looked pretty idyllic and Sharapova said so much in a post that read, “An August I have never experienced quite like this.”

Some might say she was overdue. After 19 years on the World Tennis Association Tour, the former number-one ranked player stepped away from the pro circuit last year. Instead of working out for six hours a day and swatting serves at 102 m.p.h., the 34-year-old listened to live music at Royal Albert Hall and enjoyed a mille crepe cake among other nonathletic pursuits.

”I really wanted to explore the world with an entirely new perspective compared to how I saw it before. When I was in beautiful cities around the world for my sport, I was so focused on the competition, recovery and always getting ready for the next match or tournament — packing and unpacking — without a lot of time to really understand, visit, explore and find true meaning in how things were built and done.”

With the U.S. Open underway, Sharapova offered her views about the changing state of tennis, dealing with fame, social media’s double edge and her business ventures. At the time of her retirement last...

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