Former world number one tennis player Maria Sharapova has been really enjoying her vacation in Botswana, where she embarked on a safari tour and had an alarming encounter with some lions.
The five-time Grand Slam winner, whose injury-plagued performance this season saw her drop in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings, decided to take a break from tennis by immersing herself in Botswana’s breathtaking wildlife atmosphere.
The 32-year-old got dangerously close to a pride of lions to take a selfie with the predators, revealing she was impressed by their roaring which “pierced through the entire delta.”
“Botswana, Africa!! Love at first sight!” Sharapova wrote on her Instagram page. “The closest I’ve ever come to a safari was locking eyes with a squirrel. But not anymoooore! The lion’s roaring in the video? That was within 30mins of our first game drive overlooking the sunset at @wearewilderness Vumbura Plains.”
Sharapova has seen her world ranking drop to 134 after a slump in form caused by a recurring shoulder injury cut short her 2019 season.
She made several appearances this year in an attempt to regain her previously held positions, but her injury stopped her from playing at full strength.
Sharapova’s most insulting loss was at the 2019 US Open, when she was destroyed by Serena Williams 1-6,1-6.
Despite her underwhelming season, Sharapova has set her sights on next year’s competitions with plans to represent Russia at the 2020 Olympics.