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Old Mar 19th, 2013, 06:51 PM   #430
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 3

Tough love, I guess, from 2002..http://articles.latimes.com/2002/mar...ts/sp-tennis07

The vaunted coach observed Maria Sharapova, then a pre-teen, and issued his verdict.

"I took a look at her," he said. "I said, 'Well, I think her forehand [stinks]. And her concentration is no good. They [the family] basically didn't leave. They kept coming back for more, for more punishment. I was right. When you have someone who is very talented, everybody will start raving and never tell you the truth. But I really don't care."

It turned out Sharapova didn't care either. Lansdorp's tough words amused her, instead of scaring her, and if her dad had read about this famous coach when she was a child in Russia, well, this was where she would learn.

The comparisons between Sharapova and Kournikova aren't many. Sharapova actually seemed to enjoy being interviewed, something you can't say of Kournikova.

"I respect her," said Sharapova, a wild-card entrant. "I'm just trying to do my own thing, just trying to be Maria Sharapova, not look for anyone else's game. I try to be myself."

She cannot play another WTA event until she turns 15, which is April 19. Her parents decided to bring her to the United States when she was 7 for her tennis. Sharapova, 5 feet 9 and 108 pounds, was born in Siberia and moved to Sochi when she was 2.

"It was a hard decision," she said. "Of course it was great because I'm here doing an interview. In Russia, I could have been going to school with my friends and doing my homework and looking at Monica Seles on TV when I'm going to play her tomorrow."
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