2020 started off on a sad note as the five-time Grand Slam champion Maria Sharapova announced her retirement. Post her retirement, fans have paid their tributes and acknowledged the distinguished career she has had. Sharapova often cites her parents for her fantastic career and recently narrated a heart-warming story about her mother.
In an interview with the ‘Second Life’ podcast, Sharapova spoke about the moment she won her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon, aged 17. During the final, Sharapova’s mother was on a flight and was watching Sharapova chase her dream from 30,000 ft above the ground. The tennis star said:
“What does come to mind was actually my mother she was, she was flying… during the final, and it was at the time when the small televisions were becoming to be like a big thing on airplanes and she was flying with the TV on. And she saw me win like 30,000 feet above the ground.”
Sharapova won the 2004 Wimbledon Championships aged 17 and against future rival Serena Williams. Her father was with her, and in the heat of the moment, Sharapova tried calling her mother, but she didn’t realize that her mother was flying. She said, “And then on the court, as I run, I went to my bag, and I hugged my father and then I reached in my bag and I wanted to get my phone out and call her, forgetting that she’s on the plane.”
Moreover, her mother was scrambling on the aircraft to get in touch with her daughter during that auspicious moment. Sharapova said, “Meanwhile, she’s watching me, trying to call her. She’s asking the flight attendant like, is there anything I can do that’s my daughter. It was a really special moment.”
Sharapova has spoken about her family struggles when they moved from Russia to the US. They had problems such as not speaking the language. More importantly, Sharapova’s mother couldn’t come to the US for the first 2-3 years due to visa issues. So Sharapova and her father were alone in a foreign land, navigating and learning quickly as each day passed. Obviously, all hurdles were crossed, and the rest is history!