1. THERE is something disarming about Maria Sharapova, something at odds with her ready smile and glamorous attire. And that something in her lifted her on Monday, 22 August 2005 to the world number one position in women’s tennis. All this happened in almost no time. Poised beyond her years, the Siberian born teenager took just four years as a professional to reach the pinnacle.
2. However, the rapid ascent in a fiercely competitive world began nine years before with a level of sacrifice few children would be prepared to endure. Little Maria had not yet celebrated her tenth birthday when she was packed off to train in the United States. That trip to Florida with her father Yuri launched her on the path to success and stardom. But it also required a heart-wrenching two-year separation from her mother Yelena. The latter was compelled to stay back in Siberia because of visa restrictions. The nine-year-old girl had already learnt an important lesson in life — that tennis excellence would only come at a price.
3. “I used to be so lonely,” Maria Sharapova recalls. “I missed my mother terribly. My father was working as much as he could to keep my tennis-training going. So, he couldn’t see me either.
Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is a Russian former No.1 tennis player born \(9\) April \(1987\) in Siberia. She played under the banner of Russia but was a permanent resident of the US. The lesson discusses as to how Sharapova reached great heights in such a short span of time. She was beautiful, talented in her field, and carried a disarming vibe to herself. She gained the world No.1 title for the first time on Monday, \(22\) August \(2005\), when she was barely \(18\) years old. She won five grand slam titles, which is considered to be the highest achievement in the field of tennis. All this happened in just four years of her entering the game. She first entered into the scene of tennis when she was just \(13\) years old and won the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships. By sheer talent and determination, she marched forward to gain the most prestigious No. \(1\) title in tennis.
Sharapova's success did not come easily as it seemed. She had her own fair share of struggles and rough patches, which she had to experience from a very young age. She was taken by her father, Yuri Sharapov, who had already introduced her to the game of tennis at a very young age as a child. She was recommended to do professional training with Nick Bollettieri at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. In order to pursue it as a serious profession/passion, they took debts from various people and moved to the US, but unfortunately, her mother Yelena had to stay back in Russia due to visa restrictions, which made them separate for two years. This deeply affected a very young Maria. But her father took up odd jobs until she was provided with a scholarship and taken in by the academy at the age of nine. Until then, she barely even saw him as he took up all kinds of jobs to help them sustain themselves in a new country. She used to be lonely and missed her parents terrible. But she channelled the anger on tennis. Her tennis excellence came at a huge price of sacrifice and contribution made by her parents.
Meaning of difficult words:
|Disarming||A shocking level of charm|
|Attire||Clothes, especially formal ones|
|Poised||Having a composed and elegant way|
|Pinnacle||The most successful point|
|Ascent||A climb to the summit of a mountain|
|Stardom||The state of being famous|
|Recall||Bring back memories|
- National Council of Educational Research and Training (2006). Beehive. Reach for the Top (pp.99-109). Published at the Publication Division by the Secretary, National Council of Educational Research and Training, Sri Aurobindo Marg, New Delhi.
- Maria Sharapova*: Jimmie48 Photography / Shutterstock.com