Although Maria Sharapova has not yet joined Twitter, an alter ego of hers has decided to fill that void by starting the @PseudoMaria account. Although the career Grand Slam winner settled for a silver medal at the Olympics, the humor of @PseudoMaria is nothing but gold. On the eve of the US Open, we talked with PM about the Olympics, playing on clay, Serena, Sugarpova, Sasha, and more.
CS: Thanks for doing this conversation with me. To start, let's talk a bit about the Olympics. What's your favorite memory from that week? How did you feel to be competing for Russia rather than yourself?
PM: You are very much welcome.
Well, I have lots of favorite memories from the Olympics. I think the most memorable one would be walking out during the opening ceremony bearing the Russian flag and knowing that everyone had come just to see me. I was a little surprised they still stuck around after I was done but I guess it's only because they were hoping to catch another glimpse of me.
Another fond memory of mine was when my good friend Chelsea Handler sat in my box all week and continued supporting me even when I was playing against her fellow countrywoman. It shows you that you may be of any nationality, but at the end of the day your loyalty to your Queen will always reign superior.
To answer your second question, competing for Russia is just a whole other feeling by itself. For me, it made me realize how proud I am to be Russian; but more importantly, how proud Russia are that I am Russian. For example, did you know they picked me out of a little under 500 athletes to bear the flag? (although in my opinion, even if there were 5 million candidates, they would still have picked me). It is also nice to have fellow Russians sit in your box to support you while you play. Thomas was a little afraid of them in the beginning, but one black eye and broken neck later, I think he's doing just fine.
How would you compare winning the silver medal to winning Roland Garros? What meant more to you?
Well, both of them are two of the biggest highlights of my career thus far. I enjoy winning and proving to people time and time again that I am the GOATess of the WTA. Asking me which one meant more to me is like asking me whether I prefer being the most popular female athlete in the world or being the highest paid. This is a tough question, but if I had to pick, it would be winning Roland Garros. Why, you ask? For starters, the silver I got from winning is much bigger than the one I got at the Olympics. Besides that, I don't like sharing. All the attention should be on me, and the French succeeded in making sure I was the star that day. Unfortunately at the Olympics, I had to share the spotlight with Serena AND Ms. Extremely Injured. That was a serious no-no. Thirdly, the Russian national anthem was played when I won Roland Garros. The Olympic committee seemed to mix up my nationality when they played the Star Spangled Banner instead. Finally, it was very nice to see that the French still love me after I said "Allez up you f------ ass" to them. Maybe I should swear to the Americans if I want to win the US Open, too.
How have you become such a clay specialist?
Me? A clay specialist? You're too kind. To be perfectly honest, I feel that with all my wealth and looks, popularity and fame, I need to give back to the society who adore me so much. You see, I've always known that I could win Roland Garros. But for the past few years, I've seen myself as a Robin Hood. I take from the rich and give to the poor. In this case, I let the unassuming players win Roland Garros (you're welcome Fran and Li) just so they know what it's like to be a champion (like me) for the day. It's all beginning to make sense now, isn't it? I have always been a clay specialist. I just decided that I would win the French this year. You know, just in case the Mayans are right and the world ends in a few months.
It's really nice of you to make sure that some of the other girls on the Tour have a chance to shine. Why do you always try especially hard to make Serena look good? Do you have some sort of agreement with her?
Actually, we do. I don't know if I'm supposed to tell you this, but Serena and I have been under a contract since I beat her twice in 2004. Since then, she realized that I am a GOATess and can defeat her. So, we came up with an agreement. At the end of the year when other players plan their tournaments for the next season, Serena and I get together to discuss which ones we want to win and which ones we will let the other underachievers win. This year, I told her I wanted to win Roland Garros. Hence her loss to Razzano. Then she told me she wanted to win the Olympics. I agreed, since the Olympic gold medal is 92% silver anyway. So, you see how we compromise? This whole 7 year losing streak to her is merely because we are under an agreement, not because I can't beat her. Because I can.
Now that you've accomplished so much in your career, what do you think is left for you to do? How much longer do you expect to continue in tennis?
It's true. I have accomplished a lot. But you see, not everyone can have the privilege of completing career grand slams like I did. It is therefore my duty to ensure that other players don't achieve the same success as I have. Sure, I have achieved a lot. But what's the point if other people achieve it, too? And that's why I continue playing (and winning). Until I am sure that the future generation will never meet all the success I have, my work is not yet done.
I haven't tried your new Sugarpova candy yet, but I'm sure that it's delicious. What sort of input did you have in the creation of it? How is the candy business different from the fashion business?
You haven't tried it yet? Oh, you poor soul. I could tell there was something lacking in your life. And thank you, it is delicious. Well, the manufacturers know how creative and innovative I am, so they were relying on most if not all of my ideas. I suggested we name the different candies according to my different personalities. For example, you have sporty, flirty, and chic. If you have read my tweets, a new release will be called 'perfect' - because that's ultimately what I am. And then people can go, "I have the Perfect pack of Sugarpova." Now, doesn't that have a ring to it? Candy is very different from fashion. You can't wear edible clothes - unless you're Lady Aga (oops, I mean Gaga). My candy range can appeal to genders of all ages, whereas my fashion collection is directed mainly at the women who need help in fashion (there are a lot of them). Speaking of this, I have actually reached out to some of the other Nike girls like Vika and Petra who obviously need help from me, but still they are choosing to wear silly headbands and bandanas. Maybe I need to tell them they are playing tennis and not martial arts. You see, everyone buys candy. Even non-tennis fans may buy Sugarpova. But it takes true fans to go to the shops to buy my clothes to wear. It is then an obvious fact that my fashion line is doing better than my candy line - because there are more Maria fans than there are people in this world.
Where will the Sharapova brand go next?
Where will my brand go next? I've thought about that at times during my champagne showers. But then I realized, does it really matter? Whatever I decide to invest in, people will still buy. Why? There is no why. I'm Maria Sharapova.
So did trying out the first edition of Sugarpova contribute to your stomach illness this month? How does your stomach feel now?
My stomach is fine now, thank you for asking. Was Sugarpova the cause of it? Of course not. As I tweeted before, the bagel Serena served me in the Olympic finals really left an effect on me. But what made my stomach worse was when I heard that some of the ATP council members are still going on about the equal prize money. I think all that is enough to give anyone indigestion.
What agreement do you have with Serena for the US Open?
My agreements with Serena are (unfortunately for you) confidential. I have let enough secrets out for this interview as it is. However, let me just say that there's a reason why I let Aga take over the no. 2 ranking. You don't simply become the no. 2 in the world having reached only one Slam final.
And, finally, you looked charming with Novak in the Head commercials. Any second thoughts about swapping Sasha for someone more accomplished (albeit less accomplished than you)?
Thank you. Novak does compliment me well. Although I am beginning to realize that it is hard to find things that don't compliment me well. I used to enjoy being with Sasha because he made me look good and even more successful than I already am. Now it's getting a bit boring. I think Sasha is beginning to realize how much I outshine him, which is probably why he hasn't shown up to my events and tournaments lately. If he is indeed looking for someone less successful, may I recommend Aga? Or 95% of the other WTA players would do, too.
Thanks again for taking the time to do this interview. Your fans will love reading it. And enjoy your stay in New York! We certainly will.
You're very welcome. Will you be at Flushing Meadows? You're invited to sit in my box if you turn up in one of my dresses. Or covered in Sugarpova. Either will do.
The statements expressed in this pseudo-interview do not in any way reflect actual facts or opinions of Maria Sharapova or anyone connected to her. This is a collaborative work of fiction intended to entertain rather than inform.