THREE YEARS after hanging up her tennis shoes to enjoy some time away from the court, Maria Sharapova has revealed a shock move for a new career.
The former world No1 isn’t straying too far from her strengths though as she ventures into the world of pickleball.
AFPMaria Sharapova has announced she’s going to be playing pickleball[/caption]
The hugely popular sport is very similar to Tennis, but takes place on a smaller court with plastic paddles and a perforated, hollowed out plastic ball.
Sharapova has announced she will be taking part in the second ever Pickleball Slam early next year.
She will play alongside fellow legend John McEnroe as they take on Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf in a doubles match next February.
The former tennis heroes aren’t the only ones making a switch to pickleball either with a whole host of other tennis players making the jump to play the fast growing sport.
Sharapova, who was previously dubbed as the world’s sexiest tennis player, announced her participation in a video online.
She said: “I’m playing pickleball and not just any pickleball. I am playing with John McEnroe against Steffi Graf and Andre Agassi.
“Dare I say I’m getting a little competitive and slightly nervous and anxious.”
The match offers up an eye-watering £816,000 prize for the winning team and will take place at the Hard Rock Hotel in Hollywood, Florida.
GettySharapova will be playing alongside John McEnroe in the tournament[/caption]
The first event took place in April of this year when McEnroe was joined by Michael Chang in a match against Agassi and Andy Roddick.
Former world number eight men’s tennis player Jack Sock has also made the move to play the American sport.
GettyEugenie Bouchard has signed up to play pickleball next year[/caption]
AFPJack Sock has also made the switch away from tennis[/caption]