Maria Sharapova: From Solitary Childhood to Tennis Star

“Russian Doll” is what the world calls Maria Sharapova because she is too beautiful to become a tennis player, but behind that bright face is a heart of steel.

Maria Sharapova, who brought women’s tennis into every home. Masha is the shadow of a whole generation of tennis viewers. In the first years of coming to light, many people did not understand why a picturesque face chose a tennis career.

Many people joke that Sharapova is worried that the world will see her as a tennis beauty and not a professional tennis player, so she tries to practice shouting. Sharapova’s scream every time she makes a shot reaches 105 decibels – equal to the sound created from a hand drill.

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Sharapova’s legendary scream is a once-in-a-lifetime memory for tennis lovers. Photo: Pavel Golovkin .

Lonely childhood

The world spent so much time looking at Sharapova that they forgot to look deeper into her life. Brilliant appearance, titles filling the room, and more money than most of her female colleagues make Masha give most fans around the world the feeling that she is a lady who has everything in life.

However, the truth is not that beautiful. From the age of 7, Sharapova had to leave her mother. At that time, it was very difficult for Masha’s father, Mr. Yuri Sharapov, to bring his daughter to America to study tennis. Sharapova’s mother, Yelena, could not go with her father and daughter. Sharapova and her father arrived in the United States with a total asset of 700 USD in cash and not a word of English in their heads.

In order for his daughter to be able to study tennis, Mr. Yuri accepted to work at a low-class job. He left home early in the morning and returned when it was dark. For a very long time, Sharapova had to live alone: without parents, friends, or the usual toys of a growing girl.

A lonely life suffocates Sharapova. “I am extremely lonely,” Sharapova confided. Because she was not good at English, Masha suffered a lot of pressure and scorn. Her life revolves around loneliness, the pressure to improve, endure contempt, and try to not disappoint her father. It is very rare for Mr. Yuri to come home early one day to have dinner with his daughter.

With a cool head and hot heart, Maria Sharapova endured everything, overcoming pressure to gradually assert herself. Her shrill screams seemed to contain hidden memories from her childhood in a foreign land. Remembering those days, Masha sometimes still wonders with what determination and strength she was able to overcome.

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The beautiful little girl Sharapova in the past. Photo: Beautifulrus .

15 months of challenging yourself

A childhood full of loneliness and sadness challenged Masha, but life’s challenges did not stop there. In 2016, Sharapova’s life suffered a major shock when she was banned from competition for up to 15 months because she tested positive for a banned substance (meldonium). After the World Anti-Doping Association announced the verdict, the press did their best to record Sharapova’s reaction and tried to find out how she would face this nightmare.

But many newspapers left empty-handed. Masha has no specific symbols that the press can exploit. Only recently, through the words of doctor Jerome Bianchi, were the mysterious days – the moment Masha faced and fought with 15 months of sitting around – revealed.

Bianchi said Masha proactively made an appointment to meet him. She did not let out any complaints or showed a depressed attitude but started right away with her request: “I don’t want to end my career like this. I want to be another Sharapova. We need to do something.”

So Masha began her days of fighting, not only to maintain her physical strength, she even wanted to become stronger than before. Masha started practicing boxing, cycling, and swimming with athlete Ariana Kukors.

“I also discovered Sharapova started jogging alone. I can be sure, she has never done this before. Masha doesn’t like to do anything alone after spending her childhood almost alone day in and day out,” Mr. Bianchi said.

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Goodbye “Russian doll”. Photo: AFP .

The important thing is that Masha does things that are very new to her with an extremely positive mental state. “She didn’t do it for revenge. Since accepting the punishment, Masha has distanced herself from tennis. She smiles more and makes fun of others. She enjoys many foods. Masha truly lived her life.”

Not many athletes in the world can face life’s challenges with a positive spirit like Sharapova. It does not prove that she is an innocent person, but on the contrary, it is evidence that Sharapova is a steel doll. Only a person with an extremely strong fighting spirit can do things that are unfamiliar to him with a sense of enjoyment, not hatred.

In fact, we have seen Maria Sharapova come back stronger after her suspension ended. She won her first WTA title in 2 years, returned to the top 25 in the world and reached the semi-finals of the French Open. Even though she cannot return to the position of leader in the women’s tennis world, Sharapova is still one of the inspirations for the next generation of young athletes.

Hidden behind the fragile appearance of a tennis beauty is a Sharapova who is much stronger and braver than we think.

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