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Sharapova’s father, Yuri, worked as a dishwasher to fund Maria’s lessons.It paid off in 2002, when she first competed on the Women’s Tennis Association tour at age 15.
It was a devastating blow, especially considering that Sharapova, 28, said she had been taking the drug for 10 years for a magnesium deficiency but neglected to notice it had been added to the banned list this year.
“Even if the players don’t like each other, they converse and are cordial,” says the coach.
“That is definitely not the case with Maria.” In some ways, the coach adds, these powerful women really haven’t progressed beyond being teenagers.
Sharapova picked up her first racket in Russia at the age of 4.
Three years later, in 1994, her parents moved to Florida — arriving with just 0 — at the encouragement of Martina Navratilova, who had seen the girl play at a tennis clinic in Moscow.