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Novak: Maria Sharapova Truly Inspirational

Novak Djokovic has traded shots and friendly barbs with buddy Maria Sharapova in the past.

Today, the world No. 1 praised Sharapova's staying power and fighting spirit as "truly inspirational." 

More: Maria Sharapova Retires at Age 32

Five-time Grand Slam champion Sharapova announced her retirement at age 32. 

Fellow Head endorser Djokovic developed a friendship with Sharapova and praised her as an inspirational champion after defeating Phililpp Kohlschreiber in Dubai to raise his 2020 record to 15-0.

"She’s a great fighter and as dedicated as someone could really be in our sport," Djokovic said of Sharapova today in Dubai. "Her willpower and willingness to kind of overcome all the obstacles she had in the last five, six years with injuries and surgeries and trying to fight back and come back and played on her desired level, it’s truly inspirational to see what a mind of a champion she has.

"I’m sorry it had to end with an injury, but at the same time she had a fantastic career. She can be proud of herself."

Photo credit: Head