cover image Unstoppable: My Life So Far

Unstoppable: My Life So Far

Maria Sharapova. FSG/Crichton, $28 (304p) ISBN 978-0-374-27979-0

In this insightful memoir, 30-year-old tennis star Sharapova details her life from her earliest memories to the present day. Her father, Yuri, whisked six-year-old Maria from Russia to Florida because of her tennis skills, at tennis star Martina Navratilova’s suggestion: “Your daughter can play; you need to get her out of the country to a place where she can develop her game.” What ensued for Maria was a life lived on tennis courts—either playing in tournaments or toiling in academies—partially funded by whatever work Yuri could find. Maria excelled quickly, though at the cost of a typical childhood. After winning Wimbledon at 17, she entered another isolated sphere, one of celebrity and its trappings. “In short,” she writes, “winning fucks you up.” She is similarly blunt when discussing how to lose and her rivalry with Serena Williams, whom Sharapova discovered bawling after Sharapova beat her at Wimbledon in 2004 (“I think she hated me for seeing her at her lowest moment”). Sharapova’s eloquent self-awareness provides a rare glimpse into the disorienting push and pull of a famous athlete’s life. “I know you want us to love this game—us loving it makes it more fun to watch,” she writes. “But we don’t love it. And we don’t hate it. It just is, and always has been.” 16 pages of full-color photos. (Sept.)