Tennis Forum banner

4501 - 4520 of 4534 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,708 Posts
'Shark Tank' recap: Sharks wage weighty battle to partner with Maria Sharapova

Matthew Wilson Special to USA TODAY

On Sunday’s “Shark Tank,” two wrist and ankle-weight entrepreneurs found themselves going the distance, and the sharks battled to partner with tennis star and guest shark Maria Sharapova.

Natalie Holloway and her husband Max Kislevitz are the creators of Bala Bangles, a stylish modern update of the wrist and ankle weights of the 1980s. Holloway, a certified yoga instructor, designed the weights to be hands free. Asking for $400,000 for a 10% stake in their company, they showed off their product with an impromptu aerobics class.

“Adding our weights to your workout will increase heart rate, burn fat, and build muscle,” Kislevitz said. “So when you wiggle, there will be a little less jiggle.”

The product impressed the sharks, including Kevin O’Leary, who had his fitness regime questioned by Sharapova: “When was the last time you worked out, Kevin?”

But the product's sales got the sharks even more pumped. Bala Bangles was projected to do $2.2 million in sales for 2019, online and in retail stores such as Bloomingdale's and Nordstrom. The couple needed the investment to help with an inventory shortage, and wanted Sharapova's brand endorsement.

Fortunately, Sharapova was just as interested: “I like this a lot. I think it fits in my category really well. I actually have been using the one- and two-pound weights as part of my shoulder recovery for the past year. I know all about it. I like the look and feel of it.”

Sharapova agreed to give them $400,000, but wanted 30% of the company, and hoped to partner with another shark. Cue Lori Greiner and Daymond John, who fought to get their attention.

“You now have two sharks fighting to be your partner,” O’Leary said. Mr. Wonderful had decided to go his own way and offered the couple $400,000 as a loan at 7.5% interest in exchange for 5% equity in the company.

But Sharapova only had eyes for Mark Cuban, and the two conspiratorially whispered, apart from the other sharks. Holloway and Kislevitz were willing to give up 30% of the company for $900,000.

“Don’t try to throw me under the bus,” Greiner said to Cuban and Sharapova. “Is Mark trying to woo you away from me?”

Greiner decided to offer the couple her own deal: $500,000 for 18%, but before they could consider it, Cuban revealed he and Sharapova would pay $900,000 for 30%.The couple decided to take the deal.

“It’s the first time in history I’ve seen sharks actually fight to be a partner,” O’Leary said as John and Greiner called Cuban and Sharapova "snakes."

 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,708 Posts
Maria Sharapova’s Future: Architecture and Candy, but not Coaching Tennis

A playing comeback is also a no: “I promise everyone.”

By Christopher Clarey
Feb. 29, 2020, 7:00 a.m. ET

The exit interview had just about ended last week when I asked Maria Sharapova if she would consider coaching in retirement.

Sharapova, standing tall as usual, doubled over with laughter.

Safe to say that was a no.

She also closed the door on a comeback as a player even though comebacks are a staple of women’s tennis.

“No,” she said. “I promise everyone.”

Kim Clijsters, a mother of three, recently returned to the tour at age 36 after more than seven years away from competition. Serena Williams, Sharapova’s kryptonite, is playing on in search of a record-tying 24th Grand Slam singles title at age 38, as she raises her 2-year-old daughter, Olympia.

Sharapova formally called its quits on Wednesday at 32, which seems young for a superstar to retire in this tennis era, even if Caroline Wozniacki left the game at 29 in January.

“It’s tough to compare everyone’s positions when it’s time,” Sharapova said. “I think everybody has very different things going on in their life, and I think for women there’s also the conversation of family, which is obviously a big part of Serena’s comeback after stepping away from the game for a little bit of time. But I think if there’s someone who can break records it’s her, and I have no doubt that she can.”

Sharapova, who wants to have children, said she had never envisioned playing after becoming a parent.

She said she “wouldn’t know how to do both” and would struggle to sacrifice time with her children to “dedicate hours and hours on your body and on your strength and on the court.” She added: “Those are never the circumstances I wanted to have a child around.”

Some people might take umbrage at that perspective, especially as many athletes strive for more work-life balance.

But Sharapova said her thinking was shaped in part by a two-year separation from her mother, Yelena, after she left Russia at age 6 with her father, Yuri, to train in Florida. Visa problems kept Yelena from joining them.

“That definitely influences a lot of decisions that I’ll make in the future,” Sharapova said, adding: “There’s the expression, ‘You make plans and God laughs’, and I really hope he doesn’t laugh.”

Sharapova recognizes that her parents did the best they could in a challenging situation after the move to Florida. “I’ve really had such good relationships with my mother and my dad,” she said, “but I want to give my children a sense of peace and a sense of just home.”

So how will Sharapova spend her time now that she has retired with five Grand Slam singles titles, chronic pain in her right shoulder and her forearms, and millions in the bank?

She appears well positioned no matter what she decides.

“She has got the experience. She has the brains for it and the know-how. Take your pick, commissioner of women’s sports, head of the I.O.C., I don’t know. She could go anywhere with it,” said Martina Navratilova, the tennis great who spotted a young Sharapova at a Moscow clinic and recommended that she train at IMG Academy in Florida. “It just depends what would be her next passion.”

For now, sports administration is not in her plans and might be politically complicated considering her suspension for use of the recently banned substance meldonium in 2016.

The ban has left an undeniable stain even though an arbitration panel that reduced her ban from two years to 15 months and concluded that she had not intentionally cheated. Social-media posts on her retirement have been awash in good-riddance commentary like “drug cheat” and “Sharadopa.”

“It was a situation I had to go through, and I did it in the most honest and humbling way,” Sharapova said. “And to be in my position and be so vulnerable and to say I made this mistake and to go through two trials, keep training the way I did and then come back and go on court and compete with the same amount of love for the sport is an incredible example. And I’m proud of that.”

Still, her suspension could be a potential obstacle going forward. Her 2017 autobiography, “Unstoppable,” delivered underwhelming sales in North America despite her remarkable life story.

A global star at 17 after upsetting Williams to win Wimbledon in 2004, Sharapova was among the first female athletes to build a personal brand rather than just a portfolio.

“When I retired in 2006, somebody said to me, ‘You need to work on your brand.’ And I said, ‘What is that?’” Navratilova said. “I was 50 years old, and I didn’t know what that meant. I thought, Coca-Cola? I mean, I’m a brand? Me? So she was ahead of her time, and she capitalized on it, and that shows her multi-dimensionality.”

Sharapova, of course, had vast help from her agent, Max Eisenbud, and other advisers.

Forbes has estimated that Sharapova was the world’s highest-earning female athlete for 11 consecutive years and that she made nearly $30 million in 2015. (Her career earnings were eventually overtaken by that of Williams.)

“That’s a lot more than the $900 Maria and her dad came with to the U.S.A.,” Eisenbud said.

“As an 18- or 19-year-old, she was sitting in board rooms with Nike and helping design dresses and all those types of things,” he continued, adding: “She just has this ability to understand, learn and ask questions. I’ve gone to photo shoots with so many clients, and she’s the only one who will meet with the photographer and creative team and really try to understand what they are looking for.”

Eisenbud said Sharapova’s long-term endorsement deals with Nike, Evian and Porsche would continue in retirement. She is interested in studying architecture, designing tennis and sports facilities and focusing on the management of her candy company, Sugarpova.

“I wish she would do less with the candy bit,” Navratilova said. “Sugar is just not good for kids.”

Sharapova said she would soon be headed to a business conference in Salt Lake City that she had been unable to attend as an active player.

“I’m more forward-driven, and I am also incredibly competitive,” she said. “And there are a lot of aspects in life and in business that I want to sink my teeth into.”

But as she leaves what she calls her “day job” for something new, she has continuity elsewhere. She and her boyfriend, Alexander Gilkes, a British businessman who founded an online auction site, have been together for more than two years.

“He’s been an incredibly positive influence in my life, and he’s very happy that he gets to spend more time with me,” Sharapova said, though she conceded that her more stable schedule might be disorienting. “He’s slightly worried. He keeps calling me ‘Hurricane Maria.’”

That is because during her peripatetic career she made a habit of dashing into his life and then suddenly disappearing.

“He’s like, ‘Wait, you’re not leaving for three weeks?’” Sharapova said, grinning. “I’m like, ‘Let me check. Hold on.’”

 

·
Keep calm and be gay.
Joined
·
51,019 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
10,835 Posts
I feel empty. Even if she hasn't played much these past 2 years, I never felt that empty during her times off. That surely because I know that she won't be back ever on court at some point (except exhos). Still sad but at the same happy for her and knowning that she's now in peace with herself with that announcement
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
Pointed it out myself that she had decision to make if she were to continue or not after the AO loss. Turned out to be true. I do support this decision especially after reading her essay explaining how she had to numb her shoulder in order to get through a match. That is the last thing you want to do as a professional athlete. That is the sign to step down. With that in mind and she was still producing the best she could in this circumstances, showed me she tried. The lesson I learnt is that you have to try in order to see the opportunity.

Sports is everything in life and I’m sad that the WTA players these days don’t even treasure the opportunity to be playing the sport at an elite level and be an ambassador of it. They are solely focusing on short term success and didn’t think about their impact they have with a larger audience. Some of them even stayed on with a high school mindset at 30 years old like Cilbulkova and Parmentier calling Maria out for not saying hi or not friendly on tennis court. This brought back to her famous come back interview at Stuttgart, when she asked the reporter back “what would that do to her tennis by being nice to her fellow players” classic


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
CGS
Joined
·
7,580 Posts
So I just did it, my first ever tattoos: Maria’s signature and Novak’s logo in my foreams. I had always wanted to do it, but now that she retired, I could not wait any longer and did it without any hesitation. Just wanted to share it with you guys. Now that she’s a part of my body, I will never ever forget her and all the memories that she has given me in the last 15 years.

174437


174438
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
569 Posts
So I just did it, my first ever tattoos: Maria’s signature and Novak’s logo in my foreams. I had always wanted to do it, but now that she retired, I could not wait any longer and did it without any hesitation. Just wanted to share it with you guys. Now that she’s a part of my body, I will never ever forget her and all the memories that she has given me in the last 15 years.

View attachment 174437

View attachment 174438
This is so sweet and phenomenal.

If I ever want a tattoo that would be my choice too.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,905 Posts
Some of them even stayed on with a high school mindset at 30 years old like Cilbulkova and Parmentier calling Maria out for not saying hi or not friendly on tennis court. This brought back to her famous come back interview at Stuttgart, when she asked the reporter back “what would that do to her tennis by being nice to her fellow players” classic
It drives me insane to think of the articles that would be generated by many of the same journalists that wrote negatively about Maria's persona if similar questions were asked of self-serving Social Justice Warrior and First Mother Serena. We'd have tonnes of people calling out how sexist it is to think that a woman should have to be friends with her competitors etc.

Part of me wonders why Maria didn't use that defence to shut those questions down, but I imagine she just never felt that she should have to justify herself to any of that trash. And she has always been right about that.
 

·
Heaux
Joined
·
29,721 Posts
Sports is everything in life and I’m sad that the WTA players these days don’t even treasure the opportunity to be playing the sport at an elite level and be an ambassador of it. They are solely focusing on short term success and didn’t think about their impact they have with a larger audience. Some of them even stayed on with a high school mindset at 30 years old like Cilbulkova and Parmentier calling Maria out for not saying hi or not friendly on tennis court.
SO true
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
12,443 Posts
Well, a few more days to gather my thoughts. Feeling a sense of relief after the sadness also. Her career has been one sharp breath since the press conference and now at least the relief of finality.

There had been so much uncertainty with all the injuries and withdrawals. I had actually been thinking recently about how she hadn't really played a full season since 2015 and even then injuries/illness were taking their toll. The clay swing in 2018 was the only time it's felt like she was playing full time since. Given how little she was able to to play over such a long period, I guess I had adapted to life without her already. But no matter the infrequency, I still knew I would be there for every tournament, right to the end.

Like many others, a defining chapter of my life, over. So many memories. I don't think I'll ever stan for another player like Maria. It is interesting to see the poster about following Agassi before Maria. Maybe someone will come along. Although to be honest, being older I don't know if I have the time or the energy to invest anymore. Maria's many epics and epic three set shitfests really did take it out of me.

It's amazing to see posters here who have been following her from the start and got to witness her rise. You are lucky. You got to see all of the ups as they happened. First time I saw her play was 2007 Wimbledon. I remember the 2008 Australian Open, BBC had the rights. I was too young to be allowed to stay up all night. I'd wake up and check the scores on AO website first thing. An old compaq brick of a thing with a block monitor, tucked under the stairs. I remember my jaw dropping when I seen that scoreline after the Henin match. I was in sheer awe watching the replay, on the red button, with the little green tennis ball icon to let you know it was a replay. (lol this nostalgia made me cry again). Conversely, I smashed my phone after her RG loss to Safina that year.

I second the torturous, daily MS.com refreshes after the shoulder surgery. The only updates ever being to announce her withdrawal from tournaments. But she did come back eventually, and by then I too had a laptop, and Sky/ES. I've been stanning 24/7 since.

I'm not sure how much I'll use TF now. My usage has dwindled over the years. I barely post outside SS. I guess most have migrated to Twitter but I deleted mine. I'll always check for Maria though and so long as TF remains best source of info I'm sure I'll be here in some capacity. Maybe I'll make archiving matches/shoots my next project.

So many matches with so many of us spamming the live score thread once upon a time. So many times spent looking through all the shoots in the picture thread, chatting in off topic. It was great to ride the wave with so many other fans here. And it's great to see many still posting. I know a lot have stopped with social media/passwordgate/too long period where it took at least a minute to load any page on TF/site changes.

I can't seem to find it now but there was a post asking if anyone had heard from a certain user? Maybe it was in the GM thread. I haven't but I do remember back in the day perseus2006 suddenly stopped logging in, so to you guys and to all old posters, if you lurk or got a new account after passwordgate, dsanders, Svetlio, doomsday, sickfalsetto, lefty24, craig, AnnieIWillKnow, Shivank, Vozas, Queenpova, Norbert, Tri, all the Aussies!, a lot of usernames I'm sorry I can't remember (uni killed too many brain cells), I hope you're all doing OK. I'll never forget the ride.
 

·
Keep calm and be gay.
Joined
·
51,019 Posts
Petkovic, Vekic, and Gavrilova posted some stuff. Kvitova was the first. Safina, Puig, etc. On the ATP, I saw Mardy Fish and Ryan Harrison. Novak obviously posted some Instagrams and said a lot in person.

Maybe we can compile them into one place.
I have compiled everything that I could find here: https://www.tennisforum.com/threads/complete-list-of-maria-sharapovas-retirement-tributes-from-tennis-players-and-other-public-figures.1372804/

Feel free to add if you guys found more
 

·
Heaux
Joined
·
29,721 Posts
We are so lucky in the sense that there is a ton of footage/highlights of many of Maria's matches readily available for us. Maria had incredibly devoted and loyal fans who helped promote her career through these fast highlights on youtube etc. With JamieOwen pretty much spearheading that contingent of fans.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
13,254 Posts
I have compiled everything that I could find here: Is it now time to appreciate Maria Sharapova

Feel free to add if you guys found more
Thanks for compiling. Although it seems the mods merged the thread into something else. Do you mind posting a thread here in SS, away from the ignorants instead? Just something nice we can keep for ourselves.
 
4501 - 4520 of 4534 Posts
Top