Written by Morgan Truce
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Topics: Tennis, New York

Tuesday, 8 March 2005

image for Maria Sharapova Tells All !
"I just loved that Fli-Back!"

NEW YORK (AP) Publisher Alfred A. Knopf released the long anticipated book by Maria Sharapova. At a cabbage soup and Gatorade brunch, Mr. Knopf welcomed the triumphant Wimbledon tennis star Sharapova into the publishing world.

Still wearing her whites , the beautiful 6-foot tall blond Sharapova posed with Mr. Knopf while hundreds of photographers fought with each other for good position. Four or five of the photographers were seriously injured in the melee and were then unceremoniously tossed out the rear door of the sleazy fleabag hotel where the event was being held. Miss Sharapova was able to smile for all the photographers and guests, even though she had hit her head pretty hard on the doorjamb as she entered the hall. Explaining, "I forgot to duck!" and pointing to the big pile of gauze taped to her head, the charming Maria quickly won over all the photographers, book dealers, tennis groupies, and Russian mobsters.

For a while she was unable to bring the rowdy audience to be quiet, but soon after belting out a few of her famous screams, groans, squeals and sighs, she had the total attention of every red-blooded male in the house. "Thank all of you for coming to the release of my new book, Maria Sharapova: Squeals and Sighs. Just as soon as all of you finish your second helping of cabbage soup, I will read a few chapters of my book."

A fight immediately broke out at the only four-quart pot of soup as the Russian mobsters beat the daylights out of the book dealers. "There's plenty to go around", shouted Mr. Knopf just as several of his associates up-ended a ten-gallon cooler full of beet flavored Gatorade over his head. As the police hauled away the mobsters, Miss Sharapova was able to once again settle the crowd with a few squeals and sighs.

"I'm going to read to you from the 36th chapter of my book-"How I First Became Interested in Tennis":

"When I was a little girl living on the Black Sea, my Uncle Yevgeniy would come for his annual 8-month visit, bringing toys for me and vodka for my father. Usually he would bring a Barbie and Ken doll or some such trash, but for my fourth birthday Uncle Yevgeniy brought me a small package wrapped in an old red schmatta. I carefully unwrapped the package and squealed and sighed with delight as I saw that it was a Fli-Back. It consisted of a wooden paddle and a small rubber ball connected together by a long rubber band. How very excited I was!"

"I took the Fli-Back and ran downstairs and out the door, smacking my little head on the doorjamb. All the neighborhood children gathered around as I started paddling that little ball and watching how it would go all the way out and then the rubber band would bring it right back to the paddle. What a great toy and what great fun!"

"I paddled, and paddled, and paddled, and paddled, and paddled, and paddled, and paddled, and paddledÂ… right up until I won at Wimbledon!"

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The story above is a satire or parody. It is entirely fictitious.

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