Gabe Jaramillo, the Colombian -American tennis coach, is also an influencer, entrepreneur, and motivational speaker. Though he is well known for shaping tennis stars at a very early age. He is one of the most successful tennis coaches as he has gifted tennis 11 world no.1 ranked players in ATP and WTA. One among them is the legendary Russian tennis ace, Maria Sharapova. Recently, Gabe spoke about what Maria was like when she was younger.
Maria Sharapova from Jaramillo’s point of view
Maria, at the age of 6, traveled to America along with their father, Yuri Sharapova, and met Gabe. Therefore, it won’t be wrong to say that Gabe knows Maria like a parent. “She was a special player since she was 9 years old. She seemed like a harmless little girl until she picked up the racket. There, she showed her champion mentality. She always hit the ball with a lot of confidence.” He said.
Further, tennis is a game of endurance and strong mental build along with speed and tactics. A player like Maria Sharapova has both. However, she wasn’t gifted with the talent. What she had was unwavering devotion to her goal. Based on this, she built her entire gameplay. Gabe addressed the same by sharing a story.
He said, “I remember when I was 14 years old seeing her lose in the Orange Bowl against a Bartoli in December. When January arrives, we meet at the first training session and I tell her to practice serving, so that the same thing doesn’t happen to us again.”
“She remained serious, and she replied: ‘ I’m not training to play against Bartoli, that doesn’t matter to me. I’m training to play against Serena Williams.” Thus, proving how strong the five-time Grand Slam champion’s mentality was.
Sharapova’s playing style
Maria Sharapova has always been a player who opts for aggressive and dominating style of tennis while in match. She usually centers her game around powerful serves and groundstrokes. In addition, her greatest weapon has always been her backhand. However, such skills require honing.
Evidently, former world no.1 has done the work as coach Jaramillo admitted, “She spent six months playing with the left and what she did achieve is to improve his backhand a lot; he improved it a lot, so in the end it helped him.”
Further, he also informed how the Russian came up with such a strong backhand. He said, “Maria is ambidextrous, but she always played with her right, even though her dad wanted her to play with her left. Yuri tried many times.”
Thus, in the process of becoming a left-handed player to stand tall to her father’s expectations, she developed another very useful quirk.