Maria Sharapova’s retirement from tennis in February has done little to dim her devotion to keeping fit during the COVID-19 lockdown, as footage of an extensive session by the former Grand Slam champion has been revealed.
While most of her combined following of more than 12 million on Twitter and Instagram have to make do with more modest spaces in which to attempt to exercise, Sharapova has been able to show off her enviable surroundings during her lockdown workouts.
Taking to a sun lounger overlooking a deserted sandy beach at sunset, the Florida resident initially announced she would be “prepping my core for this morning’s workout”, raising her feet in the air and her head to the sky.
She has since proceeded to film herself following along with one of celebrity trainer Tracy Anderson’s programs, performing lunges and squats with ankle weights in between pushing dumbbells, twirling around and tying up her long hair.
Sharapova described her workout as a “live sweat sesh” courtesy of Anderson, who is famous for helping megastars, including singer Jennifer Lopez and actress Gwyneth Paltrow, build cover-model physiques.
Morning live sweat ? sesh with @TracyAnderson #StrongBodyStrongMind pic.twitter.com/43MlyX4hSt
— Maria Sharapova (@MariaSharapova) May 2, 2020
A popular personal trainer with tennis stars, Anderson’s other supporters include Venus Williams, who she interviewed last week in a gushing show of mutual admiration, as they discussed how to “perform at the ultimate level in your workout and in life”.
Despite being unable to continue traveling the world, Sharapova has stayed on the move during the lockdown, causing her to receive criticism for apparently violating quarantine and social distancing measures when she celebrated turning 33 last month.
Telling her fans that “birthdays are still the best”, the former world number one detailed a “sunset roadtrip” along part of the Pacific Coast Highway, picking up lobster rolls, spaghetti and cake before visiting a friend’s beach house.
She claimed that she had been unable to talk to or hug the owner of the house, but was later pictured in close proximity to several other people on a balcony.
One of them is thought to have been her boyfriend, British businessman Alexander Gilkes, whose keen interest in art is shared by Sharapova.
Shortly after her birthday, the pair both shared an image of a work by artist Olafur Eliasson for World Earth Day, when Sharapova said the image of the earth from above held “a special place in my heart” because it surveyed Chernobyl, the Ukrainian site of the worst nuclear disaster in human history.
Many of Sharapova’s followers asked if the insight into her fitness regime provided any hope of a return to the professional ranks which she left after a first-round exit at the Australian Open in January – but her silence suggested she has no plans to return to the court beyond a virtual tournament she is currently participating in.
Writing after she announced her retirement, Sharapova revealed: “Tennis showed me the world – and it showed me what I was made of.
“It’s how I tested myself and how I measured my growth.
“Whatever I might choose for my next chapter, my next mountain, I’ll still be pushing. I’ll still be climbing. I’ll still be growing.”