Google Down the Line!: Sharapova Exclusive: "A Work in Progress"

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Sharapova Exclusive: "A Work in Progress" just released a web exclusive with none other than Maria Shriekapova. She talks to Ginanne Brownell about tennis, fame, and her chances this year at Wimby. Here are some excerpts:

Q. Do people stop you on the street and ask for advice on their serve?

A. Sometimes. I was eating at Nobu in California right before I left and a lady came up to me and asked me for my autograph for her granddaughter. Then she said, “You know I have been having this shoulder pain for a while, what should I do?” And I said, “Well that is a coincidence because I have had a shoulder injury and here is what I have been doing.” (Laughs) I try to keep it short and sweet.

Q. Do you think you will win this year? Who could pose a serious threat to you?

A. Apart from my shoulder injury—the right shoulder—it is probably the only thing that I can say right now that can really stop me from having the confidence [that I will win]. But these are just words and you have to go out there and do it somehow.

Q. Did winning the U.S. Open last year help solidify your presence in tennis?

A. Throughout my career, even before I won Wimbledon, I never felt I had to prove anything to anyone. I realize my parents gave me an incredible opportunity to come to the U.S. [from Russia] and play tennis. I never really stood back and thought this is what I want to do. [After] I won Wimbledon, it was two and a half years before I won the U.S. Open and I was still becoming the player I am now. I was a work in progress and I still am. I am 20 and that is pretty young. It is a different feeling after winning your second slam. You feel like you have more experience.

Q. You are one of the most marketed female athletes in the world at the moment. Do you enjoy that part of the job?

A. I love trying different things. I get bored with one thing. I have been able to work with all my sponsors. Everything from details on my dress to telling a company my inspiration for their product…Everything still amazes me. From seeing a billboard to watching a commercial I shot a few months ago. It’s like, “Wow, that is me on TV.” I do not think I will every get used to that. It is really not normal. (Giggles)

Q. There seem to be these two Marias—the sexy, confident tennis player who leaves opponents in her wake and the Maria who collects stamps and is said to still get star struck. Which one is really you?

A. I am sure if I saw myself on television playing tennis and pumping my fist and saying “Come ON!” every time, I would say, “Jeez that girl is very unapproachable, she is like steel.” (Giggles) So I guess the coolest thing about my Web site is that I can interact with my fans. I mean that is who I am, I dedicate six hours a day to my sport, but at the end of the day I just turned 20. My life is really about laughing and hanging out with family and friends.
(courtesy of; image by Fred Prouser / Reuters file)

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