It’s Sharapover: A Complicated Affair


Maria Sharapova became the richest woman in sport, a 5-time Slam champ, and one of the most polarizing figures in tennis. We have not always been Masha proponents, but it's important for us to contextualize her excellent career, her clever self-branding, and the many contradictions and mysteries at the heart of Maria Sharapova, superstar. We'd be remiss if we didn't interrogate the textured relationship between Maria and Serena, and the complex racial and sexual dynamics that colored and drove their money, images, and matches. After that, we chat about the Persian Gulf swing (is that a thing?): Rybakina's 21 wins, Djokovic's 21-match win streak and Monfils' heartache, Sabalenka's huge performance in Doha, and Ons Jabeur's ever increasing confidence. We end with some mess, as is our wont. 


:45 Maria Sharapova announces her retirement from tennis in an essay for Vogue & Vanity Fair - let's look at her vast influence and great career

10:15 It's complicated! Talking about the Great White Hope myth; the contradictions at the heart of Maria's sparkling image and her gritty, pugilistic game

18:15 Constructing a sex symbol out of an underage girl

25:25 Meldonium - how has it changed the way we talk about her career?

37:00 Results! Rybakina & Halep in Dubai, Garin in Rio, Felix in another final

41:30 Acapulco: Watson & 17-year-old Canadian Fernandez in final; Mexican Renata Zarazua stuns; Venus & Sloane do not

45:00 Doha (Sabalenka! Jabeur!) and Dubai (Djokovic at 21 straight wins!) 

52:50 HEALTH: Roger gets surgery, Andy clarifies his injury problems

56:30 MESS: Nick takes his road most travelled (the low one), Naomi claps back, Youzhny writes a sonnet

67:30 RIP Jeanne Evert Dubin (1957-2020)

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