“Incredible Investment”: Maria Sharapova Cites the Sacrifices Made to Become a Professional Tennis Player

Published 12/22/2020, 10:00 AM EST
Maria Sharapova of Russia celebrates winning her first round match against Tatjana Maria of Germany on day two of the 2018 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2018 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)


Former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova has been known as one of the most glamourous athletes of all time. However, the Russian wasn’t only known for her beauty. She was an exceptional tennis player who won five Grand Slams, covering all the four Majors. Sharapova has certain achievements that will be remembered for a lifetime. 

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To beat Serena Williams at the tender age of 17 just seems unthinkable. From then onwards, the Russian’s fairytale began. She went on to win four more Majors. Recently, Maria was asked about the journey of an individual to become a professional tennis player. She revealed the many chapters involved along the path.

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 16: Maria Sharapova of Russia waves to the crowd after victory in her second round women’s singles match against Rebecca Peterson of Sweden during day three of the 2019 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 16, 2019 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mark Kolbe/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova: Father Wanted Me to Play Against Top Players

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The former world no.1 said, “If you think of tennis as a whole, it’s an incredible investment and a very expensive investment before you get any results. I played my first professional tournament when I was 14 years old.

“This wasn’t like a big-league professional tournament, there are certain levels of professionalism like their challengers and features before you get to the actual WTA and grand slams. My father always wanted me to play up, to play against stronger players and opponents.”

Sharapova also highlighted that it comes down to making a firm decision at a young age, whether to persuade a career in tennis or to continue with education. She also felt that it’s a personal choice and can differ with each individual. 

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Keeping that in mind, she said, “It’s a natural transition that you have to make. Most of the time you have to make a choice whether you are going to go to school and you’re going to go to university and college or you’re going to take the leap and become professional.

“Some people have the natural ability to know that this is their path and life. Probably 14, 15, 16 that’s when they start thinking whether they want to go to school or make this a professional career.”

After the Australian Open this year, Sharapova decided to hang her boots. Just a week ago, she got engaged to a British businessman, Alexander Gilkes.

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Rohan Kollare

601 articles

Rohan Kollare is a tennis author for EssentiallySports. Rohan has a post-graduate diploma in Sports Management and a trophy cabinet adorned with accolades won in district and state-level tennis competitions. He has previously worked in Content Operations for Disney’s Hotstar for over a year, covering tennis and Formula One.

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