Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova has announced her retirement from tennis today and chief sponsor Nike has wasted no time in creating a fitting send-off.
The 32-year-old Russian retires with five grand slam titles to her name (including the Australian Open in 2008).
However, her career was dogged by claims of drug use that saw her banned from the game for two years in 2016.
Not that she doesn’t retire with some coin in the pocket. Sharapova amassed a staggering $US38,703,609 from prize money and endorsements (the third highest women’s player ever.)
Nike’s ad, which came as a simple tweet, reads:
They wanted you to smile more.
They wanted you to be more polite.
They wanted you to scream a little softer.
They wanted you to be less aggressive when you were.
They wanted you to walk away when you made mistakes.
But instead of becoming the player the game wanted?
You became the player the game needed.
It follows Nike’s powerful tribute to Kobe Bryant released on Monday.
Nike have backed Maria Sharapova her entire career and way back in 2006 revealed a stunning ad that played on the Russian’s beauty. It ran during the 2006 U.S. Open, where Sharapova bested Justine Henin for the Women’s Singles title.
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