How Maria Sharapova Decisively Parted Ways with Her Father Amidst Wealth and Success?

Maria Sharapova’s autobiography Unstoppable tells the story of the tennis star’s life and career up to 2017.

The days after I won the Australian Open were so surreal. Big things keep happening, but in a very negative way.

First big story: I broke up with my father Yuri. Not as a father, of course, because he and my mother will always be my closest relatives in this world. I only bid farewell to Yuri as a coach.

My father always told me that you need to change, every few years to collaborate with new people, because that will give you more energy, breathe new life into your daily routine. and crush boredom.

It's always complicated" - Maria Sharapova on being coached by her father

Boredom, routine – all of these can become your child’s worst enemies. Ultimately, and ironically, it was Yuri’s advice that led me to the decision to break up with him.

For the first time in my life, I could see the end of my playing career looming before my eyes. The players whose victories helped me build my reputation retired one by one. Younger players are gradually appearing behind me.

So this is the decisive moment: if I want to prove that I can succeed on my own, win on my own, be a tennis player and an adult fully capable of functioning on my own, I must act now. When I fire my father – that’s a really harsh word – I’ll be in control of my life.

I sent him an e-mail because it was the best way I could express my thoughts. My father accepted this decision without too much difficulty. He didn’t scream, throw vases or kick tables and chairs! In fact, he completely understood it. He said: “That’s right Maria, now you have to live your own life.”

"Búp bê Nga" Maria Sharapova khi giàu có đã sa thải cha như thế nào? - Ảnh 3.
When Maria was 6 years old, her father – Yuri – put all his money, time, and enthusiasm into moving his daughter to the US to develop her career.

Maybe he was ready to rest, to give up the endless trips between airports, hotels, and stadiums. Since then Yuri has dedicated her time to enjoying a leisurely yet extremely active life, filled with beaches and mountains, skiing and exercising, reading and thinking about her beloved Tolstoy.

He trains as if he is preparing to participate in the Senior Olympics. His graceful departure was his last great act as my coach.

Injuries, pain and having to start over

I continued with Michael Joyce taking over as my coach. Everything is still the same, but at the same time it has completely changed. That was probably the only thing that bothered me that year, if the second big thing hadn’t happened after I won the Australian Open.

At first it was just a very small problem – a pain in the shoulder when serving. But the pain got worse and worse to the point where I didn’t even want to play anymore. My shoulder hurts terribly every time I serve.

I cried after a few matches, the pain became so severe. I tried to endure the pain to continue playing, then changed the way I moved to reduce the pain, but it only disturbed other parts of my body. I lost my rhythm, lost the feeling and confidence to win.

Meanwhile, my coach was trying to treat me with ibuprofen, exercises and massage, but nothing was working. The pain was always there, especially when I served and hit high backhand volleys. I was so happy that I cried when I won by one point without getting hurt. Then the pain returned, and I fell into a black hole of fear again.

I became irritable. Finally my father had to say: “Look, Maria has always been a very good pain bearer. If she’s in this much pain, then it’s not simply a normal injury.”

"Búp bê Nga" Maria Sharapova khi giàu có đã sa thải cha như thế nào? - Ảnh 5.
The tennis star suffered an injury and fell into panic and anxiety in 2008.

We went to the doctor. The doctor said I had tendonitis in the right shoulder rotator cuff… I continued to play tennis, then iced it, then took anti-inflammatory medicine, but the pain still did not go away. In fact, it got worse. I went to see another doctor.

According to him, it could have been tendinitis, but now it’s bursitis… One day, after doing everything the doctor advised – taking two weeks off from training, taking anti-inflammatory drugs. inflammation, ice, even a cortisone shot – I laced up my shoes and went outside to play tennis.

I made a few shots from the baseline – everything was fine. But as soon as I lifted my hand to serve and the racket touched the ball, the pain came back, and it was worse than ever.

I don’t feel any pain when hitting forehand. I’m fine when volleying. And I don’t always feel pain when I serve, which is kind of confusing, but most of the times I serve hurts me. It was right on top of my shoulder – a sharp pain that then turned into a dull ache that lasted about 10 seconds.

When it happened, I couldn’t think of anything else, making scoring impossible. I collapsed. The body is an athlete’s most valuable asset. When it cannot function, you will be in extreme pain. You will feel as if your life has ended.

I was introduced to a doctor on the Upper East Side in New York, Mr. David Altchek. He is an orthopedic surgeon, knowledgeable about all types of shoulder problems. They say he is the best doctor in the country. It only took him five minutes to know I had a serious problem. He ran a lot of tests – X-rays and MRIs – and then sat down with me.

The results were not positive. The bursa is not inflamed. The shoulder tendon is not inflamed, but torn! Turns out I had been playing tennis for weeks with a torn tendon, which was why I was in pain. The cause may come from my serve, the repetition of the same very strong movement. Every time I served, my shoulders rotated until my hands reached the middle of my back, then jumped forward to catch the ball floating in the air.

A few years ago, a baseball coach once pulled my father aside and said it was a movement he had only seen in a few pitchers ! He expressed admiration and said this move would create a great deal of force, but also warned that it could later cause serious injury. Yuri had completely forgotten this exchange, but now he remembered. He thought: “I knew he should play with his left hand.”

The doctor said I needed surgery. The tendons will have to be connected and sewn together. Need to do it as soon as possible. It was a “major surgery” for a tennis player […]

A few days later, I went to the hospital, prepared for surgery, and dressed in a hospital gown that had been washed many times. […]

Not long after that, I started physical therapy. We started with stretching and strengthening exercises. I felt as if I had a brand new shoulder, just taken out of the box. I started to regain my strength and flexibility. Of course, I knew in advance and prepared for all of this. But what I wasn’t prepared for, what surprised me, was the pain. Terrible pain.

I was in so much pain that I cried when lifting tiny weights of just a few hundred grams, when doing simple exercises, but I didn’t allow myself to rest and cry. I continued like that day after day. And every day is the same. Hours of training under gray skies in an extremely bad mood and showering in the afternoon, while life in the world went on without me.

The matches, the finals, and the trophies raised on center court, all continued as if my presence had no meaning, as if I had never been born. in this world. It’s like I’m separated from my own life, or locked outside my own house.

"Búp bê Nga" Maria Sharapova khi giàu có đã sa thải cha như thế nào? - Ảnh 6.
Returning from injury treatment, Sharapova had to start from the beginning, aspiring to regain the peak form she once had.

They brought in many different specialists and strength coaches to work with me, but I was still in terrible pain and progress was very slow. They operated on me in October 2008. Before Christmas, I was back on the court and playing football (terribly)… I could never serve the way I did at 17 again. […]

I missed countless tournaments while recovering from my shoulder. My ranking, which used to be very close to the top, dropped to double digits.

It wasn’t until around March 2009 that I actually started competing again. I almost started from scratch. My shoulders hurt, my body wouldn’t obey me, my serve was terrible, and I got tired quickly, but I was determined to get back to top form at all costs.

There’s nothing you crave more than something you already owned and then lost! Before, until I climbed to the top of the rankings, I didn’t know how much I wanted it. Now, I want it back more than anything else.

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