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Maria Sharpova Interview at the 2011 US Open

Maria Sharapova Talks Tennis, Travel, and Her Sweet Tooth

We are pumped to share one of our fave stories from Self here on FitSugar!

It's official, NYC has tennis fever! The courtside champs have been spotted around the Big Apple as they're in town for this week's US Open Tennis Championship.

Selfers mingled with tennis greats at the 12th Annual BNP Paribas Taste of Tennis including James Blake, Rafael Nadal, Mardy Fish, and Vera Zvonareva were also in the house.

I caught up with Maria Sharapova and Novak Djokovic at HEAD's Head-to-Head event (say that 10 times fast) to help kick off their new campaigns, including one where number-one ranked Djokovic does his best courtside Sharapova impersonation.

Sharapova, a self-proclaimed bag lover, recently designed a few stellar tennis bags (pictured after the break) for the premium sports equipment company HEAD. Her favorite part is that they don't automatically scream "I'm a tennis bag;" they'd also work as a cute weekend (or overnight bag the way I pack!). 

She sat down to share some of what keeps her going during tournament season.

Read on for Self's interview with tennis star Maria Sharapova.

Q: What's your go-to snack?
I'm an afternoon tea type of girl. I come from a Russian background where we love our teas. So between lunch and dinner after training I come home and I love a nice cup of tea with jam in it, as we drink it there. Black English Breakfast with raspberry jam is my favorite.

Q: What's your favorite splurge?
I have a very big sweet tooth and I love treating myself to something that I wouldn't necessarily eat during the tournament such as a nice-sized cake.

Q: How would you encourage people to get into the sport?
It's an amazing workout. You're working your core, your cardio, toning all your muscles, and it's also really fun. It can be competitive, or it can be a social thing as well.

Q: What's the one thing most people don't know about tennis players?
We travel so much and are in such great cities, but we don't get to see as much as people think. A lot of it is hotel rooms and practice court. We do splurge on really nice dinners, we like our food, and energy is really important, so nice dinners are probably as good as it gets on the road. I don't get to do as much sightseeing as I would like to.

If you want to work out like Sharapova (she has some seriously sculpted arms!), try this tennis-inspired exercise from Michelle Williams, instructor of Crunch gym's sport-specific Ripped Rotation workout. The classes uses a Smart Bell, a round weighted plate, to simulate a racket to improve strength and overall tennis skills, but you can just as easily use any kind of weight including a dumbbell or even water jug!

The Power Shot

  1. Bend at the knees and squat low as if waiting for a serve.
  2. Twist to the right and pull your right arm back. Swing powerfully to the left back across the body.
  3. Return to starting position in a low center squat.
  4. Repeat 10-12 times and then repeat with the left hand

Now that's a grand slam!

Source: HEAD

Related Links:
Drop 8 lbs. Right Now
Fuel Before a Workout With These Fat-Burning Snacks
Gear Up & Look Like a Tennis Star

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