My Life So Far

eBook - 2017
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Baker & Taylor
The five-time Grand Slam winner presents the remarkable story of how her father relocated her at the age of 7 from their native Russia to America to develop her tennis talents before she embarked on a record-setting career shaped by astonishing competitions, her provocative beliefs and her recent fight to return to the court.

McMillan Palgrave

From Maria Sharapova, one of our fiercest female athletes, the captivating—and candid—story of her rise from nowhere to tennis stardom, and the unending fight to stay on top.

In 2004, in a stunning upset against the two-time defending champion Serena Williams, seventeen-year-old Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon, becoming an overnight sensation. Out of virtual anonymity, she launched herself onto the international stage. “Maria Mania” was born. Sharapova became a name and face recognizable worldwide. Her success would last: she went on to hold the number-one WTA ranking multiple times, to win four more Grand Slam tournaments, and to become one of the highest-grossing female athletes in the world.

And then—at perhaps the peak of her career—Sharapova came up against the toughest challenge yet: during the 2016 Australian Open, she was charged by the ITF with taking the banned substance meldonium, only recently added to the ITF’s list. The resulting suspension would keep her off the professional courts for fifteen months—a frighteningly long time for any athlete. The media suggested it might be fateful.

But Sharapova’s career has always been driven by her determination and by her dedication to hard work. Her story doesn’t begin with the 2004 Wimbledon championship, but years before, in a small Russian town, where as a five-year-old she played on drab neighborhood courts with precocious concentration. It begins when her father, convinced his daughter could be a star, risked everything to get them to Florida, that sacred land of tennis academies. It begins when the two arrived with only seven hundred dollars and knowing only a few words of English. From that, Sharapova scraped together one of the most influential sports careers in history.

Here, for the first time, is the whole story, and in her own words. Sharapova’s is an unforgettable saga of dedication and fortune. She brings us inside her pivotal matches and illuminates the relationships that have shaped her—with coaches, best friends, boyfriends, and Yuri, her coach, manager, father, and most dedicated fan, describing with honesty and affection their oft-scrutinized relationship. She writes frankly about the suspension. As Sharapova returns to the professional circuit, one thing is clear: the ambition to win that drove her from the public courts of Russia to the manicured lawns of Wimbledon has not diminished.

Sharapova’s Unstoppable is a powerful memoir, resonant in its depiction of the will to win—whatever the odds.

Publisher: New York : Sarah Crichton Books, Farrar, Straus and Giroux, [2017]
ISBN: 9780374715311
Branch Call Number: E-BOOK
Characteristics: 1 online resource
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Jan 24, 2019

I really liked this book. It is readable and well-written; some credit for that is undoubtedly due to Rich Cohen, who collaborated with Ms. Sharapova. I am not much of a pro tennis fan anymore, but I saw this book in a library display and intuited that it might be of interest.

Ms. Sharapova's life story is compelling and sympathetic. She came from modest circumstances in Russia and, with the heroic support of her father, rose to stardom in women's professional tennis. This is a story of exceptional innate talent and an extraordinary life of relentless practice, motivation, and resilience. As with many other successful athletes, the ability to work endlessly and repetitively has been critically important.

The book appears to be generally praised by reviewers and readers. There were some negative comments (e.g., alleging racism and self-absorption) from a New York Times piece that was included in our library’s online description of the book. I think that writer was totally off-base, but if the criticisms have any validity they support the authenticity of Ms. Sharapova’s writing. The book is not an apologia for sainthood, but an honest effort to understand her feelings, attitudes and behaviors, including her frailties and proclivities. And, thankfully, she is not interested in waxing sensational about herself or others.


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Mar 27, 2019

Sherrylxc thinks this title is suitable for 9 years and over


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