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April 6, 2009 - How bad is Maria Sharapova's shoulder?

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 By Charles Bricker

"Maria Sharapova retiring from tennis because of her chronically bad shoulder?"

Just a rumor, says fellow Russian Nadia Petrova, who quickly added, "I don't believe it, but that's the rumor."

My follow-up: "Yes, but you're saying you've heard that rumor, right?"
"Yes," she said.

How good is any rumor? I might have started one last week by "hunching" that Nick Bollettieri would retire by the end of 2009 and the two star-quality coaches he's hired for part-time gigs -- Brad Gilbert and Brian Gottfried -- would move into the big office. Well, that got shot down fast enough. IMG Academies this week gave Nick a three-year extension on his present contract, that will take him through 2011.

But that was a hunch. This is a rumor. Is there a difference? There is if it comes from another women's professional tennis player and another Russian, on top of that.

Still, there is Petrova's qualifier: "I don't believe it, but that's the rumor."

Charles Bricker can be reached at



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