Sharapova's Time to Shine

Sharapova Wins First French Open After Long Road Back to the Top; Career Grand Slam

Wall Street Journal—Paris—June 9, 2012

When Maria Sharapova needed shoulder surgery in 2008, she asked a lot of questions. Which other athletes had undergone the procedure? What about tennis players? How many of them came back to play as well as they had played before?

"I didn't get many answers back, which was a little frightening," she said.

Sharapova won her first French Open title Saturday, 6-3, 6-2 over Sara Errani. She will become the No. 1 player in the world for the fifth time in her career when Monday's rankings are released, and she now has won each of the sport's four Grand Slam tournaments.

In 2008, her shoulder started to hurt, and she couldn't figure out why. Doctors who looked at an initial MRI said they saw nothing and that she was suffering from inflammation.

The pain persisted, and by the time Sharapova played a first-round match in Montreal in July 2008, it had become severe. After winning in three sets and withdrawing from the tournament, she took another MRI that evening and flew to New York to meet David Altchek, a doctor at the Hospital for Special Surgery. He met Sharapova at the airport, his computer in tow, and examined her most recent images. He had bad news: Sharapova had two tears in her rotator cuff.

Read the full story on WSJ.com.

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