This is how they Become Legends

Maria Sharapova – Unstoppable

Everyone loves Maria Sharapova who comes out as the model Tennis player – tall, beautiful and blonde with a flair for the game. However, her world came crashing down when she was testing positive for drug use and was banned for 2 years. In her autobiography that she penned during the time when she was not playing and contemplating about the future, Sharapova talks about the ban as well as her rise from a Russian tennis prodigy to an American tennis star who won as many as 5 Grand Slams in the era of the Williams sisters.

The book seems to have been written from the heart and that’s why when Maria (formerly Marsha) Sharapova talks about her earlier days, you connect with her because she jots down everything without blaming anyone (except the few people she despises to this day). Her rift with Anna Kournikova (whose mother didn’t like the younger, cuter Russian), her constant switching of coaches and her decision to stick to her natural style that contributed in her becoming a world-class athlete. She also tells the readers about the Chernobyl incident which she believes was the reason of her tall figure; the lanky Russian goes onto mention that it was Martina Navratilova’s advice that prompted her father to shift to the United States where he acted as father, mother and coach to make her dream come true.

There are a lot of incidents she writes about in this book but the one that stands out is her rivalry with Serena Williams. Sharapova talks about the events after she defeated the top seed American in a Grand Slam final where she heard her crying after the loss, something that still upsets Serena. You will also get to know all there is to know about the other sides of Sharapova as to how she manages to be a player and the ambassador of top brands at the same time, what are her regrets and what makes her stay grounded despite being one of the richest athletes in the world.

Pete Sampras – A Champion’s Mind

And if you didn’t know that Pete Sampras was the one who gave Sharapova a lesson or two when she was just a kid, or that he won his first and last trophy against the same opponent, then you must read the autobiography of Pistol Pete. Easily the King of Tennis in the 1990s, Pete Sampras’ career is the true representative of being picture-perfect American. His parents moved from Greece to America for a better future and that’s exactly what their son made sure of in the coming days. This book has both the heart and soul of a true champion who describes his earlier days without going overboard, details about the exploits of his friends Andre Agassi and Michael Chang as well as his father’s reaction after he became a top-ranking Tennis player. You also get to know how he got married to a Hollywood star, why he couldn’t do well at the French Open and what were the things that made him become the greatest of all champions in tennis. Then there are pictures of the American great who always remained humble during matches, hardly lost his cool and predicted a big career for the guy who defeated him for the last time at Wimbledon – Roger Federer.

Andre Agassi – Open

Remember the opponent who lost twice to Pete Sampras in two decades – that was Andre Agassi, the only tennis player to have a lengthier career than his countryman. In his much-awaited autobiography, the debonair disclosed many facts about his life and career that were not known to many. He spoke about going bald at a very young age that made him go for a wig, about his encounter with drugs during his prime and hated the game in his initial days because of various reasons. The best part about this book is that it has been told in the form of a feature film where there is a scene featuring the subject who then goes into the flashback mode to discover his life and career, the mistakes he made and the people he left behind. We all know that when he was married to Brooke Shields, they were the happiest couple on the planet but why they couldn’t carry on with the relationship, why he couldn’t match the expectations of his Iranian immigrant father who was a sportsman back in his youth and what made him despise his peers and contemporaries, Agassi opens up about it all in this book.