Maria Sharapova: Tennis is like a battlefield for me

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Maria Sharapova: Tennis is like a battlefield for me

In one of her press conferences, Maria Sharapova revealed who is her biggest sports idol. The Russian player, who will comeback at the Shenzhen Open to start the new season, said: 'Actually I met Michael Jordan a few years ago randomly, unexpectedly, at an airport.

Usually I don't get very star struck, but he's such a powerful person and athlete. I think he has that aura about him. It's very special. He's like, Hey, you're that tennis player. I'm like, Oh, my goodness, Michael Jordan knows who I am.

So, yeah, that was unique.' Sharapova, who will turn 32 in April next year, also spoke about how her career is different than many years ago: 'When you're young every new experience is new and different. It's just a learning experience really and you don't ‑‑you can't really take anything from the past, because maybe you haven't been in that position before.

As you grow older and you've been in different types of situations, whether winning or losing or going through tough moments or great moments or confident rides, you know how that feels like in your mind when you're on court.

When you're younger, everything that you take in is very new and fresh. It's a really good feeling, because ultimately that's what sets up the future for you.' Sharapova has basically no friends in tennis. The Russian player is extremely competitive in every match and does not give any point.

Sharapova turned 31 this year, but she is very motivated for the future. 'I treat my career and my work as a very serious profession, and I know that what has got me my success is the fact that I'm a big competitor and that I don't want to give anyone a chance.

I was never here from day one to make friendships. This is a battlefield for me, and I want to win. I think you see that passion when I'm on the court. That's my job. That's how I feel. I try to tough it out. I try to grind it out, whatever it takes.

Sometimes it's not very pretty, but at the end of the day, if I get the job done, I'm happy. When I'm away from the courts it's a very different story, even though I'm very competitive and I don't like to lose in many things.

Yeah, I'm certainly not like that as I am on the court,' said Sharapova. ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title