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Some paintings from Saatchi Art:

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A fun fact: an article about how she strived to win her first grand slam has been included in an English text book in India for more than 10 years. The title of the article is "Reach for the top". There are plenty of videos of Indians teaching this article on youtube. During this pandemic, several videos of "Reach for the top" are uploaded every week:

 

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Interesting news 😆:

Malayalis flood Maria Sharapova's Facebook page; this time to say sorry

M. P. Praveen

KOCHI: FEBRUARY 04, 2021 15:41 IST
UPDATED: FEBRUARY 04, 2021 15:56 IST

The tennis icon was trolled by Malayalis after she said she didn’t know Sachin Tendulkar

It would have been a sense of déjà vu for former tennis player and multiple grandslam winner Maria Sharapova when she logged in to her Facebook page. Her social media handle has been flooded with Malayalam comments once again.

Cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar’s fans, mostly Malayalis gathered on the Russia-born tennis star’s Facebook wall in 2014 when she replied, “I don’t,” to a question whether she knows Sachin. About seven years later, they are back in the comments section — this time, apologising for their earlier act.

The immediate trigger seems to be the tweet by the former cricketer, known as God of Cricket among his legion of fans, as part of identical tweets on India’s unity sent out by celebrities in response to international pop star Rihanna expressing solidarity with the ongoing farmers' stir in India.

The Malayalis flocking to the ace tennis player's social media obviously didn't like the cricketer's latest stance, which they perceive to be pro-establishment.

The comments in Malayalam range from outright funny to plain abusive of the cricketer though the common grain running through them all seems to be an apology to Sharapova for deriding her previously for the sake of a man who has let them down.

One user even posted the YouTube link of a song from a Mohanlal starring blockbuster Malayalam movie Devasuram, which is essentially picturised on the hero seeking forgiveness for misunderstanding his father.

Another user from Thrissur while apologizing for criticising her even extended an invitation to attend the famed Thrissur Pooram after the threat of Corona was over.

"Mea culpa mea culpa mea maxima culpa" went another comment while observing how the tennis star was right all along in not knowing a man whom he accused was without a spine.

Another sarcastically condescending comment appreciated "Little Maria" for her ability to separate good from bad while lamenting that the "God" had turned out to be a cheat.

"I am the sorry" commented another Malayali from Doha who sought her forgiveness before offering her shawarma and Kuzhimanthi, two Arabian delicacies, which are popular in Kerala these days.


Some background:


Indeed, a lot of comments from Indians apologizing to her under her latest facebook post 🤣:

 

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That's hilarious! Those Malayalis were absolutely nuts over Sachin and revered him as a god. It's so funny to hear them apologizing to Maria.😂
 

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Hard to believe. Been a crazy year. I don't know if her recent comments about 'pinching herself' re the timing meant that she thinks she done the right thing or if your shutdown would have given body more time to prep/heal for two Slams at end of year.
 

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Yeah I think she was so relieved and happy when she retired...she had given tennis everything she had. She was already falling apart in 2015 and the ‘break, in 16/17 didn’t help at all really so I think she was happy to be done.
True. Plus it would have been a logistical nightmare trying to train in pandemic times. Especially given the amount of shoulder work pre-match it took just to get her on court.

I don't think I'll ever not miss her playing. But I'm happy she's found peace and happiness in her life away from the game.
 

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http://instagr.am/p/CMftCTjgNN6/
@theskills Welcome to our first The Skills Bracket Contest! We are giving away 4 FREE lessons from your favorite athletes. We want YOU to choose which ones you would like to watch.

Keep your eye on our stories for the next two weeks. Vote each day on which lessons you like and see if they are the winners! We will be conducting a huge contest to determine which lesson from The Skills we will be giving out for FREE!

Make sure to engage with these stories because there may be some autographed prizes along the way... just saying 😏
 

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Maria just had another Zoom call with some fans! Like last year, I don't remember all the questions and answers but some things I remember for now:

When asked by Max who kind of impressed her from their improvement from early in their career, she specifically mentioned Vika (she was the only player Maria talked about extensively during this chat I think, and had lots of good things to say). Basically, she said she used to practice next to her during tournaments, and was always impressed with her work ethic and her "do whatever it takes to get it done" attitude. I was surprised with her answer since they were so competitive in 2012-2013, but seems she actually really admires Vika now post-retirement!

OK I just forgot all the other questions, but if anyone has anything feel free to share! They did some trivia questions, and she didn't know a lot about her stats. 😂

Max also mentioned that Maria is one of the only players, maybe the only one, who does not know how replace the overgrip on her own racquet and has no idea about strings, tensions, etc. He also said it used to be super stressful for him behind the scenes when she would reach the semifinals of Grand Slams because all the sponsors would be preparing a lot of stuff in case she wins the tournament and it's a lot of pressure, especially if she immediately "goes down 0-3." 😂 But he would not tell her about it. He also mentioned his dislike of the Australian Open 2010 outfit.

She didn't really had an answer when her team asked who she liked playing the most over her career, she just said mid-career she did really enjoy playing people who were more aggressive (I guess would give her pace and rhythm). She did mention that early in her career, every time she saw Justine's name near her on the draw, she would sometimes think to herself that "oh, it might be a short week." 😂

Sven made a cameo! They asked who her favorite coach is and mostly everyone said Sven, so she called him.

Overall it was a super nice thing for her and her team to do again, hopefully there's gonna be more! All thanks to some of her fans who helped set this up again!
 
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