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“I Used to Be so Lonely”: Maria Sharapova Opens up on Tough Childhood

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Maria Sharapova

A difficult childhood leaves some people wounded and disadvantaged. However, for some, a tough childhood drives them to outrageous achievement and success. Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova comes under the latter group of people.

The Russian star had a tough childhood as she moved away from her family at a young age to practice at a tennis academy in Florida. However, which particular incident made Sharapova stronger? She answers.

Maria Sharapova

“I missed my mother terribly”: Maria Sharapova

Sharapova was always surrounded by her parents and grandparents. However, she moved to the USA practising at a tennis academy at a small age. While she was caught up in her training, she was also sad not to be able to see her mother every day.

“I used to be so lonely. I missed my mother terribly. My father was working as much as he could so he couldn’t see me either,” Sharapova recalled in her autobiography – Unstoppable: My life so far.

Maria Sharapova

“I never thought about quitting”: Sharapova
Maria Sharapova also recollected that as a little girl when she began training, she would fall asleep much earlier (8 p.m.) than the other kids who were older than her. However, they would come into the room as late as 11 p.m. They would also wake her up and order her to clean up the room.

Instead of buckling under pressure, this kind of humiliation made her mentally strong and determined person. The five-time Grand Slam champion did not get depressed and was very driven towards her goal.

Maria Sharapova

“I learned how to take care of myself. I never thought about quitting because I knew what I wanted. When you come from nothing and you have nothing, it makes you very hungry and determined. I would have put up with much more humiliation and insults than that in order to steadfastly pursue my dream,” Sharapova concluded.


“I’ve Looked up To Maria Sharapova” – Sofia Kenin

Sofia Kenin and Maria Sharapova

The 21-year-old American Sofia Kenin played on the big tennis platform for the very first time in her career, and convincingly she was the clear champion in Saturday’s finals at Australian Open 2020. The new Grand Slam champion Kenin is the new face of American tennis, but little do people know, she was born in Moscow and has deep-rooted connections with Russia.

Her family moved to the United States from Russia when Kenin was just a few months old. They were living in New York City since 1987, but they went back to Russia for delivering Kenin and to receive the support of other family members.

Sofia Kenin’s Russian heritage aided her to create wonders on the tennis tours
Sofia Kenin credits her groundbreaking victory in Melbourne to her Russian roots, and mentioned about her Russian tennis idols, Maria Sharapova and Anna Kournikova. At the age of 17, Sharapova defeated Serena Williams at Wimbledon 2004 finals and pulled off her first major title.

Sharapova’s major wins as a teenager did not stop there in London, as a 19-year-old she lifted up another major title at US Open 2006. “I definitely think about my Russian heritage and it helped me,” Kenin shared after making her breakthrough on the major courts. “I’ve looked up to Maria Sharapova, Anna Kournikova. I followed their matches when I was little.”

Sofia Kenin

She continued to speak how Sharapova’s tennis persuaded her to do something significant in the sport. And her Russian roots have effectively contributed in her journey to lift the Daphne Akhurst Memorial Cup on the Rod Laver Arena.

“I feel like I got the feisty [approach]. I saw what it’s like. She won a grand slam at 17, Maria, which I remember watching on TV. Yeah, I feel like that definitely helped me. I have part of Russian stuff inside me, the fight that I have, trying just to be confident, do what I do best,” Kenin added.

Sharapova and Kenin played each other just once in their careers. It was at the US Open 2017. Back then, the American lost in straight sets to her Russian idol.

Kenin also receives tennis tips from the former World Number one Dinara Safina, who is also a Russian.

Living an American dream
Sofia Kenin

With her Australian Open triumph, on Monday, Sofia Kenin will be ranked as high as World Number seven. She’s the new number one tennis player from the United States of America.

Upon defeating the two-time major champion Garbine Muguruza, Kenin mentioned that her wild American dream has officially come true. “And thank you to my parents for giving me the American dream. [Being the American number one] is exciting. I’m so happy. I was told if I would win, I’d be number seven [in the world]. It’s such an honor. I love representing the US. I just love it. It’s like an honor,” Kenin concluded.

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