Maria Sharapova reflects on tennis start and parents role in it

Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova moved to the United States at a very young age and that played a big role in her becoming a tennis pro.

The decision to do so came after Martina Navratilova spotted a 5-year old Sharapova practising. Navratilova advised her father to move Sharapova to the US because she would have better conditions there and so Sharapova moved to America where she trained under legendary tennis coach Nick Bollettieri. The rest is history and Sharapova recently reflected on her start in the sport saying:

“Both of my parents are actually from Belarus, and because of the Chernobyl explosion and my mother was pregnant with me at the time, they moved to Siberia, so I was born there. At the age of two, we moved to Sochi, a much more comfortable city, and that’s where I started playing tennis."

She further said:

“At the age of five, I went to this little clinic in Moscow that was held by Martina Navratilova and she told my father we need to get out of Russia. These circumstances for an athlete are much better in the US, particularly in Florida, and my father never looked back. He talked to my mom. She took a huge chance, and my father and I went to Florida on a plane without her. In hindsight, I think those are the years that shape your story. I was so lucky that I did fall in love with this sport with hitting forehands and backhands”.

Talking about the role her parents player in her life, Sharpova concluded:

"You have to overcome the butterflies, those moments of uncertainty no matter what stage you are in your life, so having my feet on the ground, but because my parents helped shape my mindset, it was really important. My mom reminded me that no matter how successful I became, it was about entertainment for me, it was about the impact and the improvement that I was making every single day."

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WTA Maria Sharapova

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