‘Impossible to Connect..’- Extremely ‘Professional’ Maria Sharapova’s Serious Off-Court Demeanour Revealed in a Candid Exchange by Ad Film-Maker

Published 02/11/2023, 6:10 AM EST

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Joe Pytka is a well-known director and producer in the advertising industry, particularly for his work in Super Bowl commercials. He has directed over 80 Super Bowl ads for brands such as Gatorade, Pepsi, and Nike. His ability to bring out the best in athletes and capture the excitement and intensity of sports in his commercials has made him a legend in the advertising world. However, even he has his favorites and preferences. In a candid interview with ESPN, Pytka talks about the many players he’s worked with. And one of them is Maria Sharapova.

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Maria Sharapova has appeared in advertisements for Canon- the leading camera and imaging company. Sharapova’s popularity and success as a tennis player would have made her a desirable choice to likely attract a large audience. This advertisement was shot by Pytka. In the interview, he relates his experience of working with Sharapova.

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Maria Sharapova isn’t exactly all smiles and hugs when it comes to professionalism

Among names like Serena and McEnroe, Pytka has also worked with the Russian WTA legend Sharapova. The advertisement was for the Canon camera company. Pytka remarks that he found Sharapova to be very professional during the shoot. However, he also remembers that there was no personal connection between them. As he tells ESPN, “It was impossible to connect on any personal level, not that I tried.”

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He brings in a humorous flick as he tells us about an amusing incident. It turns out that without even trying, Pytka somehow managed to get a smile out of Sharapova during the shoot. “The Japanese client thought I was a genius, though, because I made her smile,” he says. This highlights Pytka’s skill in making his subjects feel comfortable and bringing out their best qualities on camera.

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According to Pytka, it is important to respect the athletes’ time and have a good understanding of their sport. If the athletes lose trust in the director, the shoot can be negatively affected. This is why Pytka places a strong emphasis on building a good relationship with the athletes he works with and ensuring that they feel comfortable on set.

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Sharapova meanwhile has teased fans with a new collaboration featuring “superbrat” John McEnroe.

Who is Pytka’s favorite athlete to work with?

It is Serena Williams. Pytka considers Serena Williams to be the most impressive athlete he has ever worked with, male or female. He refers to her as “magic.”

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He directed her in two commercials, one for Gatorade and the other for IBM. According to Pytka, Williams has a power and charisma that is overwhelming and unmatched by any other athlete he has worked with. He was also impressed by her athletic ability and spontaneity.

Watch this story:  Will Smith Shows How King Richard Cast Trained Like Serena and Venus Williams

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Written by:

Annesha Banerjee

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Annesha Banerjee is a Tennis writer at EssentiallySports. She is currently pursuing her Bachelor’s in English. Her love for tennis and other sports is influenced by her mother, who was a remarkable athlete back in the day.
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Edited by:

Rohini Kottu

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