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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 11:31 AM Thread Starter
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Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus



Maria Sharapova is first and foremost a tennis player. There’s no doubt about that. You don’t get to No. 1 in the world, win two Grand Slams and more than a dozen tournaments by the age of 20 without having dedication to your craft.

Her desire to win is unquestioned, and she’s one of the handful of truly steely competitors on the WTA Tour. But the idea that Sharapova’s focus is so laser sharp that her occasional dalliances into modeling or her commitments to the slew of companies she endorses doesn’t take away from her game is getting a bit harder to swallow. Particularly in light of her latest, and most puzzling venture.




Sharapova has decided to add television producer to her list of growing titles. According to Variety, she’s set to produce a sports-themed drama for the CW network that will revolve around the world of women’s professional tennis. Clearly she’ll be comfortable with the subject matter. Still, why is she doing this? It’s unlikely she’ll be consumed with the day-to-day operations of the show, and is probably doing this more as a vanity project (although there will undoubtedly be the obligatory cameos). But it is another distraction.
Let’s hope that her name is being attached to this project just to add a little legitimacy to the show. Let’s hope finding a better lead-in for Gossip Girl won’t be much of an imposition on Sharapova’s time. Because face it – if this were Venus or Serena Williams taking on this venture, the derision over their misplaced priorities would loud and merciless.

Not Maria, though. She gets a pass because she vehemently denies it has an affect on her tennis. She says all her extracurriculars are just fun stuff she does during down time and the off season. Sure she’s a self-proclaimed businesswoman, but her first order of business will always be pummeling her ground strokes and taking home the winner’s check. By downplaying her interest in her diversions and claiming that her professional dedication never wavers, it’s never seen as a reason for poor performance. Venus and Serena trumpet their affection for their side projects. They’re not bashful in their defiance of being just tennis players, so it’s fair game to hammer them for it. This is particularly true for Serena who gets crucified for being unprepared and out of shape when she does decide to show up for an event.

Sharapova’s genetics protect her from suffering the same ridicule. The girl would probably have to spend a year on her couch married to a quart of Haagen-Dazs before she even started looking the least bit chunky. So she’ll always pass the eye test. But what if the injuries she started suffering this year and spotty performance, particularly late in tournaments, were a result of her not spending the requisite time on the practice court and in the gym? What if she did get out shape? At least, out of the shape a professional athlete needs to be in. What if she filmed one too many commercials, did a few too many photo shoots, and didn’t spend enough time maintaining the rhythm on her serve? A serve that was once a huge weapon, and mysteriously became a liability in the latter half of this season. The numbers don’t lie. Sharapova only played 11 tournaments so far this year (the same as the allegedly unmotivated Serena and two less than the mercurial Venus) and won just one of them. And for the first time in her career she started suffering head-scratching losses to players ranked well below her. Possible comers like Aravane Rezai, Agnieszka Radwanska, and Victoria Azarenka. The only reason Sharapova qualified for the WTA Championships is because Venus pulled out and, outside of Justine Henin, women’s tennis is mired in a pool of parity.

So how does adding television producer to her resume return her to the Grand Slam glory she claims to so desperately covet? She’s certainly entitled to use her exceptional marketability to line her pockets. Anyone in her position would gladly do the same. Somebody has to be the highest-paid female athlete on the planet and she’s as good a candidate as any. And let’s be honest, that’s what her television aspirations are all about. But she shouldn’t be a hypocrite about it. A player at her age that wants to rack up titles and get back to No. 1 doesn’t entertain fantasies of becoming d**k Wolf. It’s a guarantee that Henin isn’t spending time working on a screenplay.

With the magazine spreads and commercials, at least Sharapova’s keeping her most prized asset – her looks – in the public consciousness. That’s what makes this latest foray so bewildering. Producing a television show on second-tier network, no matter how little involvement she ultimately has, hardly seems worth the effort unless it’s something she really wants to do.

And if it is, then fine. But own up to it. She should stop pretending that these side projects are just little larks that don’t take up any of her time or energy, and admit that she likes doing things outside of tennis that have started to take a toll on her ability to play at her highest level. She maybe an endorsement machine, but Sharapova is still flesh and blood. And a girl has got to know her limitations.

Jon Levey is a senior editor at TENNIS magazine.


http://www.tennis.com/features/gener...aspx?id=107846
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

Sharapova did 2 hours PR at the US Open, the very idea that the loss to Radwanska is down to Maria being out of shape due to lack of practice thanks to too much endorsement is quite laughable.

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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 11:38 AM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

Gee havent heard that one before.....wouldnt hurt to confirm the facts before firing away either
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 11:43 AM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

She is very balanced with what she does. She only does photoshoot and endorsement stuff a few weeks out of the whole year.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

Anyone who can get into the tv business on a production level should pursue it.
It's possible this show will never make it to CW, but the potential upside to being in tv production is worth the attempt.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 11:50 AM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

Finally, It's about time the bitch Sharapova gets knocked for her outside interests.

Serena & Venus are slaughtered daily for doing things besides tennis and when Sharapova does these same things it is acceptable for her.
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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 12:03 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

Quote:
Originally Posted by maddogz48 View Post
Finally, It's about time the bitch Sharapova gets knocked for her outside interests.

Serena & Venus are slaughtered daily for doing things besides tennis and when Sharapova does these same things it is acceptable for her.
OK this is where I get shitty somtimes with some of the Williams Sister fans that dont like Masha (which is fine everyone has different taste). I really like the sisters but sometimes the fans go overboard. There is no need to say "The Bitch" it makes you sound trashy and ghetto. There are much nicer ways about getting your point or argument across without having to resort to gutter talk.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 12:18 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

i'm all for outside interests so i have no problem with her doing her thing on the side....what i do agree with though is that the media goes easy on her while they slam the sisters....that's what i don't get the media is the problem not maria and her interests

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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 12:20 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

wow, the Media build you up and brake you down. atm, she can handel all of that stuff. i just do not understand why athlete go fashion and tv stuff. i hated it when the williams sister are doing it. trust me you will always being known as a tennis player not actor, designer or producer etc...when you tennis career is starting to suck, the media will come after you to break you down.
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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 12:25 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

i don't know why people have a problem....its not a problem when you are successful but its a problem once injury comes into play...then they blame side interests....

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 12:56 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

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Originally Posted by TeAmWiLlIaMs View Post
i don't know why people have a problem....its not a problem when you are successful but its a problem once injury comes into play...then they blame side interests....

I know, it's always the same story, once they are injured all of a sudden they can't handle things outside of tennis and are 'distracted' but when they are winning and healthy it must be because they can, so silly.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 01:52 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

I would say Sharapova is probably one of the most focused athletes out there; she's hardly the best player, or mover. She's serious.
She's had some downtime because of injury. What's she supposed to do? Stay home and watch tennis on TV.

If you have any idea of how those development deals work, you can pretty much figure out how much time Sharapova needs to spend on it. They attach her name to it because they think it'll be an easier sell. They give her a "producer" credit to add to her resumé. They call her from time to time to make sure, if there are actual shots of tennis players playing, they sort of look like they can actually play.

This is not a full-time job.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 02:07 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

To be honest, I think it's because she was so injury-ridden this year, she has had time to do all these other outside activities. So it may look as if these activities are making her tennis suffer, when it could just be the factor of injuries instead....rather than a loss in focus.

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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 02:19 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

Seems to me that the writer doen not buy into the shoulder injury excuse for her lackluster results...injuries aren't mentioned. He seems to have a problem with Sharapova's denial of outside interests and its effects.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old Nov 6th, 2007, 02:25 PM
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Re: Time for Sharapova to narrow her focus

problem is that she's always had them since 04...and the media knew this cause they kept talking about them when she was winning...you're telling me he now only wants her to own up because she's not having a hot year?

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