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From Maria Sharapova, one of our fiercest female athletes, the captivating - and candid - story of her rise from nowhere to tennis stardom, and the unending fight to stay on top.
In 2004, in a stunning upset against the two-time defending champion Serena Williams, 17-year-old Maria Sharapova won Wimbledon, becoming an overnight sensation. Out of virtual anonymity, she launched herself onto the international stage. "Maria Mania" was born. Sharapova became a name and face recognizable worldwide. Her success would last: she went on to hold the number-one WTA ranking multiple times, to win four more Grand Slam tournaments, and to become one of the highest-grossing female athletes in the world.
And then - at perhaps the peak of her career - Sharapova came up against the toughest challenge yet: during the 2016 Australian Open, she was charged by the ITF with taking the banned substance meldonium, only recently added to the ITF's list. The resulting suspension would keep her off the professional courts for 15 months - a frighteningly long time for any athlete. The media suggested it might be fateful.
But Sharapova's career has always been driven by her determination and by her dedication to hard work. Her story doesn't begin with the 2004 Wimbledon championship, but years before, in a small Russian town, where as a five-year-old she played on drab neighborhood courts with precocious concentration. It begins when her father, convinced his daughter could be a star, risked everything to get them to Florida, that sacred land of tennis academies. It begins when the two arrived with only $700 and knowing only a few words of English. From that, Sharapova scraped together one of the most influential sports careers in history.
Here, for the first time, is the whole story, and in her own words. Sharapova's is an unforgettable saga of dedication and fortune. In this new audiobook, she brings us inside her pivotal matches and illuminates the relationships that have shaped her - with coaches, best friends, boyfriends, and Yuri, her coach, manager, father, and most dedicated fan, describing with honesty and affection their oft-scrutinized relationship. She writes frankly about the suspension. As Sharapova returns to the professional circuit, one thing is clear: the ambition to win that drove her from the public courts of Russia to the manicured lawns of Wimbledon has not diminished.
Sharapova's Unstoppable is a powerful audiobook memoir, resonant in its depiction of the will to win - whatever the odds.
Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By VFMAGator on 03-16-18
Unstoppable - But at what cost?
What did you love best about Unstoppable?
Maria does an excellent job narrating this story of her life to this point. As a tennis player I have always admired her game, competitiveness and composure on the court. This book does a great job of explaining how Maria got to this point in her life. This comes through a well-paced narrative explaining the key moments that vaulted her to tennis stardom and the impact of the harsh punishment after testing positive for Meldonium. It also portrays a little girl who was uprooted from her childhood at the age of 6, separated from her Mother for two years and never able to develop a close relationship with anyone besides her Father. While this seems normal to Maria it is sad and, even though she has had tremendous success professionally, makes me wonder if it was worth it. The domineering sports parent saga seems to be more common than ever, especially in tennis. My hope is that Maria can follow in the path of Andre Agassi when she retires finding a soul mate and leveraging the brand she has created to do good in the world.
What was one of the most memorable moments of Unstoppable?
Taking the reader through her first experience at Wimbledon and the return two years later where she secured her first major.
What does Maria Sharapova bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you just read the book?
Maria has a great speaking voice. Since this is her own story it would not have been nearly as effective if performed by a narrator.
Did you have an extreme reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Just a little sad for the reasons mentioned above. As a parent of two children a couple years younger than Maria I question the overall cost of the choice Yuri made devoting his, and Maria's life to professional tennis.
2 of 2 people found this review helpful