Maria Sharapova was at the Andaz Hotel on Fifth Avenue to shoot a GIF for U.S. Open sponsor Evian a week before the upcoming Grand Slam tournament. Seeded third in women’s singles, the Russian tennis star had been in New York for three days training and making headlines with a branding stunt to change her last name to Sugarpova, her candy and now accessories line, for the tournament. But the bigger headline came two days after the Evian shoot.
On Wednesday, the U.S. Tennis Association announced Sharapova’s withdrawal from the Open to treat and recover from a shoulder injury. On her Facebook page, Sharapova writes: “I have done everything I could since Wimbledon to get myself ready but it just wasn’t enough time […] to heal my shoulder injury properly. It’s certainly not an easy decision to make ahead of one of my favorite tournaments, but I know it’s the right one that will get me back on the courts soon.”
Victor Castro for Evian Natural Spring Water
In her suite during the Evian GIF shoot, DuJour chatted with Sharapova about, well, the upcoming Open and her strict training. “It’s usually about two and a half hours on the tennis court and maybe an hour of fitness a day, then physical therapy and sports massage,” she said. Obligatory tennis talk aside, DuJour wanted to know what one does to prepare for shooting an Internet-friendly GIF.
“I don’t actually like to [prepare],” the social-savvy athlete replied. “I like to do things on the spot because I think it’s a bit more natural. And same thing with interviews—I don’t actually like to prep too much. It’s your immediate reaction to [the questions], and it’s always the best that way.”
Putting her method to the test, we take Sharapova through our DuJour questionnaire:
What has been the best day of your life?
OK, maybe I should have been prepared [laughs]. I think the day I won Wimbledon…do I have to explain why?
I think that’s pretty self-explanatory! What about the worst day?
I think the worst was when I didn’t get to see my mom for the first couple of years when I moved to the U.S. I was still young, and actually I think when you’re older, maybe it would have been tougher, but since I was young and moved to a new country and new environment, I kind of went with the flow of things. I was around kids my age and at a tennis academy, and it seemed like a lot of fun at the time. But then you start missing your mom, especially when you spend a lot of time with your father.
If you could spend a day in anyone else’s shoes, who would it be?
Dead or alive?
I’d say Audrey Hepburn. I’m just really interested in the way she went about her life and the person she was. It would have been nice to experience that.
What’s your favorite hour of the day?
Usually around 5 p.m. Not today because I had to get ready for everything, but it’s usually the time after practice when I come home and I get to have an hour by myself which is always really nice. And I get to catch up on things or actually read and write emails and have time by myself in my room.
If you could re-live any day in history, what would it be?
I probably would have liked to play Wimbledon the first year it played—that would have been pretty unique.
Did you break a sweat today? (That’s a given.)
[Laughs] I did. 9 a.m. Intervals on the treadmill, train on the court, core exercises.
If you wore a uniform everyday, what would it be?
I think I needed to study for this before! I like the soldiers’ uniform. The English soldiers—I love their uniform.
I didn’t want to today, but I ________.
Had a piece of cake. [Laughs]
What is the best conversation you had today?
[Laughs] Slim pickings here! That’s tough—I didn’t have many conversations, I was training!
How would you spend your last day on Earth?
On a deserted island, somewhere warm with a beach where they serve nice drinks. That sounds like a great day to me.