Teliana Pereira´s human story: from poverty to the Olympics in Rio!

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Teliana Pereira´s human story: from poverty to the Olympics in Rio!

Returning from an early loss in Bogotà, Teliana Pereira still remains an interesting player. NY Times wrote about the story of this Brazilian who had to overcome many obstacles to follow her passion for tennis and make it her job.

With two titles in career, won in 2015 against Yaroslava Shvedova and Annika Beck, she is currently World No. 86, but was 55th before this defeat. She is the only player of her country to play at these levels. She will be probably the only one to represent Brazil at the Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

To become a professional tennis player, especially at good level, you have to make a lot of sacrificies. But Teliana's story is different than the one of the other players because she had to overcome off-court problems too.

She did not have all the comforts: Her toilet was in the backyard, and the fewer times where she could eat bread for breakfast, it was a privilege. The situation was almost beyond the limit, also because Pereira, who has three brothers and three sisters, said another sister died as a baby because of dehydration and because no hospital was in the vicinity.

First time she went to school was when she was 8, and started to play tennis at 9, a little bit late if you want to become a pro. Her family was connected to tennis since the father Jose, who then became a professional tennis player too, was janitor of a tennis academy.

Pereira's days were simple, with luxury or relax: 'In the morning I went to school, and after that I had nothing to do, so I went to help my dad clean the courts and also just to stay at the tennis club' - she declared. A very important person in her life was Didier Rayon, who ran the academy, and who revealed that at a junior tournament in 2006 in Peru, Pereira had no food for an entire day.

'She didn’t have any money or a credit card, so she didn’t eat for a day until she received the money I sent to her. You can imagine the conditions.' The adversities were there when she became a pro player too, this time because of injuries: she had two operations in 2009, but in 2013 became the first women Brazilian to break top 100.

But now all the work paid off. She has been earning $834.000 in career, and also thanks to this money last year she bought a house to her mother Maria: 'Now my mom has a big house — well, not a big house — but for us it’s a perfect house.

Now we have everything.' Popular, a little bit rich and admired by many people for her tennis skills: but we must not forget her origins. ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal and La Decima: Not just a dream anymore