Maria Sharapova’s agent Max Eisenbud says Sharapova’s dad understanding played a big part in the early development of the Russian tennis legend.
Once it became clear Sharapova was a big talent, her father Yuri moved the family to Florida to give his daughter the best possible chance to succeed.
“Maria’s dad was the most amazing and I would call him the gold standard of developing a young player,” Eisenbud said on The Functional Tennis Podcast, per Sportskeeda.
“He was never afraid to cancel practices, he was very good at reading that she is tired. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, and he could see in her face Thursday needs to be an off day, he’ll cancel practice. Played a lot of tournaments on the weekends, local tournaments, a lot of matches, competing. Never, ever, ever, ever talked about winning, ‘Play the right tennis’. He would yell at her more for playing safe, or just hoping to win, or hoping that the other person was going to miss. He wanted her to dictate and play on her own terms, and miss, have good misses.”
Eisenbud: Sharapova had a loving and caring father
Yuri Sharapov wanted to make Maria a great champion but first and foremost he was always a loving and caring father.
“People saw him as intense, in the matches he was intense. But the love and the bond that they had, I think if your parents are listening, that’s the most important thing. When tennis is all over and done, the kids have families, you want to make sure you’re part of that,” Eisenbud said.
“If you look at it, every great player has a strong parent, and parents most of a time, do a great job. But what I witnessed with a young Sharapova, a loving father who put everything on the line, but her health and everything was first. And I think that stayed true all the way through and I think it’s one of the reasons why she was able to have success and a pretty long career.”