Sharapova Family’s Extraordinary Resilience

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Starting point “negative”

When she achieved a lot of success on the tennis court, Sharapova was often asked about the motivation that helped her have the desire to fight better than others. Sharapova shared that since childhood, she has always been thirsty for victory, thirsty for success at all costs because she and her family started from “zero”. Sharapova told her family to start from scratch.

Sharapova did not exaggerate. In fact, saying that Sharapova’s family started from “zero” still does not reflect all of their difficult beginnings. It might be more accurate to say their starting point was “negative numbers”. Negative temperature and even negative money.

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Sharapova’s mother Yelena was pregnant with her daughter in the Gomel region, Belarus, at a time when everyone was panicking because of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster. To avoid the risk of illness that could arise from the Chernobyl nuclear disaster for her unborn child, Yelena and her husband Yuri told each other to move to the Nyagan region in Western Siberia for safety. They are too poor to dream of a less desolate place of refuge. Sharapova was then born in Nyagan on April 19, 1987.

Yuri has to work hard in the Tyumen oil field in the harshest conditions (temperatures can drop to -40 degrees Celsius) to earn money to support his wife and children. After the first 4 years of hard work and saving, Yuri was able to move his wife and children home again. This time they went to Sochi, where life was much less harsh than Nyagan.

When her mind turns dark, Yuri plays tennis to relax. After a few times getting bored with being outside on the court watching her father play tennis, 4-year-old Sharapova took her racket and went into the court to hit the ball to relieve her tired hands and feet. Although she was not yet able to hold the racket firmly, Yuri’s 4-year-old girl surprised the tennis coach there, Yuri Yudkin, with her talent. Yudkin proactively asked to coach Sharapova to play tennis.

"Ask for a favor

Thanks to her parents’ guidance, Sharapova has pursued a tennis career since she was a little girl

Yudkin once shared: “I have never seen a child as promising as Sharapova. When she was only 4 and a half years old, she understood what I taught her very quickly and accurately. With Sharpaova, I never have to instruct anything twice.”

When Sharapova was 6 years old, through the introduction of teacher Yudkin, Sharapova went to Moscow to participate in a tournament held at the tennis school of tennis legend Martina Navratilova. Sharapova’s ageless talent quickly caught Navratilova’s eye. Navratilova advised Yuri to take Sharapova to practice at the prestigious Nick Bollettieri tennis academy in the US to get the best training conditions.

Although it sounded very pleasant, Yuri could not immediately follow Navratilova’s advice. “The stork does not advance” because there is no money. Having to wait another year, after borrowing $1,000 from family members, Yuri was able to take Sharapova to the US to pursue her dream of “turning Sharapova into a tennis star”.

Extraordinary efforts

Arriving at Nick Bollettieri Academy, Yuri and Sharapova were doused with cold water. They were informed that Sharapova (then only 7 years old) was too young to apply for a scholarship. They advised Yuri and Sharapova to return and return there later, when Sharapova was older.

Not giving up easily, Yuri still asked Sharapova to practice at the Nick Bollettieri academy according to Navratilova’s advice. If you don’t get a scholarship, you have to pay tuition. Even though she can only speak a few sentences of English, Yuri still tries to find enough jobs to earn enough for her daughter’s tuition. He did not mind washing dishes in restaurants or helping at construction sites.

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Due to financial and visa limitations, at that time Ms. Yelena could not immediately go to the US with her husband and children. For 2 years, Sharapova could only contact her mother through mail. Once in a while, mother and daughter can call each other once.

The more difficult it is, the more effort Sharapova tries to practice. At the age of 9, Sharapova was granted a scholarship. At the age of 10, Sharapova won U14 tournaments. Sharapova’s journey to becoming a star started brightly from there.

The first genuine racket

Sharapova’s family was poor, so Sharapova started playing tennis with a “crazy” racket. Sharapova was lucky enough to have her first genuine racket given to her by former world No. 1 tennis player Yevgeny Kafelnikov’s father, Aleksandr. Aleksandr is a friend of Sharapova’s father.

Sharapova’s “collection” of lovers

Compared to many other female tennis players, Maria Sharapova makes the most noise when she has had countless different love affairs. The first name is tennis player Juan Carlos Ferrero. After knocking on Ferrero’s heart, the pink shadow with an ideal height of 1m88 continued to venture further into love. The partners that Sharapova is paired with are also very diverse such as singers, businessmen, and showbiz producers. It is possible to “name and name” a series of this tennis player’s lovers such as Adam Levine, Andy Roddick, Charlie Ebersol, Sasha Vujacic, Grigor Dimitrov…

Serena’s husband mocked Sharapova

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Alexis Ohanian, Serena Williams’s husband, mocked when Sharapova met Serena at the 2019 US Open. Specifically, Alexis wore a T-shirt with the words DARE, an acronym for Anti-Drug Abuse Education program. Through this, Alexis wanted to mock Sharapova, who was suspended in 2016 for testing positive for a banned substance.

Sharapova’s first time spending money on entertainment

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“The first time I was really excited about money was after winning Wimbledon,” the former world No. 1 tennis player confided, “Personally, I treated myself to a long vacation at a hotel. luxury class, to compensate for the hard days of traveling from Florida to Los Angeles to participate in the tournament.”

“Advertisers come to me not just for beauty”

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That was Maria Sharapova’s quite frank statement in the Daily Mail. According to Sharapova, most big brands came to her after she had affirmed her position in the world of felt balls. At the same time, sponsors always set criteria for popularity, instead of beauty, when signing contracts.

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