Maria Sharapova Gets Interviewed By CNN Open Court

Written by: on 19th April 2013
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CNN Sharapova
Maria Sharapova Gets Interviewed By CNN Open Court  |

Interview Credit To: CNN Open Court

(Maria Sharapova)

When I do step out on the court…I feel a certain power with what I’m doing…I want to be number one in the world. I want to win grand slams.

 

(Voiceover)

Maria Sharapova won more matches in March than any other woman on the WTA tour. She reclaimed the number 2 ranking and won the Indian Wells crown – without dropping a set. Only Serena Williams stands between her and the number 1 ranking.

 

(MS)

For some reason I want to keep working and I want to keep getting better because, you know, you can’t stand still.

 

(VO)

A year ago, she joined an elite group when she won the French Open and completed the career slam. Only “greats” like Martina, Chrissie, Steffi and Billie Jean know what that feels like.

 

(Billie Jean King)

I think it’s really admirable to see that Maria Sharapova really hung in there -never gave up, never gave up -always would fight. I really appreciate that human character -that factor more than even winning these tournaments. I just love the example of always fighting, never giving up. ”

 

(MS)

My priority when I wake up in the morning is just to become a better tennis player

 

(MS)

The core of what I have is my tennis.

 

(VO)

But four years ago, a shoulder injury threatened it all.

 

(MS)

At 21 years old, I had to have shoulder surgery and the shoulder, it’s a huge part of the tennis game. I mean, the serve is huge and my game is all around being aggressive and powerful strokes so when you’re out of the game at 9 months, when you don’t have too many examples of athletes coming back after such an injury, of course you have doubters.

 

(VO)

But one person never lost faith.

– CAR SEQUENCE —

 

(VO)

This is Max Eisenbud – Sharapova’s agent since she was 12 years old.

 

(Max Eisenbud)

I was with her when she had the shoulder surgery, I was there when she woke up. I saw her at the first rehab. I saw all the tough times. I heard all the journalists writing her off. Heard Pam Shriver saying she will never win a grand slam again.

 

(VO)

Sharapova proved her doubters wrong at Roland Garros. It was an emotional experience as Max watched Maria raise La Coupe Suzanne Lenglen.

 

(ME)

I definitely had a lot of tears.

 

(ME)

She was able to win that and get on her knees and win the French open. There was just a lot of I told you so and don’t count me out. Here’s a great champion, all the money in the world, all the glory, all the titles but she wanted to come back and win them. Just says a lot about her as a champion.

 

(VO)

But it’s off the court that Maria and Max’s business partnership has produced the most remarkable results. She may be number 2 in the tennis rankings but according to Forbes, Sharapova is the highest paid female athlete in the world. Her eye for the camera combined with Eisenbud’s business mind, have produced a string of highly lucrative sponsorship deals. In 2012, she made nearly 6 million dollars on court – but off it, a whopping 22 million dollars. No wonder she likes him close.

 

(MS)

He knows everything that’s going on. He knows where I’m going to be tomorrow, he knows where I am now

 

(MS)

He’s at the center of it all.

 

(VO)

He’s never far behind. He’s in charge not only of multi-million dollar deals but also the day-to-day travel arrangements. But there is one thing he pays more attention to than Sharapova.

 

(MS)

He’s constantly looking at his BlackBerry -if you need to get his attention -you should probably send him an email. That’s the way I see our relationship. (laughs)

 

(ME)

We do probably anywhere between thirty or seventy five emails a day between us so sometimes we don’t even have to talk on the phone

 

(MS)

It’s different because he’s very good at some things, others he’s just absolutely hopeless at like if you go to an event and you’re on the red carpet, he has no idea what’s going on. He’s like “Hey” and he’s talking to all these people and you’re like “OK, where am I going? Am I doing interviews? Or a step and repeat? What’s going on?” That’s not his forte

 

(ME)

I hope she doesn’t fire me. i have worked for her for a long time -hopefully she doesn’t fire me.

 

(MS)

But at the end of the day, he has everything, he does everything for me which is so helpful.

 

(ME)

You know, everything we’re doing now for the last couple of years have been thinking about life after tennis. We don’t want her career to end and then all of a sudden start thinking about it So, you know, i think she’s got say, four or five years and through Rio Olympics if she stays healthy and hungry.

 

(VO)

And speaking of hungry – their latest venture is one not often associated with athletes. For the first time, Sharapova has sunk her own money into a candy line called “Sugarpova.” But why is she choosing candy rather than using her image to market a healthy treat?

 

(MS)

I’ve been asked this question so much because I am a professional athlete and being healthy is such a huge part of my life – living a healthy lifestyle and understanding what foods to eat, what’s important for my body but at the end of the day as any person, whether an athlete or as someone working in an office, everyone loves a treat and everyone loves candy and when I was young and I would finish a practice, what would I ask for? I would ask for little lollipops.

 

(VO)

As ever, this is a joint venture from one of tennis’ most successful pairings. Max is the CEO but he says Maria is more than just the face.

 

(ME)

It took us 18-20 month to launch it, she worked very feverishly on everything. She put all her money in it, she was the producer, the creator, director, model, owner, she wore a lot of hats.

 

(VO)

But for now, team Sharapova insists Sugarpova is just a sideline. Tennis remains the core business. Can she defend her French title? Can she overtake Serena as number 1?

 

(MS) (Footage from CNN Talk Asia interview)

Someone said in the press conference after I won the French Open. Now you have everything. You have the won 4 grand slams. You have been number 1. You have had this tremendous amount of success. I said so what -what do you want me to do now -retire? Thanks –not happening. (laughs)

 

(VO)
At the French Open and beyond, we will see just how much more Sharapova can achieve both as a business woman, and as a champion.

 

*ENDS*

Video link: http://edition.cnn.com/video/?hpt=ite_mid#/video/sports/2013/04/18/open-court-maria-sharapova.cnn

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