Maria Sharapova’s recent interview with Hamptons magazine is just as revealing as the photos she posed for to accompany the story.
The Russian tennis player opened up about her suspension in the interview published Wednesday and posed for a few photos wearing a little less than she does on the court. And while her swimsuit may not be appropriate for the tennis court, the five-time Grand Slam champion is ready to return to the sport.
Sharapova got hit with a two-year suspension by the International Tennis Federation in 2016 after testing positive for meldonium, a drug on the banned substance list.
Her suspension was later reduced to just 15 months. In the interview with Hamptons magazine, she let people in on what it was like for her to be banned from the sport she loves. (SLIDESHOW: Anna Kournikova: The Best To Ever Play The Game)
“My feelings [were] like, you’re going into this deep hole and yet you still have so many years ahead of you… how are you going to turn this around? How are you going to step up?” she said. “Those are all things that I think parts of my childhood really prepared me for, and with the way that I’ve been able to handle it. I can say that I’m proud of where I’ve come to be.”
Sharapova had a tough road to the top of tennis, which she detailed in her new autobiography “Unstoppable: My Life So Far,” and although she’s 30 years old now, she still has the same attitude she did as a rising star.
“I play for the competition; I play for the victories that I can earn with my team, who also help me be the player that I am, who work with me on a daily basis. There’s a lot that I play for and what happened was a roadblock. But I don’t have the mindset to use something like that as ammunition. It’s never been the way I think.”
“I feel like getting back to what I’ve done since I was a young girl just makes me that much happier, being able to be where I feel that I belong, and where I am best at,” she said. “When you have something taken away from you, you don’t know if you can ever get it back. So I have a lot to [feel] fortunate for!”