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Novak Djokovic reveals why he is a great fan of Maria Sharapova

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The WTA classified Maria Sharapova as the World’s number one singles on five different occasions, for a total of 21 weeks, becoming the first Russian-born tennis player in history to reach that milestone. She became number one for the first time at 18 on 22 August 2005 and for the last time in July 2012.

She has received the ESPY Award for best tennis player five times (2005, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014). The Russian has won five Grand Slam tournaments (including two in Paris) and is one of the ten female players in history to have completed the Career Grand Slam (together with Maureen Connolly, Doris Hart, Shirley Fry, Margaret Smith Court, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navrátilová, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams), a milestone reached on June 9, 2012 with the victory of her first Roland Garros.

Novak and Maria

In her career, she has won a total of 36 singles tournaments, including the WTA Finals in 2004 and 12 Premier category tournaments. According to Forbes, she has been named highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned US$285 million (including prize money) since she turned pro in 2001.

In 2018, she launched a new programme to mentor women entrepreneurs. During a recent Live chat, World number 1 Novak Djokovic admitted being a great fan of this aspect of her personality. “I was always amazed with the level of intensity that you bring out in the court.

Not just on the court, but also off the court. We’ve known each other now for a while, I mean 15 years and I know I don’t wanna say the “Real Maria” but I know the Other Maria that most of the people don’t see on the court or off the court within the premises of tennis facilities.

Once you step on to the tennis club, it’s game face on, that’s it” – the 17-time Grand Slam champion explained.

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Serena Williams insists she won’t be a ‘pushy mum’ ahead of daughter’s first tennis lesson

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Serena Williams insisted she wasn’t going to be an overprotective tennis mum after dropping her three-year-old daughter off Olympia off for her first lesson.

And she revealed little Olympia’s new instructor had no idea she’d be teaching the offspring of a 23-time Grand Slam singles winner, arguably the greatest women’s player of all time.

Serena shared the milestone moment with fans in a series of Instagram stories.

Sporting a yellow Nike cap, she said: ‘Guys, I signed Olympia up for tennis lessons.

‘Don’t even start with me because I’m not giving her tennis lessons, I signed her up for some. But the lady has no idea that it’s my daughter so we’ll see how that goes.

I’m not a pushy mom but I know how I like technique so I’ll make sure she’s good at teaching Olympia some techniques.’

Olympia showed off her new tennis outfit (Picture:@serenawilliams/Instagram)

The four-time Olympic gold medallist made sure her girl had all the best kit ahead of her first foray onto the court, including a tiny Wilson racket to match her mum’s.

Serena, known for her daring, stellar style, chose an adorable matching ensemble for Olympia’s debut.

The outfit seemed to have Olympia’s seal of approval too. A snap posted by her proud mum shows her dancing on the table, tongue-out, in the long-sleeved shirt and skirt in an abstract black-and-white pattern.

Olympia seemed less keen on her mum’s choice of pre-lesson entertainment, as Serena insisted on running over some pro match film before the lesson.

‘See the open stance there?’ Serena explained to the tot. ‘And look at the speed!’

But it seems Olympia finally got her way and convinced her mum to switch to some cartoons.

‘This is the film she wanted to watch,’ explained Serena. ‘That baby not playing tennis Olympia.’

Hard as it might have been for the fiercely competitive athlete, Serena stuck to her word and didn’t linger after leaving Olympia at her lesson.

Wearing a bright pink tank and a grey mask, she said: ‘So she’s at her tennis lesson but I’m going to leave so I’m not distracting. I know how to leave and be.

‘I’m not like an overprotective mum, no matter what [husband] Alexis [Ohanian] says.’

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