Nick Bollettieri: Maria Sharapova was distinct from very young age



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Nick Bollettieri: Maria Sharapova was distinct from very young age

Renowned tennis coach Nick Bollettieri insists former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova was absolutely committed and dedicated to training. Bollettieri trained a number of Grand Slam champions and world No. 1s and he helped Sharapova be the player she was.

Sharapova, who retired at the beginning of the 2020 season, won five Grand Slams titles during her career. “Maria Sharapova, who arrived at my academy in Florida aged 8, was distinct from very young,” Bollettieri said.

“Aged 11 or 12 she was running her own show, on court, desperate to get to work every day. “I’d arrive to take a session and she’d give me a look that said: ‘Let’s just get this frickin’ ball game started!’.

“Maria didn’t like a lot of talk. Everything was business for her. She was never satisfied, and to be a repeat champion is never to be satisfied. “The Williams sisters were the same. They had physical abilities beyond compare, but it was focus, not letting outside distractions overtake you.

“That kept them so dominant for so long”.

Sharapova showed support for Osaka

Osaka has been publicly speaaking about her mental health since the French Open. Sharapova praised Osaka for her courage as she believes the Japanese is a good person.

"We all need to be incredbily supportive of athletes who are going through tough times in their careers. Naomi is an incredbile athlete and a beautiful human being, who has a very long career ahead of her," Shapovalov said of Osaka.

"We all need to respect the decisions that players make at times of vulnerability, when they're feeling down or not playing their best tennis. To be honest, not many people know what's going on behind-the-scenes and how players feel.

You only see the tennis game and what happens on the court. "The more support that we can provide, the better they will be and the better that they will play."