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Maria Sharapova discusses a difficult talk with her father: ‘Couldn’t meet his gaze’

Maria Sharapova (Via Karen West/Shutterstock)

Many famous tennis players today started their journey in the sport with their parents as their first coaches and mentors. Maria Sharapova, a well-known tennis star, is one of them.

Her father, Yuri Sharapova, guided her and helped her become a professional tennis player. He played a big part in her winning her first three Grand Slam titles.

But like many parent-coach relationships in sports, Maria’s relationship with her father changed over time. She recently talked about this in an interview with Bloomberg Originals, sharing how she and her father decided to stop working together.

Maria recognized how important her father was in her tennis career. But she also knew that things had to change eventually.

“The best thing he did was realize that one day, he would have to step back,” she said. It was a hard decision for her father, especially since Maria had won Grand Slam titles with his help.

Maria talked about the tough conversation she had with her father when she decided to end their professional partnership after winning her third Grand Slam title at the Australian Open.

Maria Sharapova in a tennis event (Cameron Baker/Getty Images)

Even though she was nervous, she believed her father understood. “I think he knew it was time because I wanted to try doing things by myself,” she said. For Maria, being independent was really important.

Additionally, Maria explained why she wanted a new coach after winning her third Grand Slam. She said she didn’t do it for money or to win more. Instead, she wanted to follow her own path. “It’s not just about winning,” she said. “It’s a feeling, a little instinct inside me.”

In February 2024, Maria decided to email her father, telling him she wanted to change coaches. It was a hard choice, but she felt she had to do it quickly. Talking to her father in person was too difficult.

Even though it was tough, Maria’s decision to take control of her tennis career paid off. She won two more Grand Slam titles and lots of other awards after they stopped working together, showing she made the right choice.

As she grew older, Maria Sharapova’s story showed how complicated family relationships can be in professional sports and how important it is to have control over your own future.

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