Maria Sharapova: My Passion For Tennis Is Stronger Than Ever

by Tom Gainey | July 27th, 2017, 10:59 am

On the eve of Maria Sharapova’s return to the WTA from a thigh injury next week in Stanford, the former No. 1 penned a piece in the Players’ Tribune in which she talked about dealing with the fallout from her doping sentence, her support group, her fans, and her passion for tennis, which she says is stronger than ever.

Some excerpts:

I’m aware of what many of my peers have said about me, and how critical of me some of them have been in the press. If you’re a human being with a normal, beating heart, you know … I don’t think that sort of thing will ever fully be possible to ignore. And I don’t think it will ever not be weird or hurtful to go through.

But at the same time … I’ve always tried to keep a generous attitude toward critics in general — whoever they are, and whenever they’ve been there. I’ve never wanted to respond to the people trashing me by trashing them back; that’s always been important to me. I’ve always wanted to respond by showing grace — something I learned from my mom, one of the most graceful and elegant people I know. I’ve always wanted to face my critics by simply taking the high road. And by showing them, by showing everyone, that taking the high road is a choice.

And I hope you won’t hold it against me when I say that it wasn’t until I had this time off, and then came back, that I think I really began to understand just what my fan base means to me — not only as an idea, but on a deeper level. On a human level.

And now I feel like it’s my turn, finally, to pay them back. Because if there’s anything that I most would like to accomplish during the next phase of my career, I think it’s this: being a player and a person worth cheering for — for this group of fans who have been so loyal to me.

And who would cheer for me no matter what.

If you love tennis enough, then at the end of the day, it will love you back.

And though these last two years have been tougher — so much tougher — than I ever could have anticipated … my passion for the game has never wavered. If anything, it’s only grown stronger.

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7 Comments for Maria Sharapova: My Passion For Tennis Is Stronger Than Ever

Humble Rafa Says:

Don’t know which high paid writer wrote this. Words sound good.

If only she would agree to stop shrieking, then the entire tennis base would be grateful.

RZ Says:

“I’ve always tried to keep a generous attitude toward critics in general.” Um, no.

Humble Rafa Says:

There are many ‘ovas in tennis but she makes the most money. That says something.

Willow Says:

RZ watch your step my dear, being a female and saying something negative about Sharapova, doesnt go down well with some here ! ….

RZ Says:

@Willow – just pointing out that she hasn’t always kept a generous attitude toward her critics. Her “isn’t she back in Poland yet?” comment when asked about Radwanska’s criticism of her shrieking comes to mind. That was not “generous” but snarky. It’s her right to be snarky but she tries to play the saint, which she is not.

Humble Rafa Says:

Uncle Toni tells me it’s not fair to criticize a woman who has irregular heart beats and has needed medication in the past.

Willow Says:

RZ I Agree im actually with you, she takes the high road, as the saying goes pull the other one, bringing up Serenas relationship with a married man, also when she beat her at W saying i beat the ape, shes not exactly as sweet and innocent as people make her out to be ….

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