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Sven Groeneveld’s Badge Chronicles • The Maria Sharapova Years

The Badge Chronicles

Maria Sharapova
November 2013 – March 2018

When a great friend decides to send you a Christmas care package from Beverly Hills with most of your old credentials from the time working with Maria Sharapova. This is when you must acknowledge and celebrate the time Maria and I worked together.

Max Eisenbud must get full credit for putting Maria and I together. I remember asking Max, when he used to call me for some contacts for other coaches for his clients, when one specific client with the initials MS would ever need a coach you know I am your man! So when the call came and I had just finished, after 8 years, my role within the adidas player development, I knew it was the right time for me to join Team Maria (United Nations), Yutaka Nakamura, Dieter Kindlmann, and Jerome Bianchi.

The 2014 season was a masterpiece by Maria winning 4 tournaments Stuttgart, Madrid, Roland Garros and Beijing ending the year with a 48-13 record and number 2 in the world. Click here for the Wikipedia page of that year.

Maria started 2015 with a win in Brisbane and a final at the Australian Open. Those 15 months were the most incredible months of my coaching career. The Team was strong and totally dedicated to Maria not because she demanded it but because she deserved it. The dedication and commitment on and off the court towards her fans, sponsors, family, friends and her team was incredible to witness. At the end of 2015 Maria Made a call to Kobe Bryant to ask if she could get some tickets for her team! Guess what? No problem Kobe hooked us up, with court side seats, at one of their home games. (Hence the Lakers shirt ). I am proud of having been Maria’s coach when she won her last title of her career at the end of 2017.

To this day Maria and I are great friends and I will be forever grateful for the opportunity Max gave to me.

Where to start? So many things I could share and so many things I don’t want to share because they are so precious. Something a player only can share.