Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cool Hand Sharapova Reveals Secret Weapon

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Cool Hand Sharapova Reveals Secret Weapon

Article excerpt

Byline: CHRIS JONES

MARIA SHARAPOVA revelled in the heat today and then revealed that she won the Wimbledon title and climbed to the top of the rankings using her weaker arm.

According to the Russian star she could switch to being a lefthander at any time during a match.

Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champion, had to make up her mind about which arm would bring her most success in tennis while training at the Nick Bollettieri Academy in Florida, where she was sent as a nine-year-old by her parents.

After disposing of Croatia's Jelena Kostanic 6-0, 6-1 to set up a potential fourth-round clash with Australian Open titleholder Serena Williams, Sharapova explained: "I am naturally a lefty, so I do practise it once in a while.

"When I was 10 or 11, I played lefthanded for about a year and then I played a little bit with both hands.

That lasted for a few months, then I went back to being a righty.

"But I still do a lot of things lefty. I throw with my left hand and I kick with my left foot. When I was younger, I played a little bit more lefty and there was actually a point when I didn't know if I was going to play left or right or both hands. …

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