We all know sportspersons are superstitious. Anything which works in a game, they are keen to hang on to or remember fondly. We have heard stories of how Sachin Tendulkar used to tie his left pad first, of cricketers not changing their seats in the dressing room etc. Now, Russian tennis legend Maria Sharapova has revealed how stepping on fox shit worked as a lucky charm in her maiden Grand Slam triumph at the Wimbledon in 2004!
The former world No. 1, who has won five Grand Slam titles, comes up with the interesting tale in her autobiography 'Unstoppable: My Life So Far'. Before the start of the 2004 Wimbledon, the Russian, who was only 17 then, reached the locker room after a practice session and then realized there was a stinking smell. Though she looked at the other players with suspicion, after a few moments it dawned on her that the foul smell was coming from her shoes and that she had stepped on dog shit.
An embarrassed Sharapova sought the help of locker-room attendant. "I stepped in dog shit and I'm not really sure what to do. I need this pair. Do you have a hose or something?''
The woman was only happy to help her. "No problem. It's Wimbledon. It happens with great frequency," she said.
Sharapova went to her locker room and started to get ready, looking for a separate pair of sneakers. As she stepped out of the locker room, an old maintenance attendant came to her. He smiled and said, "Hey there, Maria. I heard you stepped in out on the lawns."
To this Sharapova said. "Yes. I stepped in dog shit."
The old man was quick to correct her. "That isn't dog shit. I gave it a good look-over. It's fox shit!"
Sharapova responded: "Oh my God. That's awful."
The old man replied: "No. The opposite. It's wonderful. Stepping in fox shit is the best kind of good luck. The best! It probably means you're going to win the whole thing," he said smiling.
Sharapova felt that was the first hint she had that the Wimbledon campaign was going to be different for her that year.
True to the word of the old attendant, Sharapova went on to clinch the title by stunning hot favorite Serena Williams in the final.