Maria Sharapova Fronts Shape September 2013

Posted Tuesday August 6, 2013 8:20 AM GMT

In the midst of her crazy tennis schedule, Maria Sharapova took a beat to front the September 2013 issue of Shape magazine

Showing off her flawless figure for the Matt Jones-shot spread, the 26-year-old athlete opened up about her dedication to tennis and offers advice to other aspiring tennis players.

Check out a few highlights from Miss Sharapova's Q&A session below. For more, be sure to visit Shape!

On her tennis playing days:
"I started when I was only 4. But you don't play every day when you're that young. It wasn't until I was 7 and we moved from Russia to the United States that I got into serious training and spent a lot more hours practicing. I've always been fascinated by the sport. I enjoy the individual nature of the competition, the fact that it's you against your opponent. I love it most when it's a tough game and to get that moment of victory, I have to give it all."

On her reaching the age of 26 on the courts:
"If you had told me when I was 17 that I'd still be playing nearly 10 years later, I would've been like, 'Wow, that's a long time!' But here I am, and I feel so motivated to keep going. If you enjoy something and you remain physically capable of doing it well - and that's key in all sports - then you can play for many, many years."

On her tennis world tips:
"You have to find success through who you, not someone else. I admired certain players when iw as coming up, but I never had one person I wanted to emulate. So when kids say they want to be just like me, I tell them, 'No you want to do better!'"

Photo Credit: Matt Jones for Shape