Russian tennis legend Olga Morozova says she admires fellow countrywoman Maria Sharapova tremendously for what she has accomplished in the sport.
Olga Morozova says she admires every step of Maria Sharapova's life
The former World No.
7 was a guest on the latest episode of Tennis United where she spoke to Bethanie Mattek-Sands about the former World No. 1 Sharapova and her contribution to the Russian sport. "She was holding the Russian flag at the Olympics.
That’s how important she is to Russian sport. My opinion is that she did so much herself that it’s actually impossible to describe. I admire every step of her life. I read her book, and of course, I knew how much effort she put into her game”.
Morozova says Sharapova's return from shoulder surgery was incredible, as she had to change her service motion and she went on to become one of the tour's most successful clay court players - winning the French Open twice.
“I think people sometimes forget what she went through. Tennis players know how tough it is to change certain things in your game. With Masha’s injuries, she changed her serve, her forehand, and a little bit of her game.
It’s not easy. Sometimes it can be difficult just to move your grip a little, but she had to change the serve, which was her base. If she had not had her serve, she would not have had a game. She made the decision to do it, and she did”.
The 71 year old also coached Elena Dementieva, when she took on eventual champion Anastasia Myskina at the 2004 French Open and spoke about the successful generation of Russian women's tennis. "When you look at Myskina, Dementieva, Kuznetsova, they all came from big sports families.
The base for training was very good; it came from the Soviet Union and it was scientifically based. That’s why we had such a good coaching system; the coaches would be with the players all the time, and players tended to stay with the same coaches for a long time, which I think is quite important.
Looking at Dementieva and Myskina, they were completely different people with different games, but they were successful because they were physically very good”. Olga Morozova was the runner-up in singles at the 1974 French Open and 1974 Wimbledon Championships.
She also won the French Open doubles event in 1974. Maria Sharapova is a five-time Grand Slam singles champion and retired from the sport earlier this year.