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Reach for The Top
By– Maria Sharapova
EXTRACTS FOR COMPREHENSION
Read the following extracts and answer the questions that follow in one or two lines each.
That trip to Florida with her father Yuri launched her on the path to success and stardom. But it also required a heart-wrenching two-year separation from her mother Yelena.
1. Who does ‘her’ refer to in this extract?
‘Her’ refers to the famous tennis player, Maria Sharapova.
2.From where did she make a trip to Florida and why?
She made a trip from Russia to Florida with the purpose of taking training in tennis.
3. What was the ‘heart-wrenching’ thing about the trip?
The ‘heart-wrenching’ thing was that she had to part from her mother for two years.
4. Why could her mother not accompany her?
Her mother could not accompany her because of visa restrictions.
Instead of letting that depress me, I became more quietly determined and mentally tough.
(a)Who does ‘I’ stand for?
‘I’ stands for Maria Sharapova, the world renowned tennis player.
(b)What was ‘that’ which could not depress her?
It was the undue domination and humiliating behaviour of her senior trainees in Florida that could not depress her.
(c)What was the impact of ‘that’ on her?
‘That’ made her more determined and mentally strong.
(d)What does the extract reveal about the speaker’s character?
The extract reveals that the speaker had the ability to encounter difficult situations boldly and to turn them to her advantage.
“I’m Russian. It’s true that the U.S. is a big part of my life. But I have Russian citizenship. My blood is totally Russian. I will play the Olympics for Russia if they want me.”
1. Who says these words? Why?
Maria Sharapova, the world-class tennis player, says these words. She says so because she takes immense pride in her nationality.
2. What does she say about the U.S.?
Maria acknowledges the contribution of the U.S. where she took training in tennis and became the world number one tennis player.
3. Why does the speaker say, ‘My blood is totally Russian’?
Maria claims this because she was born to Russian parents in Russia. She did spend a large part of her life in the U.S., but she proudly declares her Russian identity.
4. Given a chance, what will Maria like to do for Russia?
Being a Russian from the core of her heart, Maria would like to represent Russia in the Olympics and make them proud, if given an opportunity.
Few would grudge her the riches she is now reaping.
(a)Who does ‘she’ refer to?
She refers to Maria Sharapova, the world renowned tennis player.
(b)How is she ‘reaping’ the ‘riches’?
As she is a famous player internationally and has been declared the number one in women’s tennis, she is naturally earning a lot from her game.
(c)Why would few grudge her riches?
Everybody is aware of the fact that Maria has reached the top by making a lot of sacrifices and working extremely hard. Hence, the riches that she is earning from her game are well deserved and everybody agrees on this.
(d) Why has the word ‘reaping’ been used for riches?
The word ‘reaping’ has been used metaphorically. Just as reaping the harvest is the reward for the hard work of the farmer, similarly earning money is the reward for Maria Sharapova’s earnest efforts and sacrifice.
Tennis is a business and a sport, but the most important thing is to become number one in the world.
(a)Why does Maria call tennis ‘a business’?
For Maria, playing tennis is a professional game that can be played by following rules and regulations which is similar to how a business is run. Also, as in business, tennis too requires input in terms of hard work and brings profits in terms of name, fame and money.
(b) According to Maria, why is tennis also a ‘sport’ in addition to being a business?
Maria calls tennis a sport, in addition to being a business, as it gives excitement and thrill just like other sporting events do. Every match is filled with expectations and anxiety both among the players and the spectators.
(c) What light does the extract throw on Maria’s personality?
The extract shows that Maria is very objective in her opinions. She does not deny the worth of tennis as a monetarily rewarding sport just to sound politically correct. She is honest in admitting that tennis is like the business. However, she gives greater importance to the sporting element of the game than the money involved.
(d) Why did Maria wish to become number one in the world?
Maria wished to become the number one tennis player in the world because it was her childhood dream. She worked very hard and made a lot of sacrifices to train herself for this feat. She strove for it competitively and considered it her job.