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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
A thread.. but not just an ordinary one, it is not about a tennis tournament, or fashion shoot, or interviews.. It is about Maria's autobiography, about Maria's life... Unstoppable is a book to read. A book to think about. A book to learn from. A book to carry in you long after you finish reading it...

It is not an ordinary story, it is a story about a kid with desire and determination and a father who had the ability to anticipate and the heart to sacrifice...
A book to get close to Maria Sharapova, the icon, the superstar, IMG persona, but more than anything to get to know Maria - the tennis player, the champion, the human.


I dare to open a thread. About the book that I am so eager to read, been anticipating it for quite some time.

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/unstoppable-maria-sharapova/1126053794?ean=9780374537593

https://www.amazon.com/Sharapova-My-Story-Maria/dp/0374279799/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1504737556&sr=8-1&keywords=unstoppable+sharapova

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34884398-unstoppable
 

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good idea this thread, I sense the need for discussion. :eek:h: Carole Bouchard (or whatever her name is) already hinted on twitter, that Maria really didn't hold back in her book. :grin2:
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Must have missed it.. Where was that tweet?
BTW I cannot upload a pic of the cover :hysteric:
 

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good idea this thread, I sense the need for discussion.
Carole Bouchard (or whatever her name is) already hinted on twitter, that Maria really didn't hold back in her book.
When you said Carole Bouchard I thought you were talking about either Wozniacki or Bouchard :lol:
 

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Maria Sharapova’s Unstoppable May Just Be the Best Part of Her Comeback Tour

SEPTEMBER 7, 2017 5:07 AM
by JULIA FELSENTHAL

In the epigraph to her new book, Unstoppable: My Life So Far, Maria Sharapova quotes Nelson Mandela, an avid tennis fan who was surely not referring to the sport when he said, “Do not judge me by my successes. Judge me by how many times I fell down and got back up again.”

By now, even the most casual tennis fan knows the story of Sharapova’s greatest misstep. In March 2016, the athlete, then 28, held a press conference to get out in front of news that she had tested positive for Meldonium, a Latvian drug doled out with Aspirin-like frequency throughout Eastern Europe, where it is used to treat a heart condition called ischemia. The World Anti-Doping Agency had newly added the supplement to its list of banned substances, expressing concerns about Meldonium’s possible ancillary performance-enhancing benefits—particularly, perhaps, given its popularity with athletes from Russia, where a shockingly robust, state-sponsored doping operation had just come to light. Sharapova was prescribed Meldonium by a family doctor in 2006 and had been taking it ever since. She hadn't bothered to read the fine print in an email alerting her to the drug’s changed status. Then, as she writes in the first line of the prologue to Unstoppable, “at some point toward the end of the 2016 Australian Open, a nurse asked me to pee in a cup.” The rest is history.

Sharapova’s negligence would cost her: She initially faced a two-year suspension from competition, later commuted to 15 months after WADA conceded that, though in violation of the rules, she had not intentionally broken them. That mandatory hiatus ended this spring, and Sharapova, now 30, got up, dusted herself off, and rejoined the tennis tour in April.

Finding her footing has been a slow process. In May, the powers that be at the French Open denied the once-top-ranked player a wild card slot. (Justifying the decision, French Tennis Federation president Bernard Guidicelli struck a rather sanctimonious tone: “It is up to Maria day after day, tournament after tournament, to find alone the strength she needs to win the big titles without owing anything to anyone.”) In June, she had to pull out of a Wimbledon qualifying match after sustaining a thigh injury. In August, to criticism from players like Caroline Wozniacki, Sharapova was granted a wild card spot to compete in the U.S. Open—a major comeback opportunity, particularly given that her then–very pregnant rival Serena Williams, the victor in 19 of their 21 head-to-head bouts, would not be in attendance—only to be knocked out in the fourth round by Anastasija Sevastova.

It’s been some time now since Maria Sharapova made news for something positive, though Unstoppable may change that. Penned with the help of journalist Rich Cohen, Sharapova’s book is an illuminating account of, as the subtitle has it, her life so far. The memoir begins and ends with its author’s experience of the doping debacle, and though most of these chapters concern life before her suspension, the incident haunts her book: Unstoppable is about everything that made Sharapova the kind of unflappable competitor who wouldn’t let a 15-month service interruption, or the very vocal disapproval of her peers, come between her and her ambition. This is the bildungsroman of a controversial champion, a portrait of the athlete as an uncommonly driven young woman.

It’s also a Horatio Alger–worthy tale of rags to riches, with a slightly nihilistic Russian twist. “This is a story about sacrifice, what you have to give up,” the athlete writes. “But it’s also just the story of a girl and her father and their crazy adventure.” Unstoppable takes Sharapova from in utero (her parents had her just after fleeing Gomel, Belarus, in the aftermath of an explosion at the nuclear plant in nearby Chernobyl) to the Black Sea resort town of Sochi, Russia, where the family settled after a stop in Siberia, and where Maria took up tennis as a knob-kneed kindergartener with a too-big racquet and an unusual knack for hitting, to Florida, where her 28-year-old father, Yuri, with $700 in his pocket, brought her at age 6 to seek their fortune, leaving Maria’s mother, Yelena, behind in the collapsing Soviet Union (she would eventually follow, several years later).

In America, the young athlete bounced from tennis academy to tennis academy (she calls it “tennis prison”) as her father, a non-English speaker with no connections in the States, struggled to find work, shelter, and, most pressingly, court time for his daughter. (There’s an ever-urgent sense that, for an ambitious young player, each day of non-practice can be the difference between success and failure.) They first eagerly, then warily, sought out brand-name coaches who could help Sharapova realize her potential. At Nick Bolletieri’s famed school, Sharapova trained in Anna Kournikova’s shadow and dressed in the older Russian’s hand-me-downs—until, rumor has it, Kournikova’s mother jealously convinced the coach that Yuri had kidnapped Maria. Father and daughter were cast out, though they would later be invited back. In the meantime, at another of these tennis factories, a vulture-like guru named Sekou Bangoura took them in, then withheld Yuri’s travel documents as a means of controlling his daughter, and proffered a contract to coach Maria that would have been tantamount to tennis slavery.

Set apart from her peers by circumstance, talent, and her preternaturally intense focus—“That was my gift. Not strength or speed. Stamina. I never got bored. Whatever I was doing, I could keep doing it forever”—Sharapova describes a lonely childhood. It was made palatable by her affection for her father—“it all just seemed like an adventure, a fairy tale,” she writes of those early years—and by her no-nonsense, immigrant attitude toward work. “You had an air about you,” remembers Bolletieri. “This is business, and you are in my way.” She describes, at 11, signing a sponsorship contract with Nike: “For the first time, I sort of understood what it was all about. Tennis is a sport, but it’s not just a sport. It’s a passion, but it’s not just a passion. It’s a business. It’s money. It’s stability for my family. I got it now. You might think this would upset or disillusion me, but the opposite was true. I finally knew why I was doing what I was doing. I finally understood the stakes. It finally made sense. From that moment, my task became clear—just go out there and win.”

That mercenary attitude toward money—it’s not for nothing that, for 11 years, Sharapova was the highest-paid female athlete in the world—has won her more than her fair share of detractors. Much has been made over the years of Sharapova’s “unlikeability.” At this point, in fact, disliking her, or at least writing about those who do, is something of a sport in and of itself (see: “Why Everyone In Tennis Hates Maria Sharapova” or “Maria Sharapova Isn’t Missed at Wimbledon Because She Is ‘Totally Unlikeable’ ”).

In a piece last spring for Raquet magazine and Longreads, Sarah Nicole Prickett sketched out the particular contours of Sharapova’s very popular unpopularity, linking the hate to the star’s keen sense of her own marketability (Prickett compares her in this respect to Taylor Swift and Ivanka Trump). Unstoppable doesn’t refute that impression, but it does reveal something of why Sharapova is who she is. The book may not make her more likeable—why, again, do we need her to be?—but it does make her a hell of a lot more knowable.

Sharapova’s a careful observer, and Unstoppable is full of astute psychological insights. Tennis, she observes, is both “my wound, and the salve for my wound.” Her unusual composure on the court derives from those motherless years: “If you don’t have a mother to cry to, you don’t cry. You just hang in there, knowing that eventually things will change—that the pain will subside, that the screw will turn.” Of her oft-criticized failure to make friends on the circuit: “If I like you, I’ll have a harder time putting you away. I don’t believe I’m the only player who feels this way, but I am one of the few who will admit it.” She writes of her much-scrutinized closeness to her father: “At times, I could not tell his dreams from my own. Or his dreams became my dreams.” She reveals of Serena Williams: “She’s never forgiven me,” either for beating her, against all odds, in the Wimbledon final in 2004, or for eavesdropping on Williams’s private display of grief afterward in their shared locker room. One of the most affecting scenes in the book reveals its author, age 12 or 13, hiding out in a woodshed to watch the Williams sisters at practice on a rare visit to Bollettieri’s. “I’d never put myself in the position of worshipping them, looking up, being a fan.” Instead, she huddled in a nearby outbuilding, peering through a knothole, “just me alone, in the dark, seeing the next 20 years of my life.”

That attention to optics, to the nuance of perception, is important. Tennis is a game that’s equal parts head and body, performance and instinct. Sharapova has always understood this. Even when she writes about life off the court, every revelation feels calculated. There’s a matter-of-factness to her tone; this is less catharsis than analysis of the very clever ways that the author has turned her deficits into her advantages. She pays close attention to the power differentials that are the subtext for any match. There is no such thing as stasis in tennis: “Everyone is always arriving or going away.” So while her title may suggest otherwise, Unstoppable serves as a reminder of why Maria Sharapova is less superhero than underdog. And that may be another crafty bit of branding: “It’s exciting when a kid wins on the biggest stage,” she writes about coming back from shoulder surgery to triumph at the 2012 French Open, a victory that clinched her career Grand Slam. Her words could just as well apply to whatever accomplishments may yet loom in her future. “That’s new life, that’s spring. But how much sweeter when a player who once had everything loses it all, and then, miraculously, gets it all back.”

https://www.vogue.com/article/maria-sharapova-unstoppable-memoir-review
 

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The Most Brilliant Autobiography for Tennis Fans – a Review

September 2, 2017
by Olivia Wild

love tennis, but I’ve never been a particular fan of Maria (or Masha, as I learned from the book) Sharapova. Despite this, I couldn’t put down ‘Unstoppable’. I was hooked from the first word to the last. This book is not your usual memoir of a top professional tennis player. Its raw honesty allows you to have a rare and unique glimpse into the world of professional tennis and what it takes to get into it.

Let me start this review by praising Yuri Sharapov, Maria’s dad. This memoir superbly describes the struggle he had on his hands. If you’re a parent thinking about teaching your extremely talented and willing little one to play tennis with some high hopes for the future, this book is the ultimate must read for you. You can find out a lot about the true extent you have to be prepared to go in order to give your offspring a realistic chance to make it to the ranks of the pros.

What Maria Sharapova’s father achieved is nothing short of unbelievably amazing. He demonstrated total commitment, dedication, and determination to help his daughter achieve his ultimate dream. Starting from living in poverty in an isolated city in the collapsing Soviet Union, he made his daughter the most celebrated young champion of Wimbledon in just 13 years.

This book is not for you if you want to read tennis gossip. It’s edited to perfection and shows that the author is as focused on emphasizing the important things surrounding professional tennis as she usually is on the tennis court to win her next point. Her insights make this memoir ‘unputdownable’.

Particularly interesting parts are her truly honest descriptions of her encounters with Serena Williams. I’ve been a great fan of Serena, and Maria’s account of why she thinks she has such a bad – 2 to 19 up to date – record against her was really thought provoking for me. I might have even figured out what may help her to beat Serena in the future. However, my theory is beyond the extent of this review. Then there are some parts in this autobiography where I had to laugh out loud. One of it was the story of hiring and firing Jimmy Connor as a coach.

If there is only one good thing which came out of Maria Sharapova’s unfair doping ban, then it’s the superb quality of this memoir. She managed to find the time to make it brilliant. On the downside the millions of tennis fans had to miss watching her play for 15 whole months which included the Rio Olympics.

The simple fact that the medication she occasionally took for more than a decade was legal up to the beginning of 2016, and she had not a single warning from the authorities during the year of 2015, tells it all. I’m amazed that WADA doesn’t test urine samples for newly added banned substances during notice periods. A single warning from WADA in 2015 would have been enough for her to avoid this unnecessary 15 months ban.

Recently even some of Maria’s WTA competitors are calling her a doper. I strongly recommend them to read at least the last few pages of this book which includes the findings of the CAS panel. The only thing these girls prove is that they’re scared of being no match for Sharapova on the court, so they have to try to ‘put her down’ outside the court.

For Masha I have this message:

Congratulations for reaching round 4 in the 2017 US Open after that long break and multiple injuries. Carry on, girl! Beat them all!

https://oliviawildbooks.wordpress.c...liant-autobiography-for-tennis-fans-a-review/
 

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Maria is not my real name. I was christened Masha.
i just now read those few pages from her book (didnt really want to, i just found it wierd if she really said that Maria wasnt her real name) - i have to admit that i laughed really loud when i read the above quote)))) because it just couldnt happen. like at all. it's either bullshit or the priest was drunk, not just tipsy, you know, but totally drunk. if she was old enough when she was christened - and she pictured it that way "I was christened Masha" - then, what can i say, it's sad.
i wont ever believe that her parents could say that to her, if she wasnt old enough to remember.

(also the "Marsha" thing, my memory served me right)))

though, it's really funny that no one corrected/edited this "Maria is not my real name" part. they just took it for granted, i guess, that Maria is _russian_ enough to not say such unbelievable bullshit.

i have two aunts - Maria Aleksandrovna and Maria Alekseevna - i never, not once, in my life called them Maria. only aunt Masha. so to me, their real name "should" be Masha too, although i always knew their full name - i mean, not always, since as early as i can remember)))

also, i think the book is already translated into russian and can be pre-ordered now, and it's out on the same date - really i mean REALLY interesting how this part was translated. because if you're russian (i mean, a russian russian in Rossiyushka) and you read THIS quote, you would start to worry "Maria, Masha, Mashen'ka, Marusya, Marusen'ka, Maria Light Of My Life Yuryevna, DID YOU FEEL WELL WHEN YOU WROTE THIS???"

details. little things. little mistakes. the "M" word.

oh well.
 

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Discussion Starter #10
avgill82 - like seriously, there are absolutly no Mashas in Russia? Like Christened Mashas, Not the diminutive of the name??
 

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Unstoppable by Maria Sharapova — breaking back

A tennis star known for paying attention to her brand has produced a compelling memoir

by: David Shaftel

Maria Sharapova overheard Serena Williams crying. That’s it, the big reveal in Unstoppable, Sharapova’s much-anticipated new memoir. Williams, says Sharapova, has hated her ever since.

The tears in question came after their first match, the 2004 Wimbledon final, in which the 17-year-old Russian upstart upset the defending champion. After the match, Sharapova entered the locker room. “What I heard, when I came in and started to change clothes, was Serena sobbing,” Sharapova writes.

There’s been bad blood ever since. “I think she hated me for taking something that she believed belonged to her,” Sharapova said. “But mostly I think she hated me for hearing her cry. She’s never forgiven me for it.”

The frigidity between the two is well known in tennis, and Williams has unquestionably channelled it to her advantage, winning 19 of the 20 matches they’ve since played.

Sharapova’s abysmal record against Williams compels her to be gracious. “She’s owned me,” the Russian says. But Sharapova also writes of being in awe of the Williams sisters as a child and admires Serena’s intimidating on-court demeanour, which mirrors Sharapova’s own. And like Williams, Sharapova has her own overbearing and eccentric stage father, Yuri Sharapov, responsible for guiding his child from threadbare origins to the sport’s upper echelon.

The surprisingly compelling Unstoppable is at its best when recounting Sharapova’s fraught early life. Sharapov, by force of sheer will, relocated his young daughter first from Gomel, in “the land of radiation” near Chernobyl, to the Black Sea resort town of Sochi. When Masha, as Sharapova was known then, was six, she and her father flew to South Florida, the American capital of tennis. They slept on sofas, relied on the kindness of strangers and snuck on to private courts to train, eventually turning up unannounced at the academy of the renowned coach, Nick Bollettieri. Amid the rich kids, Sharapova appeared “with a single change of clothes, an oversized chopped-down racket, and shoes from a factory in Minsk”.

Besides her success on the court, Sharapova’s career has also been defined for her prowess as a pitchwoman, which she says made her the target of jealousy. She signed her first deal with Nike when she was 11 and her 18th birthday party was sponsored by Motorola. More recently, she launched Sugarpova, a candy line. Because she’s always kept a beady eye on her brand, it’s apt that Sharapova recruited non-fiction master Rich Cohen as her collaborator here.

It’s Cohen’s polish that elevates Unstoppable. The writer’s own family memoir, Sweet and Low, is fantastic, and he has written engaging books on topics ranging from The Rolling Stones to the history of Israel. When Sharapova speaks of her father celebrating her Wimbledon victory by drinking “until the night itself was defeated”, it’s surely Cohen’s voice breaching the surface.

The last portion of Unstoppable is an occasionally rote retelling of the ups and downs of Sharapova’s career since her breakthrough. Of those lows, none compares with her positive test for Meldonium — a drug that potentially improves heart efficiency — at the start of the 2016 season, a time which Sharapova reveals she was considering retirement.

Sharapova writes that she started taking Meldonium in 2006 after a series of irregular electrocardiogram tests and had been taking it ever since, “as you might take baby aspirin to ward off heart attack or stroke”. Meldonium is sold over the counter in eastern Europe and was used frequently by athletes from the region. Sharapova claims that she literally missed the memo that Meldonium had been outlawed. A panel reviewing the matter determined that Sharapova had not intended to cheat, but nevertheless sentenced her to a two-year ban, later commuted to 15 months. Tellingly, no sponsor ended up dropping her permanently over the doping suspension.

Sharapova’s comeback began in April and finally gained momentum this month with a run to the fourth round at the US Open, which concludes this weekend. If nothing else, writes Sharapova, the ban has strengthened her resolve to keep playing “until they take down the nets. Until they burn my rackets. Until they stop me. And I want to see them try.”

Unstoppable: My Life So Far, by Maria Sharapova, Particular Books, RRP£20/Sarah Crichton Books, RRP$28, 304 pages

David Shaftel is the editor of Racquet, a quarterly journal of tennis

https://www.ft.com/content/31c83bc4-9221-11e7-83ab-f4624cccbabe
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Guys... have seen some small parts of the book on Twitter. She can get herself in a lot of trouble with it and make the comeback even harder... did she really need to publish it before her retirement?
 

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Guys... have seen some small parts of the book on Twitter. She can get herself in a lot of trouble with it and make the comeback even harder... did she really need to publish it before her retirement?
There won't be a PR crisis. The fact that some quotes provoked feigned outrage among a small fringe of twitter snowflakes doesn't make anything she said really terrible. Their alt-definition of racism and misogyny won't be accepted by the public.
 

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I read the first couple of pages of the book already and I really like it. I am curious to read the parts where she talks about Serena and their shared 'secret'. I just hope that the book will give her fans a sneak peak of what her life was behind the scenes.
 

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I read the first couple of pages of the book already and I really like it. I am curious to read the parts where she talks about Serena and their shared 'secret'. I just hope that the book will give her fans a sneak peak of what her life was behind the scenes.
I thought the "secret" was that she heard her sobbing in the locker room or whatever?
 

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The book will be shipped to me not until Oct 11 :hysteric: How do I survive this next whole month waiting for it? :sobbing:
 
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