“Unstoppable: My Life So Far” Quotes

I recently read “Unstoppable: My Life So Far” by Maria Sharapova (and Rich Cohen – which is the reason I started reading the book). Below are the quotes I found most interesting. If you like them, buy the book here.

“By toughness, Yudkin meant persistence, the quality that makes you lock in and focus when asked to do the same thing a million times. If you ask most kids to do something, they will do it once or twice, then get restless, shut down, and walk away. To be great at anything, Yudkin believed, you had to be able to endure a tremendous amount of boredom. That is, you had to be tough.” (17)

“You have a good day, it’s a good day. You put together a string of good days, you have a good career.” (46)

“If you don’t have a mother to cry to, you don’t cry. You just hang in there, knowing that eventually things will change – that the pain will subside, that the screw will turn.” (47)

“That’s what people do not understand about tennis. You do not have to be the best player in the world to win. You only have to be better, on that day, than the person across from you.” (50)

“What made my career possible? IT was not all those times he embraced challenges and said yes. Way too much credit is given to the art or act of saying yes. It was all those times he said no that made the difference. Up to this point, yes – beyond this point, no.” (68)

“At the moment of temptation – by which I mean the appearance of an easier path – he always said no. ANd he did not despair about it. Because he’s determined, and because he believed.” (68)

“Anyone can be composed and cool while winning, when everything is going according to plan. But how do you deal with a losing streak? That’s the big question – that’s what separates the professionals from the cautionary tales.” (117)

“Without those parents, you would not have the Williams sisters or Andre Agassi or me. The tennis parent is the will of the player before the player has formed a will of her own.” (127)

“Having a two-year-old around when you play a big match is great because the two-year-old is interested but does not really care, and that not caring, that happy not caring, reminds you that, in the end, all of this is nothing. There are champions now; in ten years, there will be different champions. It’s fleeting, so have fun – that’s what you get from a two-year old.” (158)

“As hard as I practice, I have learned that doing nothing is just as important as doing everything.” (161)

“I know what losing does to you. I’d learned its lessons on tennis courts all over the world. It knocks you down but also builds you up. It teaches you humility and gives you strength. It makes you aware of your flaws, which you then must do your best to correct. In this way, it can actually make you better. You become a survivor. You learn that losing is not the end of the world.” (195)

“Winning fucks you up. First of all, it brings all kinds of rewards, which, if seen from the proper perspective, reveal themselves for what they really are: distractions, traps, snares. Money, fame, opportunity. Each laurel and offer and ad and pitch takes you further from the game. It can turn your head. It can ruin you, which is why there are many great players who won just a single Grand Slam, then seemed to wander away.” (195)

“It’s the first big test of a long career – yes, you can win, but can you win again? That’s an even tougher task. The history books are littered with names of athletes who got that single big win but never got a second Grand Slam. One-hit wonders. Not because they were not great, or won by luck. But because they never figured out how to adjust after everyone else has made their adjustments.” (202)

“What sets the great players apart from the good players? The good players win when everything is working. The great players win even when nothing is working even when the game is ugly; that is, when they are not great. Because no one can be great every day. Can you get it done on the ugly days, when you feel like garbage and the tank is empty?” (247)

“I’ve worked harder with Sven than I’ve ever worked in my life. That’s how it has to be when you get a little older. You need to go twice as hard to look half as natural. You need to double your effort to get the same result. In other words, practice is everything.” (268)

“There is no perfect justice, not in this world. You can’t control what people say about you and what they think about you. You can’t plan for bad luck. You can only work your hardest and do your best and tell the truth. In the end,it’s the effort that matters. The rest is beyond your control.” (288)

Liked the quotes? Buy the book here.

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