I believe that all tennis fans today stretched their smiles while chills were rushing through their bodies as Maria Sharapova fired winner after winner from all over the court, displaying the game we all admire and the determination that makes her one of the most lovable personalities on the WTA Tour.
When at the age of only 17 Masha won her first Grand Slam at Wimbledon 2004 she though that life couldn't get any better, but now, eight years later, we can safely say that she experienced an ever greater achievement: completing a career Grand Slam on the surface she once considered her worst and after a serious shoulder injury that considerably took her game backwards, forcing her to reinvent her once powerful serve. For a long time it seemed the old Maria stayed in 2008 and there was no way out, but no, that was not who Maria was destined to be, and now she's not only larger than tennis, she's larger than life!
The big celebration started with champagne showers.
Then there was this humble smile with the trophy in the locker room. By the way, just hours after Maria shared the trophy photo on Facebook, it has already attracted 115,925 likes, 5,741 shares and 14,406 comments!
Then this statement which reminds us of why we love Maria so much and why she's such an inspirational character:
I've always said this: I love playing tennis. I had so many outs in my career. I could have said, I don't need this. I have money; I have fame; I have victories; I have Grand Slams. But when your love for something is bigger than all those things, you continue to keep getting up in the morning when it's freezing outside, when you know that it can be the most difficult day, when nothing is working, when you feel like the belief sometimes isn't there from the outside world, and you seem so small. But you can achieve great things when you don't listen to all those things.
In the Roland Garros finals ceremony the announcer made a major mistake and called Maria a runner-up, but even that the 25-year-old handled with grace and an applause (see the video below, at about 55 seconds).
Moreover, during the two weeks of Roland Garros, Masha reclaimed her No.1 ranking for the first time in four years.
And, she did all the above in top fashion, with a Nike blazer designed only for the elite in style and achievement.
Congratulations, Masha! Keep inspiring us!