“Knife Through Butter”: Rick Macci Details Maria Sharapova’s Unknown Left-Handed Forehands

Published 12/11/2021, 9:34 AM EST
SINGAPORE – OCTOBER 25: Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts after a three set victory againt Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland in a round robin match during the BNP Paribas WTA Finals at Singapore Sports Hub on October 25, 2015 in Singapore. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova is one of the most well-known names in professional tennis. The 34-year-old is a household name across the world, because of her incredible talent and career. Throughout her career, Sharapova played tennis right-handed and did so remarkably well, winning 5 Grand Slam titles in the process.

In a recent interview, her former coach, the legendary Rick Macci, shared details about his time training Maria. He revealed that he tried to make her play left-handed, but in vain.

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)

Maria Sharapova had a dominant left-handed forehand

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

In his interview with Eric Han, Macci reveals how Maria Sharapova actually trained with him for a month. When asked if he really did try to make her play left-handed, Macci confirmed it. “That is not a rumor, that is true,” he said.

Rick then talked in awe of Sharapova’s game as a leftie. “Her left-handed forehand was one of the best I’ve ever seen. Knife through butter, smooth as silk.” Then, he compared it to her right-handed forehand at the time.

“Her forehand with the rightie was all jammed up… No matter what we did, it was flat, the elbow came back in. She had a lot of sidespin,” Macci explained.

DIVE DEEPER

Maria Sharapova Wears Sustainable Dress Made From Water Bottles at Britain’s Fashion Awards

6 months ago

Clearly, the former coach preferred Maria Sharapova to play with her left. Not only did he praise her left-handed game, but also her mental fortitude. “Maria (Sharapova) might have been the best (mentally) player I ever had.”

Sharapova’s full-time academy insisted she plays rightie

MELBOURNE, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 19: Maria Sharapova of Russia practices ahead of the 2020 Australian Open at Melbourne Park on January 19, 2020 in Melbourne, Australia. (Photo by Mike Owen/Getty Images)

However, it was not to be, as the officials at Bollettieri then came down to the Macci Academy. Macci explains what happened, “The IMG (Bollettieri) boys caught wind of this and they came down and didn’t want her to change. They kinda convinced the dad.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Article continues below this ad

Not many know this, but Sharapova is actually naturally left-handed. Despite playing with her right throughout her career, the Russian is actually ambidextrous, as is evident in some of her points where she suddenly changes hands and surprises opponents.

DIVE DEEPER

“Very Intimidating”: Maria Sharapova Follows Will Smith, JJ Watt, and Others to Invest in Cryptocurrency App

6 months ago

SHARE THIS ARTICLE :

ADVERTISEMENT

Samarveer Singh

470 articles

Samarveer Singh is a tennis writer at EssentiallySports. Holding a degree in English Literature and a diploma in Fitness Sciences and Training, Samarveer is obsessed with tennis and basketball. A collegiate athlete himself, he admires all sportspersons who put in the work in order to achieve excellence.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT