My love for Maria Sharapova revisited

I have always been a fan of tennis. First and foremost, it’s one of the most fun sports to play. Unlike sports such as basketball, baseball and football, tennis is a complete individual effort, and that is one of the things I like about it. You don’t have teammates or coaches to give you a boost when you need it. It’s all on you.

Not many sports test your personal will, drive and inner strength more than tennis. And not to mention that it is a terrific workout.

So that is why I love the sport and why I have the utmost respect for professional tennis players. Back in the day, I was an Andre Agassi guy through and through. He was my favorite, and I always rooted for him over Sampras, even though Pete got the best of him most of the time. I also was a big Steffi Graf fan.

Unfortunately, American tennis sucks now. But the sport is still great.

And then one day in 2004, a 17-year-old girl came out of nowhere and defeated the powerhouse Serena Williams to win Wimbledon. Her name was Maria Sharapova. Since then I’ve always been a fan.

But it wasn’t until a few years ago, when Ms. Sharapova grew up and transformed from a tennis wunderkind to a professional women when I really fell in love with her.

In my mind, she is absolutely stunningly beautiful and nobody else in this world is prettier than her.

And it wasn’t just her looks that made me love her. Okay, maybe it was. But a few years ago, I suddenly found myself finding every interview she’s ever done, every video she’s ever been in, and watching them all. For a girl who has really been in the media spotlight her entire life, she just gets it. She knows not to take things too seriously, and most importantly, no matter how many microphones are in her face, she is always herself. She could not be more down to earth.

And what really solidifies my love for her is her determination on the court. She’s not even close to being the most athletic tennis player out there, in fact, she’s actually kind of awkward-looking when she plays tennis. She rarely dominates matches, but she always manages to win. The reason being is because, plain and simply, she wants it more.

Also, bear in mind that she is set for life financially. With her endorsements and her own clothing lines, she could have retired five years ago and moved to Cancun and lived out the rest of her life on a beach. Yet, she still plays the game, still works harder than anyone, and that’s because she wants to be the best. Unfortunately, she only has three grand slams to her name.

My biggest shame in life is that Maria and I never had a chance encounter in somehow. Even if it was just for five minutes. Somehow, miraculously, I think that five minutes would be all of the time I need to convince her that we should be together.

First of all, her and I have a lot in common.

I was born on April 7, 1987.

Maria was both on April 19, 1987 — just 12 days apart!

And the similarities actually end there, really. But that pretty much makes us soul mates.

I can’t help but find myself, every time Maria Sharapova is performing live on television, rooting for her harder than I have ever rooted for anything else. The reason I bring this up is because she is playing in the semifinals in the Australian Open in a couple of hours, and you’re damn right I will be watching.

You know how couples will often make their “top 5 list”, comprised of celebrities, and if by some miracle, one of them ever comes across someone on their list, they are allowed to flirt with them, and their significant other can’t object?

Well, I wouldn’t even need to make that list. I could be happily married, and love my wife more than anything in the world, and yet, if I came across Maria Sharapova, I would gladly — without a moment’s hesitation — sacrifice my marriage just to have a chance with her. In my mind, it would be absolutely worth it.

Well worth it indeed.

Everybody has a celebrity crush. For me, it will always be Maria Sharapova.

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