The Telegraph: Maria Sharapova on her pop-up Wimbledon sweet shop
My perfect weekend: 2014 marks the 10th anniversary of Maria Sharapova’s last Wimbledon win. How else to mark it but with the opening of a new sweet shop?
By Olivia Parker
I never have a typical Friday night because my life is affected so much by my training and match schedule. If I am in a tournament, then consistency in the evenings is key. I try to eat a light meal of chicken with vegetables and be in bed by 8.30pm, so I can wake up at 7am the next morning ready to put in a 12-hour-day.
I’m not really a sleep-until-noon type of person anyway, but there’s a certain discipline that comes with being an athlete. I can definitely take the odd day off during the slower season in late autumn and winter, but training is pretty constant all year round. Exercise is now a completely natural part of my day and I actually love the way it makes me feel: it clears my head and leaves me sharper both on and off the court.
My workout varies depending on the season but I usually kick-start the day with cardio. My house in Florida is near the beach so I might go running along the sand, lift some weights or jog up a sand dune. Then I hit the court with my coach to work on drills and hone my game. In the afternoon we focus on small muscle movement and isolation exercises, say on a foot or shoulder, and then at the end of the day I do conditioning stretches, which are critical.
Saturday has always been my favourite day of the week. The Women’s Grand Slam Finals [the Australian Open, French Open, Wimbledon and the US Open] always fall on a Saturday so ever since I was a little girl growing up in Russia, I’ve spent them dreaming about winning a tournament and celebrating with a lovely dinner in the evening.
Beating Simona Halep in the French Open final a couple of weeks ago has definitely raised my excitement level for Wimbledon, particularly because 2014 is the 10th anniversary of my last win there. In the decade since, I’ve battled back from a lot of injuries and to be reminded of that [victory] makes me feel proud and lucky to have had the career I’ve had.
This Wimbledon is going to be exciting off the court, too, because I’m opening a special project, the world’s first pop-up sweets lounge in Wimbledon village. I’ve had a sweet tooth since I was little, when I’d be rewarded for good tennis practices with lollipops, and the shop, called “Sugarpova”, reflects that. It’s taken me more than a year to develop and it’s been a great learning process – we’re still working out what consumers like. I believe you can have everything in moderation, so I still love to grab some sweets or a cupcake when I win a match.
Having said that, as an athlete I have to have a strong sense of what food makes me feel best and helps me perform at my top level. I try to stay away from all processed foods, instead eating mainly veggies, fresh produce, rice, grains and lean proteins. For a weekend splurge, however, I adore sushi and my all-time favourite Saturday evening in Florida is catching up with my friends over a Mexican meal and a margarita, somewhere by the ocean. I’m not into clubbing, but my friends make me laugh and laugh.
My homes in Florida and California are really important to me and even though I spend long stretches away on the road, I take a lot of pride in how they look. The houses are modern and elegant, with very clean lines – I find design fascinating and if I wasn’t a pro athlete, I think I’d have been an architect. A couple of years ago I was lucky enough to work with Frank Gehry on the design of a pair of earrings I wore at the US Open – what an experience.
On Sundays at home, doing regular things like laundry and sleeping in my own bed are very calming and relaxing because I get to do them so rarely. I also like escaping to the beach to grab a coffee from a local shop and walk my dog, Dolce, who joins me on my travels when he can, but gets looked after by my family the rest of the time.
I love Sundays because they’re an opportunity to relax and prepare for the week ahead. They vary pretty wildly depending on my schedule, but I’ll always do brunch with friends when I can, followed by a road trip. I’ve won the Porsche Grand Prix for the last three years in Stuttgart and driving my (fully customised) Porsche Panamera is an incredibly liberating feeling.
I never know where these days will take me so I always try to look pulled together – I spend so much time in my Nike workout gear that I take any chance I get to wear something else and try out new trends. I’ve always loved fashion and I think I get that from my mother, who’s very confident in her look. My style is simple: it’s all about being comfortable but mixing and matching. So I might pair a Nike hoodie with a pair of Zara trousers and a Chloe shirt, topped off with Tom Ford sunglasses.
Of course, when occasion calls, I put my best effort in. I enjoy red-carpet shoots but I get very impatient in the hair and make-up stage so my team are good at moving it along quickly. The great thing about being on court is that I never have time to think about my make-up or my hair – I just wear sun cream and focus on my game.
My Sunday nights are all about preparation. I don’t watch much TV (or tennis, except to analyse my own matches for training purposes) because it’s difficult to stay up to date with shows when you travel so much, so instead I’ll catch up with emails and interviews and plan my schedule and itineraries for the week ahead. It’s my “me” time, and it’s very much needed.