I picked Maria Sharapova’s book ‘Unstoppable’ as my in-flight reading material to and from Bangkok, and it was a great choice. Once again, I’m reminded why I love memoirs / autobiographies so much. I’m not a fan of tennis and didn’t know much about Maria before reading this book. I know she makes loud noises (what folks call “grunting”) on the court , and she has her own brand of candy (which I think is kind of pricey), and she’s gorgeous. But beyond that, I didn’t know much else about her. This book changed all that.
I got to read the story of her first encounter with the game of tennis at age 4, and how her father (Yuri) dropped everything in Russia and brought her to America a few years later, believing his daughter would be a tennis star.
Long before there was the Tiger Mom, there was the Tennis Dad, and you don’t want to mess with either of them. 😀 It was largely due to her family’s dedication that Maria became the superstar she is today.
Get a copy of this book if you want to know:
- What motivates her
- Lessons she learnt from losses
- Locker room secrets
- Who encouraged her to try shoplifting (just that one time) and what she took
- Rivalry with Serena Williams
- Players who gave her dirty looks
- Who she had a serious crush on
- Playing with her right (vs left) hand, her shoulder injury, etc
Through this book, Maria has tried to clear the air once again with regard to the (supposed) “doping” incident. If you don’t know what happened, just know that she was cleared of the doping charges. I think it all happened for a reason – it gave her time to rest and recharge. She even went for a two-week summer program at Harvard Business School! You’ve got to love this gal. Even though she was suspended from playing tennis, facing an international backlash, having people call her all sorts of names (comments about “doper” / “cheat” / etc can still be found on Youtube videos of her), instead of moping or feeling sorry for herself, she went out and learnt new stuff.
There are a couple of quotes from this book that I love. Here’s one of them:
“What sets the great players apart from the good players? The good players win when everything is working. The great players win even when nothing is working, even when the game is ugly; that is, when they are not great. Because no one can be great every day. Can you get it done on the ugly days, when you feel like garbage and the tank is empty? That’s the question.”
I felt it was an absolute privilege and honor to be able to read this story of her life. This is certainly a book I’m keeping and re-reading at some point. 🙂
Watch this video and see 14-year-old Maria, plus get a sneak peek at her stamp collection 😀