Paris: French Open defending champion Maria Sharapova said that she is happy to see other players get married or have a baby but wanted to stay focussed on tennis as it comes to herself.
The world No. 2, who came to Paris with a clay title won in Rome last week, has collected all four Grand Slam trophies since she claimed the maiden victory in 2004 in Wimbledon as a 17-year- old, including twice in Roland Garros, in 2012 and 2014.
Talking about on-court life and off-court happiness on Friday, the 28-year-old Russian said: “We are athletes and we are here to do our jobs. We sometimes forget that tennis is quite a short period of our lives, and especially for women,” Xinhua reported.
“Maybe men last a little bit longer. For a woman that wants to have children and a family, it can be quite tough to prolong your career,” she said.
Just 40 days ago, world No. 3 men’s singles player Andy Murray got married with his long-time girlfriend, and the top seed here, Novak Djokovic became a dad last fall as his wife gave birth to a baby.
“It’s been great to see so many more family men on the tour. That’s been nice,” commented Sharapova. “But I’m not sure I like to use the word balance, because when you try to balance things out you’re only just good at a couple of things.”
“I want to be great at one thing. I know it’s sometimes impossible to be great at ten things. If I try to be great at ten other sports maybe I would be so-so.
“I have chosen a sport that I could evolve in and be great at. I have been very committed to my sport and trying to be the best I can be at it. When I have the time to enjoy my life and to be happy away from the court,” she said.
Sharapova starts her defending campaign against Estonia’s Kaia Kanepi in the French Open, which gets underway on Sunday.