Maria Sharapova: Reach for The Top | Para Wise Explanation & Glossary | Class 9 English

Glossary and Para wise explanation of the lesson Maria Sharapova: Reach for The Top: A Russian girl, Maria Sharapova, reached the summit of women’s tennis when she was barely eighteen. As you read about her, see if you can draw a comparison between her and Santosh Yadav.

Para Wise Explanation: Maria Sharapova:


  1. Disarming: Removing hostility or suspicion, often through charm or openness.
  2. Ready smile: A smile that is easily and readily given, suggesting approachability.
  3. Glamorous attire: Fashionable and stylish clothing that enhances a person’s appearance.
  4. Pinnacle: The highest point or culmination, often used metaphorically to refer to an achievement.
  5. Poised: Composed, self-assured, and balanced in behaviour.
  6. Siberian: Relating to Siberia, a vast region in Russia known for its cold climate.
  7. Teenager: A person aged between 13 and 19 years.
  8. Professional: Someone engaged in a specific activity or sport as a paid occupation.
  9. Women’s tennis: Tennis played by women professionally or recreationally.


The para discusses Maria Sharapova’s rapid rise in women’s tennis, culminating in her attaining the world number one position on Monday, 22 August 2005. The author notes that there is something disarming about Sharapova, a quality that contrasts with her friendly smile and fashionable clothing. Despite her glamorous image, there is an element about her that sets her apart.

The para highlights Sharapova’s achievement of reaching the pinnacle of women’s tennis in just four years as a professional. The term “poised beyond her years” suggests that despite her young age, Sharapova displays composure and maturity in her professional career. The mention of her being Siberian-born adds a cultural context to her background, emphasizing her journey from a region known for its cold climate to the pinnacle of a global sport.

Overall, the para paints a picture of Sharapova as a remarkable and accomplished young tennis player, and it hints at a certain quality or charm that contributes to her success in the competitive world of women’s tennis.


  1. Rapid ascent: Swift and sudden rise or progression.
  2. Fiercely competitive: Intensely competitive, characterized by strong and determined rivalry.
  3. Sacrifice: The act of giving up something valuable or important for the sake of something else.
  4. Endure: To bear or withstand difficulties, challenges, or hardships.
  5. Packed off: Sent or dispatched, often with a sense of urgency.
  6. Path to success and stardom: The journey or route leading to achieving success and widespread recognition.
  7. Heart-wrenching: Causing intense emotional pain or distress.
  8. Separation: The state of being apart or detached from someone or something.
  9. Visa restrictions: Limitations imposed by a country on the entry of individuals from other nations.
  10. Tennis excellence: The pursuit and achievement of the highest level of skill and success in the sport of tennis.


The lesson continues to unravel Maria Sharapova’s early years, emphasizing the significant sacrifices made for her tennis career. The term “rapid ascent” underscores the quick and unexpected nature of her rise in the intensely competitive world of professional tennis.

At the age of nine, Maria was “packed off” to the United States, a decision that required her to endure a two-year separation from her mother due to visa restrictions. This underscores the sacrifices made by Maria and her family in pursuit of her tennis career. The mention of the “path to success and stardom” further emphasizes the transformative journey that began with this relocation.

The use of “heart-wrenching” adds an emotional dimension to the narrative, conveying the deep emotional pain experienced by Maria and her family during the separation. The reference to “tennis excellence” reinforces the idea that Maria and her family were aware from an early age that achieving the highest level of success in tennis would come at a significant personal and emotional cost.

In summary, this part of the lesson highlights the early sacrifices and challenges that shaped Maria Sharapova’s journey to tennis greatness, showcasing the resilience and determination that contributed to her later success on the world stage.


  1. Lonely: Feeling the sadness of being alone or isolated.
  2. Recalls: Remembers or brings to mind.
  3. Missed terribly: Felt a deep longing or yearning for someone or something.
  4. Tennis training: The systematic practice and development of skills related to the sport of tennis.


In this excerpt, Maria Sharapova reflects on a challenging aspect of her early tennis journey, expressing feelings of loneliness. The term “lonely” suggests a sense of solitude and emotional isolation experienced by Sharapova during this period.

Sharapova specifically mentions missing her mother intensely, highlighting the emotional toll of the two-year separation mentioned earlier. The phrase “missed my mother terribly” conveys a deep and profound yearning for her mother’s presence, emphasizing the emotional strain she endured while pursuing her tennis career.

Additionally, Sharapova mentions that her father, who was working tirelessly to support her tennis training, was also unable to spend much time with her. This further contributes to the overall theme of sacrifice and the challenges faced by both Sharapova and her family during her formative years in tennis.

In essence, this para provides a personal and emotional perspective, revealing the emotional hardships and sacrifices that accompanied Sharapova’s pursuit of tennis excellence. It adds a human touch to her narrative, showcasing the personal challenges behind the glamorous facade of professional success.


  1. Young: In this context, referring to an early age in childhood.
  2. Tennis pupils: Fellow individuals undergoing tennis training or education.
  3. Tidy up: Organize and clean the living space.


This excerpt provides insight into Maria Sharapova’s daily routine and the challenges she faced as a young tennis player. Being so young, Sharapova adhered to an early bedtime, going to bed at 8 p.m. This highlights the disciplined lifestyle she adopted at a tender age to support her intense tennis training and development.

The mention of “tennis pupils” refers to her fellow peers or individuals sharing the same tennis training environment. They would arrive later in the night, at 11 p.m., disrupting Sharapova’s sleep. The fact that they would wake her up and “order” her to tidy up the room and clean it indicates a hierarchical or authoritative dynamic within the training environment. This aspect of her experience adds another layer to the challenges she faced beyond the physical demands of tennis practice.

The requirement to tidy up and clean the room suggests a shared living space, possibly a dormitory or communal setting, where young tennis players were expected to take responsibility for the maintenance of their living quarters. This aspect of the narrative underscores the discipline and responsibilities instilled in Sharapova from a young age as part of her tennis training regimen.

In summary, this para provides a glimpse into the structured and disciplined lifestyle Maria Sharapova adhered to during her early years in tennis training, highlighting the challenges and responsibilities she faced in her daily routine.


  1. Depress: Cause to feel despondent or disheartened.
  2. Quietly determined: Demonstrating a strong resolve and commitment without overtly expressing it.
  3. Mentally tough: Possessing resilience and strength of mind to withstand challenges.
  4. Take care of myself: Attend to one’s own needs and well-being.
  5. Quitting: Giving up or ceasing to pursue a goal or activity.
  6. Hungry: Eager and ambitious, especially in the pursuit of success.
  7. Determined: Having a firm decision and commitment to achieving a goal.
  8. Come from nothing: Originating from a background of limited resources or opportunities.
  9. Steadfastly: With unwavering determination and commitment.
  10. Humiliation: The state of being degraded or treated with disrespect.


In this excerpt, Maria Sharapova reflects on the challenges she faced and how she responded to adversity during her early years in tennis. The use of “depress” indicates that instead of allowing difficulties to discourage or dishearten her, she adopted a mindset of quiet determination and mental toughness.

“Quietly determined” suggests that Sharapova did not overtly express her resolve but rather demonstrated it through her actions and perseverance. The term “mentally tough” emphasizes her ability to endure and overcome challenges, highlighting a key aspect of her character that contributed to her success in the competitive world of tennis.

The statement “I learnt how to take care of myself” indicates a sense of self-reliance and independence developed in response to the challenging circumstances she faced. The refusal to entertain thoughts of quitting, despite the difficulties, underscores her unwavering commitment to her goals.

The mention of coming “from nothing” implies a humble background with limited resources, and Sharapova attributes her hunger and determination to this starting point. The willingness to endure “much more humiliation and insults” speaks to the resilience and strength she developed, emphasizing her unyielding pursuit of her dream.

In summary, this para provides insight into Maria Sharapova’s mental fortitude, resilience, and determination in the face of challenges. It illustrates her ability to turn adversity into motivation, showcasing the qualities that played a crucial role in her journey from humble beginnings to the pinnacle of women’s tennis.


  1. Toughness: Resilience, strength, and the ability to withstand challenges.
  2. Bagging: Securing or winning, often used informally.
  3. Women’s singles crown: Refers to winning the championship in women’s singles tennis.
  4. Wimbledon: A prestigious tennis tournament held annually in London, England.
  5. Meteoric rise: A rapid and extraordinary ascent.


This part of the story emphasizes Maria Sharapova’s enduring toughness and how it played a pivotal role in two significant achievements in her tennis career.

The term “toughness” refers to Sharapova’s resilience, strength, and ability to face challenges head-on. The para asserts that this quality was crucial in her winning the women’s singles crown at Wimbledon in 2004, one of the most prestigious Grand Slam tournaments in tennis. “Bagging” in this context suggests that her mental toughness was a key factor in securing this championship.

The mention of her “meteoric rise” to the world number one spot the following year reinforces the idea that her mental fortitude contributed significantly to her rapid ascent in the global tennis rankings. Achieving the top-ranking position in the world is a remarkable feat and suggests sustained excellence and competitiveness, both of which are closely tied to mental toughness.

In summary, this part of the story underscores the enduring nature of Maria Sharapova’s mental toughness, highlighting its instrumental role in her victory at Wimbledon and her subsequent rise to the world number one position in women’s tennis. It further solidifies the narrative of Sharapova as a resilient and determined athlete who overcame challenges to achieve the highest levels of success in her sport.


  1. Frozen plains: Describing the cold, flat expanses of land in Siberia.
  2. Summit: The highest point or peak, often used metaphorically to refer to the pinnacle of success.
  3. Tennis fans: Enthusiastic followers and supporters of tennis.
  4. No room for sentiment: Not inclined toward emotional or sentimental considerations.
  5. Straight looks: Direct and serious facial expressions.
  6. Ambition: A strong desire to achieve a particular goal or success.
  7. Sacrifices: Giving up or enduring hardships for a greater purpose.
  8. Competitive: Having a strong desire to succeed and outperform others.
  9. Work hard: Put in a significant and dedicated effort.
  10. Job: In this context, referring to her professional commitment and responsibility.
  11. Mantra for success: A guiding principle or formula believed to lead to success.


This excerpt provides insights into Maria Sharapova’s perspective on her journey, emphasizing her pragmatic and focused approach to her tennis career.

The mention of the “frozen plains of Siberia” evokes the challenging environment of her upbringing, highlighting the contrast with the pinnacle of success in women’s tennis, referred to as the “summit.” The phrase “touched the hearts of tennis fans” suggests that Sharapova’s journey has resonated emotionally with those who follow the sport.

However, the para notes that, for Sharapova herself, there is “no room for sentiment.” This implies that she maintains a practical and business-like approach to her achievements, not allowing emotional considerations to overshadow her professional perspective. The description of “straight looks” and direct answers further reinforces her no-nonsense attitude.

Sharapova’s response to questions about her ambition reveals her competitive nature and work ethic. The statement “I am very, very competitive” indicates a strong desire to succeed, and her declaration that she works hard and considers it her job underscores the disciplined and professional approach she maintains toward her tennis career.

The phrase “It’s my job” serves as her “mantra for success,” suggesting that she views her tennis career not just as a passion but as a professional commitment that requires dedication and hard work. This pragmatic approach helps to explain her ability to navigate challenges and make the necessary sacrifices for her success.

In summary, this part of the story provides a glimpse into Maria Sharapova’s practical and competitive mindset, emphasizing her commitment to hard work and the disciplined approach she considers essential for success in professional tennis.


  1. Pronounced: Distinct and easily noticeable.
  2. Parades: Displays or shows off prominently.
  3. Nationality: Membership of a particular nation or country.
  4. Clearing all doubts: Providing clarity or resolving any uncertainties.
  5. Russian citizenship: Legal status as a citizen of Russia.
  6. Totally Russian: Completely and entirely of Russian origin.
  7. Play the Olympics: Participate in the Olympic Games.
  8. If they want me: Expressing a willingness to represent a country if invited or chosen.


This excerpt explores the dual cultural identity of Maria Sharapova and her strong connection to her Russian nationality.

The mention of Sharapova speaking with a “pronounced American accent” highlights her assimilation into American culture, likely influenced by her time spent training and living in the United States. However, the para emphasizes that despite her accent, she proudly “parades” her Russian nationality. This suggests that her cultural identity is a significant and visible part of her public persona.

Sharapova directly addresses any doubts about her national identity, stating unequivocally, “I’m Russian.” She acknowledges the importance of the U.S. in her life but emphasizes that her blood is “totally Russian,” reaffirming her deep connection to her Russian heritage.

The statement regarding playing in the Olympics for Russia adds another layer to her commitment to her homeland. By expressing her willingness to represent Russia in the Olympic Games, Sharapova makes it clear that her loyalty to her Russian citizenship goes beyond cultural ties. This statement also suggests a sense of pride and patriotism associated with her representation of Russia on the international stage.

In summary, this part of the story highlights Maria Sharapova’s pride in her Russian identity, despite her exposure to and integration into American culture. Her willingness to represent Russia in the Olympics underscores the importance of her nationality and the deep connection she maintains with her Russian roots.


  1. Teenaged sensations: Individuals who achieve fame and success at a young age, typically in their teenage years.
  2. Lists: Mentions or includes.
  3. Hobbies: Leisure activities or interests pursued for enjoyment.
  4. Novels: Extended fictional works in narrative prose.
  5. Arthur Conan Doyle: A Scottish writer best known for his detective fiction featuring Sherlock Holmes.
  6. Fondness: Affection or liking for something.
  7. Sophisticated evening gowns: Elegant and refined formal dresses for evening events.
  8. At odds with: In contrast to or conflicting with.
  9. Pancakes with chocolate spread: Pancakes topped or filled with a layer of chocolate spread.
  10. Fizzy orange drinks: Carbonated beverages with an orange flavor.


This part of the lesson sheds light on Maria Sharapova’s personal interests and hobbies, revealing a diverse range of activities.

The description of Sharapova as a “teenaged sensation” implies that, like many young individuals who achieve fame early in life, she has a range of interests beyond her professional pursuits in tennis.

The para mentions that Sharapova lists fashion, singing, and dancing as her hobbies. This showcases her multifaceted personality and suggests that she enjoys a variety of creative and artistic pursuits outside of the tennis court.

Her love for reading the novels of Arthur Conan Doyle adds a literary dimension to her interests, indicating an appreciation for classic detective fiction.

The mention of her fondness for “sophisticated evening gowns” contrasts with her enjoyment of more casual and indulgent foods like pancakes with chocolate spread and fizzy orange drinks. This contrast highlights the diversity in Sharapova’s tastes, showcasing her ability to appreciate both elegant and indulgent aspects of life.

In summary, this part of the story provides a glimpse into Maria Sharapova’s personal interests and hobbies, painting a picture of a well-rounded individual with a range of passions beyond her tennis career. The juxtaposition of her love for sophisticated fashion with more indulgent food choices adds a touch of human complexity to her public image.


  1. Pigeon-holed: To be classified or restricted to a particular category.
  2. Categorised: Placed into specific groups or classifications.
  3. Unwavering desire: A strong and persistent determination.
  4. Sacrifice: Giving up something valuable for a greater purpose.
  5. Lifted her to the top: Elevated her to the highest level of success.
  6. Grudge: To resent or feel envious about someone’s success or possessions.
  7. Riches: Wealth, prosperity, or valuable possessions.
  8. Reaping: Gaining or receiving as a result of efforts.
  9. Monetary gains: Financial benefits or earnings.
  10. Business and a sport: Referring to tennis as both a professional enterprise and a physical activity.
  11. Number one in the world: The top-ranking position in global tennis.


This passage emphasizes Maria Sharapova’s multifaceted nature and the factors that have contributed to her success in tennis.

The statement “Maria Sharapova cannot be pigeon-holed or categorized” suggests that she defies easy classification, indicating the complexity and diversity of her talents and interests.

The acknowledgment of her talent, unwavering desire to succeed, and readiness to sacrifice underscores the key elements that have propelled her to the top of the tennis world. These qualities speak to her dedication, resilience, and determination.

The mention of “few would grudge her the riches she is now reaping” implies that Sharapova’s success is well-deserved, and her achievements are not begrudged by others. This could be an acknowledgment of the challenges and sacrifices she has made throughout her career.

Sharapova’s perspective on monetary gains from tennis is candid. While she acknowledges that money is a motivation and views tennis as both a business and a sport, she prioritizes the importance of becoming “number one in the world.” This reveals a deeper passion and a focus on achieving the highest level of success in her sport, indicating that financial success is a byproduct of her pursuit of excellence.

In summary, this part of the story emphasizes Maria Sharapova’s complexity as an individual and athlete. It acknowledges the various factors contributing to her success, including talent, determination, and a focus on achieving the top rank in global tennis. The discussion of monetary gains reflects the practical aspects of professional tennis while underscoring the primacy of her sporting goals.

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