Maria Sharapova paid tribute to her devoted parents after becoming the first Russian to win the Wimbledon women’s title but then created a big mystery over the inspiration behind her remarkable career.
The 17-year-old from Siberia became the second youngest winner of the Venus Rosewater Bowl thanks to a 6-1 6-4 victory over defending champion Serena Williams.
The brilliant youngster sank to her knees at the point of victory before making the now traditional climb up to the players’ box to embrace her father and coach Yuri, who had accompanied his daughter’s rise to stardom every step of the way.
She then held up the presentation ceremony while she tried to use a mobile phone to ring her mother Yelena, who had stayed behind at the family home in Florida.
“I switched on the phone but it kept switching off,” said an ecstatic Sharapova.
“I owe my mom and dad so much. Me and my dad have been though this together all through my career. Playing is a lot easier, believe me. I owe him so much.”
Sharapova, who is set to climb to eighth in the world rankings after securing her first Grand Slam triumph, also thanked her American-based coaches, Nick Bollettieri and Robert Landsdorp, but threw a veil over the mystery inspiration behind her rise to fame.
“Nick and Robert have been a big part of my life. I want to cut this trophy up.
“There is one person I’d like to thank but I’m not going to give the name of that person for inspiring me to win this tournament.”
Williams, who was hoping to become the first player to complete a hat-trick of women’s titles since Steffi Graf, was a graceful loser but insisted she would be back to attempt a third win.
“It was not my day,” she said. “Maria played a really good match.
“Of course I’ll be back. I love Wimbledon.”