After winning the 2012 French Open, Maria Sharapova met with a small group of writers from various outlets, including
After Indian Wells, I did another MRI because something wasn't easy. I got a bone bruise, which you get, I think, from overuse. But I wasn't playing -- all I was doing was rehab -- so nobody could understand how I'd gotten a bone bruise. Bone bruises take a long time to heal and this was a pretty big one. So there were just a lot of different stops -- very stop and go, stop and go. Everyone had great expectations. They would say, "In a week or two you're going to be able to play and serve and have no pain," so I would go and serve, and I would just clench my teeth.
I think about it, and I feel sorry for the people that do it again because I don't know how many times that [success] can happen. There are so many roads you can take that will lead you the wrong way, that nobody will hear your name. Their (my parents') determination, their pride, their belief -- I heard endless conversations between my parents when I was going to sleep about how we would survive and how we would continue. All of them [the conversations] were about how to make me better.
My father, of course, takes responsibility for my whole career. But he was extremely smart in those situations because he knew that he wasn't a tennis expert. All he knew was that he liked tennis. He took me to all the different people who could try to make me better, whether it was somebody on the movements, somebody on the serve, somebody on the strokes. He never thought he knew it all. That was the best gift he gave me. He had books and books of educational things that he always tried to learn. One day when we were in Florida I went to his room and he was reading a book and said, "One day we're going to go to California." I was like, "Um, no we're not. I was watching the news the other day and the crime rate there is horrible. I do not want to go to California." He was like, "We're going there." I didn't even know why we were going there, and then two weeks later we were on a plane going to see [coach] Robert Lansdorp.
It's just decisions. Like I said, you can get sidetracked so easily in this life. It's so easy to see something and say, "We're going to do it, and we're going to get there." But it's not so easy.