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Maria Sharapova’s first steps in the world of tennis: from Siberia to the USA



Maria Sharapova’s parents helped their blonde girl overcome every obstacle thrown in the way of her dream, becoming a tennis player. Now, Sharapova put an end to her prolific career during which she won five Grand Slams.

It all started in Belarus, where Yelena Sharapova got pregnant with her husband Yuri, but a well-known nuclear disaster triggered a sudden decision from Sharapova’s parents. “My parents were living in Belarus, my mother was pregnant with me, just around the time when Chernobyl had happened, and because of Chernobyl, because of how close we were to the radiation, my parents fled to Russia, in Siberia, and that’s where I was born”.

Maria Sharapova

said Sharapova during the Superwomen podcast with Rebecca Minkoff. “When I got out of there I was 2 years old. We moved to Sochi which is a town that had just hosted the Winter Olympics a few years ago, but it was a completely different change in my life,” Maria continued.

Therefore, Sharapova made her first steps into the world of tennis at Sochi, but her springboard to success was standing in another place, thousands of miles away, and the one who helped her accomplish that was none other than her father.

“So at 6 years old, after I began playing tennis, my father wanted to develop a tennis dream of mine by moving to the United States, which everyone recommended because there’s no infrastructure, there were no coaches, there was no way to develop that particular sport at that time, so they wanted to move”.


Maria Sharapova

Sharapova said. Unfortunately, the departure from Russia had a significant downside, but it was all worth it for the 5-time Grand Slam winner. “My mom didn’t move with us for the first two years. So, I didn’t have that relationship with my mother for those two years, which is probably the most dificult part of that.

But on that journey I felt like moving into a new culture and doing something… I loved to play tennis, I loved it. I was surrounded by so many kids that had the same passion that I did and I was learning a new language”.

Maria Sharapova

she said. “I moved here without knowing a word of English, only how to say my name. That developed into this career”. Maria Sharapova concluded.