Maria Sharapova, five time Grandslam champion is one of the most followed athletes around the world. She hung up her racquets in February this year, announcing her retirement from tennis. The Russian opened up on her evolution as a tennis player, pointing out to the factors that have played an important role in the growth of her career.
Sharapova stated that she always valued her support system around her as it made her the player she became. “Something that I valued very much was the support team that I had and tennis is most of the time very individual,” said Sharapova. “But I valued my support, tremendously, because I wanted to win and I wanted to lose with them and that was a very critical part of the decisions that I made,” she added.
Sharapova reveals how she chose her coaches
Maria Sharapova further revealed that she would choose her coaches on the basis of how she would feel when she lost with them.
“I always hired my team members based on how I would feel losing alongside them. We lose so much more than we win in tennis,” she said.
“You need someone that inspires you to keep going every single day and although it’s great to know that you have this routine, it does get static and it does get boring. And how does your team find ways to make it interesting for you,” the former tennis star said.
Maria Sharapova also highlighted the importance of having a coach in the initial stages of a tennis player’s career. “That’s why when you’re younger, you need a coach or you need a skill-set that’s slightly different than when you’re older. Because when you’re younger, you are working on foundation, you are working on building who you are, what your game is as a player,” said Sharapova.
“When you’re a little older and start taking responsibility and really driving your career from your own hand, as opposed to people around you doing that, though, it’s a big step, I think it’s an important one to make those decisions,” the Russian added.
Sharapova reveals why she parted ways with her father as her coach
Maria Sharapova also revealed why she parted ways with her father as her coach. She said that she had learnt everything from her father up until she was 21 and had already won three Grandslam titles. She felt it was necessary to take the next step ahead.
“My father was my coach from Day 1 and he coached me from the sidelines until the last day that I played. But when I was 21 and had won my third Grand Slam, he was at the Australian Open with me,” she said.
“After that event, I realized that I wanted to do it on my own. There was something in me that said I’m grown up, I have learned all the valuable lessons from him and I love him so much. But I wanna do this on my own. There were always coaches next to him, like helping and guiding him, but he was always like my main, you know, coach-figure,” Sharapova said.
“And after winning three Grand Slams, it’s always a tough decision to make. Why change something that’s working. And there was no one that could make that decision but me,” the five time Grandslam champion added.