And in a huge Instagram Live chat on Tuesday afternoon that delved deeply into their lives on and off the pitch, the two big guys of all time shared the story of their first meeting.
“I was young and you were young, long before you had Grand Slam titles … and we played this little show at Indian Wells,” recalls Sharapova.
“I think we are playing mixed doubles against each other, and you said if you won, I would have to pay for dinner – and I said,” Okay, who is this kid? “
“And you won and you said,” We’re having dinner. Tonight. We’re going to Japan, “and I thought,” Are you serious? You and me? Are you going to dinner? Tonight? “
“So we did it!” You took out that old Kodak camera and asked the waiter to take a picture of us, and I thought, “I feel like I’m auctioning off for this dinner,” and here we go! I don’t have one. “I don’t remember anything we played with, but I do remember that dinner and that old camera. “
Although Djokovic confirmed that Sharapova’s memory was true, this famous photo will remain an urban legend: later he revealed that he had lost the camera.
When Sharapova’s retirement was announced in February, Djokovic praised five-time major champion on Twitter, calling her an “amazing player” and an “amazing human.”
Answering questions from him in a simulated interview style, the Russian opened up to what she hopes to do in her life after tennis, highlighting her interests in architecture, health and well-being, development of sports and art facilities.
Read more: Online in March: Sharapova zooms in, Halep sizzles, Ahn reigns supreme
“Part of this brand new” retirement problem “, whatever it really is, is exploring, having time, spending time and working on the future,” she said.
“I think one of the things I learned and learned from chapter 1.0 is that it took so many years to build the foundations, the terrain and the fundamentals, and it took years from the time we were both very young.
“Day after day, it is done without people, without crowds, without people, without recognition. Although a large part of me is ready to go and ready to work and ready to do new things, I also know that I’m a bit new and whatever I have put in place so far while I was playing, it will take a long time to develop it. “
Currently in quarantine with her parents at home, Sharapova has reflected on how she made the decision to retire and how the first months of her life after tennis-tennis were changed due to the situation. current world.
“To be honest, I have been very stubborn in the last two years with my body … I have struggled a lot with it because I kept thinking it would be an obstacle that I could overcome and that I could get better, “she said.
“It was sort of a temporary relief that I don’t put my body through this anymore … There are things that are still part of me that I carry in this transition, and some that I am ready to go.
“My father said to me, ‘Don’t you want to go out on the private property and hit a few balls? “And I said to myself:” No … No! No! ” Last night, I went to the basement and I went on the indoor stationary bike at 172 heart rates, and I think, “Why? Why am I doing this? ’
“I was ready for the transition and I think I have set up a very good base … I would say the transition is different from what I thought because of what we all face in today’s environment. ”
Questions asked by the fans to the two champions included a serious analysis of the superpower they wanted – for Sharapova, it’s invisibility – and why, the Russian finally saying that the full make-up session was like being back in tour.
“I felt like I was going out of retirement for an hour.”