Harpers Bazaar: Five minutes with Maria Sharapova
By Zoe Dickens
We caught up with tennis ace Maria Sharapova at Selfridges (for the launch of a collaboration between her confectionary range, Sugarpova, and Pinkberry frozen yoghurt) – to talk diet, exercise and preparing for the sport’s most famous tournament…
As an athlete, health is something that’s really important to you. How do you make sure you’re in peak condition?
I really think it’s about having a balanced diet and a balanced lifestyle. I wake up and try to drink half a litre of water which I think really purifies your body in the morning and helps you to start a new day. I try not to have too much caffeine during tournaments and find other ways of getting energy. I drink green smoothies with kale and spinach because it’s never easy to find the right vegetable at dinner or lunch. Having that in a smoothie and adding coconut water to give it good flavour always really helps. I also think you should to treat yourself at the end of the day, especially if you’ve accomplished something, because it’s important to mentally reward yourself.
How do you unwind when you’re not training for tournaments?
I really just like to relax. If I have the opportunity to go on holiday it’s usually somewhere warm with a beach, I’ll go with a few of my girlfriends or with my boyfriend. It’s so great to get out of town and go somewhere for a few days, we live a very fast-paced life so that’s always nice to have.
How do you prepare yourself for a tournament like Wimbledon?
I’ve been on tour for many years and after a while you get used to the pace of the tennis world and always moving around. I’ve been on the road now for eight weeks playing tournaments – the French Open finished a couple of weeks ago and then we came straight here to get ready for Wimbledon. You’re playing a lot of matches so for me it’s all about being rested and fresh both mentally and physically.
How do you stop the pressure getting to you during tournaments?
Tennis players are constantly surrounded by their teams and coaches so I always find it nice to have time to be in my own space, whether that’s in my hotel room or my house – I think it’s important to be in your own element. I like to cook so often I’ll just make myself dinner and enjoy being on my own.
Tennis is one of the few sports where women have become well-known stars. Why do you think this is?
Tennis is very international. So many women around the world play it because it’s not only great exercise, it’s a really social sport as well. You can go to college and get a great education while being a tennis player; a lot of students in the United States develop their tennis through schools and scholarships and it’s really good for their careers. It’s just such a worldwide sport. The women’s top 10 come from all over the globe and it’s very unique in that way.
How would you encourage more young women to get into sport?
There are so many different options when you’re young because you have so many different interests and you can go from one sport to another. Ultimately that helps you to find your passion and the sport that appeals to you most. At a certain age you really have to work out what that is because you’ll have to be dedicated and make sacrifices if you want to become professional. It takes commitment and a sense of reality, you can’t do everything but, if you really want to, you can be great at one thing.