Even though the Russian has been out of the tennis spotlight for a while now, Sharapova's name always finds her not too far away from tennis happenings.
Whether it's sharing her thoughts on the current tennis landscape or something else, the buzz factor that her name generates is not to be underestimated.
It's probably why she was asked to participate in the second edition of the Pickleball Slam, which features former players who battle each other in a sport that is similar to the one they excelled in but not quite.
The first edition proved to be quite a success, so there's another on that will be held this year, on February 4th, 2024, with mixed teams. In the first Pickleball Slam, fans saw John McEnroe, Andre Agassi, Michael Chang, and Andy Roddick compete.
However, this time around, we'll see John McEnroe, Maria Sharapova, Andre Agassi, and Steffi Graf. Graf's inclusion ultimately convinced Sharapova to sign up for the event because she can compete against a legend she has admired for many years.
"The main reason I wanted to participate in this event was to play against Steffi Graf, who I admired for so many years."
"It’ll be great to compete against (Graf) and Andre with John—all of us playing this sport that’s having such a moment. I’ve been practicing a bunch, so we’ll see. But I think John and I are going to be a formidable team."
It will be pretty interesting to see Sharapova back on the courts, as it's been a while. It won't be tennis because she ruled out a return to the sport many times since retiring, but it will be pickleball.
Still, the sports are quite close, as Jack Sock managed to demonstrate after turning to pickleball professional, and it's the only type of court she'll ever return to.