Billie Jean melts 'Ice Queen' Sharapova
Melbourne: Maria Sharapova says she has been inspired by Billie Jean King's story to change her ice queen act and be a positive influence for younger players.
She admits her demeanour may have been selfish in the past, but says that could be about to change after being invited by King to the premier of the "Battle of the Sexes" movie.
"Billie Jean invited me to the opening in LA. I went to see it. I enjoyed it," Sharapova said at the Australian Open on Thursday. "She taught me that my example ultimately is an example for the generation to come."
Former Australian player Jelena Dokic claimed in a newspaper column Thursday that Sharapova had no friends on tour, swapped few encouraging words with younger players and her doping ban would not have increased her popularity in the locker room.
"I think I realised that," said Sharapova. "It didn't come to me so fast. Tennis is a very selfish sport. You have a team around you that do everything just for you in order for you to win.
"And although that's what it takes to be a champion, there's also a lot more to it, a lot of things that we have to think about that are not just about ourselves."
And Sharapova said that like Dokic, she would like to share her own opinions on the game as a columnist one day.