Many tennis legends had role models when they were very young. For Roger Federer, it was Boris Becker, Stefan Edberg and Marcelo Rios. For Rafael Nadal, it was Carlos Moya. For Maria Sharapova, instead, it was... nobody. In a recent press conference, the 31-year-old said: 'I never had a role model when I was little.
Everyone was really surprised because many little kids did have a role model. But I never, never had a role model in my life, never. I did like watching someone on TV and, you know, seeing how good they play or their footwork or this and that.
But little parts of their game. I never really had an idol. In Russia, you know, you didn't have a lot of television on those days. When I was in the US, I didn't get to watch a lot. I mean, I did watch, but I didn't really pay attention.
I wasn't really serious about watching TV, seeing someone play. I was more interested in the way that I played, didn't really focus on the TV.' What inspired her to get into tennis? 'What inspired me was I just basically started playing, I just started playing, hitting against the wall.
As the years went on, you know, it became a little bit more than just hitting against the wall.' ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title