What Maria Sharapova looked like and what she was when she conquered Indian Wells twice
Maria Sharapova is the only Russian tennis player to win the prestigious Indian Wells tournament twice. Moreover, she began to storm this peak at the age of 14. We will tell you how Sharapova looked and what she was in those years.
They started talking about Maria Sharapova even when she was in her junior age. At 13, she won the prestigious Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships among girls under 16. And already at the age of 14 years and 10 months, Sharapova made her debut in the WTA tour. And it happened at the most prestigious California tournament in Indian Wells. In the first round, the young representative of Russia, who received a wild card from the organizers, beat the American Bree Rippner in three sets. But in the next round, Maria’s rival was Monica Seles herself , who was then seeded at number 4.
Here is how Sharapova herself told about this episode of her career in her autobiography: “Seles was the greatest tennis player in the world. And also a hero, maybe not so much for me as for my father, who spent hours studying her game on tape with both hands. Almost a decade has passed since the horrific attack she suffered between games at the Hamburg tournament, but it was still Monica Seles.Is one of the best players in the world. I couldn’t take my eyes off her. It was so strange to be on the same court with her. As if I suddenly fell into the TV. And I was surprised to find myself on the other side of the screen! I took only two games that day. But at some moments on the court I forgot who she was and just played my game. It was a great match for me, because he taught me two things – the first is that I can play with any of them, and the second is that we are of the same blood with them. “
It took only two years, and 17-year-old Sharapova won her first “Helmet” at Wimbledon. By the 2006 season, among her achievements there were already 10 titles, as well as the title of the first racket of the world. At that time, Maria was already one of the most popular athletes in the world. US Weekly named her the most stylishly dressed athlete, and the American magazine Sports Illustrated named her the most beautiful athlete of the year. Moreover, in the same year she went to the exotic Turks and Caicos Islands to take part in the annual swimsuit photo shoot for the special issue of this magazine – Swimsuit-2006. It is curious that that year Sharapova was the only athlete who got into this issue – the rest of the heroines were professional models.
The 2006 season began for Sharapova with the semifinals at the Australian Open and the final in Dubai. As a result, for the March supertournament in Indian Wells, which was then called the Pacific Life Open, she gained amazing shape. On the way to the final, Maria did not give her opponents a single set, while beating the famous Martina Hingis in the 1/2 finals. And in the decisive match, the Russian derby took place – Dementyeva – Sharapova, in which Maria took the lead. And also in two sets. It is curious that in the same year, Sharapova also won the US Open. After her, this tradition of winning these two prestigious American tournaments in one year was continued by Naomi Osaka (2018) and Bianca Andreescu (2019).
In 2013, Maria did not win the “helmet”, but still this season was quite successful for her. And in an interview with The New York Times, the Russian woman said that a good period has come in her life: at the same time an important part of your life. Finding such a relationship is very difficult. And I was lucky to do it. ” Of course, Sharapova at that moment was talking about the Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov. Young people began to communicate in October 2012, before the New Year they were noticed together, and since 2013 they have practically ceased to hide their relationship.
In Indian Wells – 2013 Sharapova arrived with a complete collection of “Helmets”. She won Wimbledon in 2004, the US Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008 and Roland Garros in 2012. However, by March of that season, the Russian woman had an unpleasant list of three consecutive lost finals – the London Olympics, Beijing and the WTA Final Championship in Istanbul 2012. Maria walked the Indian Wells grid like a typhoon, without giving up a single set to her rivals, including in the final, where she defeated Caroline Wozniacki.
At the post-match press conference, Maria, of course, was asked about the game, about her opponent, about the strength of her punches, about how she had recently improved in moving around the court. And then the journalist unexpectedly asked that Sharapova was not doing well outside the court. “For example, I would like to be good at drawing. I only get some scribbles, not normal drawings. I would also like to know more languages. This is one of those things that I regret – because at a young age there is a great opportunity to learn different foreign languages. For example, French and Spanish; I know a little French, but not nearly as good as I would like. Also, I would like to cook and bake well. And this is by no means a complete list, ”Maria suddenly confessed.
It’s been 8 years since Sharapova last won Indian Wells. During this time, Maria broke up with Dimitrov, found a new love, a doping scandal erupted, she served a disqualification, then returned to the court, and in February 2020 announced her retirement. But these are completely different stories.