There is no secret that three of the most popular women seed in Wimbledon – ninth set Venus Williams, No. 24 Seed Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams No. 25 – would hardly class themselves as beasts.
They are all immensely successful, showing very different approaches and beliefs that have been interesting to fans and explaining why the sisters are not connected as colleagues to Mary. Nonetheless, a similar fact about the three is indisputable: for more than a decade, 30-star stars have dominated women's tennis headlines on and off the court. No other female player, not even those who have become Grand Slam champions at this time, has established herself alongside the trio in the glory game.
Another connection they surprisingly share is that all three spent valuable time during their formative years, future champions of Nick Bollettieri. Considered rightly considered one of the most influential coaches of the Open era, Bollettieri introduced the concept of the tennis academy to the game.
Bollettieri, 86, is the subject of a new Showtime documentary "Love Means Zero," in which he portrays honest and raw style that does not always flatter but has its full support.
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As the documentary highlights, Bollettieri was far more interested in hone his personal profile by creating champions than by making money. And it was not long before he saw that Serena, Venus and Maria were students. The Williams sisters occasionally trained at the Academy in Bradenton, Florida, while Sharapova entered the Bollettieri Academy at the age of 9.
"My relationship with Venus, Serena and Mary, sacred mackerel, they were different," Bollettieri said, by phone a recent interview. "Maria Sharapova, you had to kill her to beat her, and there was nothing in her mind."
"Serena and Venus were taught by their father to control the game, to run on it, and so they did it "Serena and Venus started working with the academy at 9 and 10, respectively." Her dad taught them to run for every single ball, and the girls sometimes said, "Daddy, the ball is far out there." 39 ;, and he said, 'Serena, Venus, there is no ball.'
Venus Williams (left) and Serena Williams split in the doubles against Andreja Klepac and Maria Jose Martinez Sanchez at the French Open 2018 at Roland Garros on June 3rd , (Photo: Susan Mullane-USA TODAY Sports)
All three of them were shown the way to tennis by their fathers. However, Richard Williams had a very different idea of how to make a champion for Yuri Sharapov.
"When Richard brought the girls to the academy, he told me that they would be the next Michael Jordan," Bollettieri said. "I said," Richard, what should I work on? "He said," Mr. Bollettieri, if I had to tell you what to work on, I would not be here, so I'll take my free breakfast, "and he would go, he just did not want her phrases or games played until they were 14 years old, and when the girls left the tennis court, they were not allowed to talk about tennis at all and it was kept on the tennis court. "
Bollettieri jokes about Sharapov's attitude in the square.
"When Yuri came, I thought he was the Income Taxman," Bollettieri said with a laugh. "He wrote everything down in a book and I said," What the hell is this? "Mary was everything, she would think, me or you, and that's what Mary did, her will to win, and it's not over until it's over, so was Mary and the way she is today." She made her lesson, picked up her stuff on and boom, dad and her left no social life or anything. "
Bollettieri has never chopped up words or made politically correct decisions – he has quite openly favored Andre Agassi for his classmate Jim Courier, which is a key issue Showtime documentary is – and admits to see the big picture Serena and Venus had more to showcase than Sharapova.
"I probably saw more in Venus and Serena, their build, they were strong," he said. "With Maria, she was as thin as a track, and after a while Serena started to move away, she had a very good serve, and I think if Maria Sharapova had had a big serve, she would have been twice as good as she , the serve was probably the weakest part of their game.
"In order to find a weakness in Venus and Serena, I would have had to wear four or five glasses," he added. "Technically speaking, when they were up there was none Weaknesses. Sometimes Serena is too hard on herself and she was like an actress with all her faces. Venus could have been a poker player – you never knew what she was thinking – and Maria the same way. "
There's a lesson that Bollettieri instilled in Venus Williams, now 37 with seven Grand Slam singles, Serena , 36, with an Open Era record 23 Grand Slam singles titles, and Sharapova, 31, with five Grand Slam titles, and there's still something to do that keeps them from reaching further fame.
"In my book I have not yet climbed the highest mountain, "said Bollettieri," If someone uses the word retirement, they become complacent and their lives are over. There is always a different challenge. I will never retire.