"I'd jump off a plane from a tournament and go straight to the work site," the tennis great, 32, tells Architectural Digest of her house obsession

By Mackenzie Schmidt
June 27, 2019 08:10 AM

Maria Sharapova tackled building her L.A. dream house like a true champion.

“I kept telling everyone that I want this to be the best house they’ve ever done,” the tennis great tells Architectural Digest of her design team in the July/August cover story. “I tried to push their vision because I believe in all of them and want to see them shine.”

But the meticulous 32-year-old athlete and entrepreneur, who is dating Prince William’s friend Alexander Gilkes, wasn’t about to give her pros free reign. “This was my project, and I wasn’t going to delegate any part of it. I was obsessed with the process of making this home,” she says. “I’d jump off a plane from a tournament and go straight to the work site or to the architect’s office or to a kitchen manufacturer.”

“She’s competitive as hell in the best possible way,” admits one of her architects, Grant Kirkpatrick of KAA Design. “To say that she simply collaborated with us does not adequately describe her dedication and influence on the design.”

Douglas Friedman
Douglas Friedman

The modernist, glass-and-concrete home is located near the ocean, but the style is far from beachy or laid-back. Instead, the three-story abode, which features views that stretch “from Palos Verdes to Malibu,” according to AD, has a spare style.

Douglas Friedman

Sharapova, who overcame a 2016 doping scandal, was inspired by “Japanese architecture and a minimalist aesthetic,” she tells the magazine. “I didn’t grow up with lots of stuff around. For me, uncluttered means healthy. If you don’t use something, you don’t need it.”

After winning every grand slam in tennis (a feat achieved by only 10 other women), and countless other tournaments around the globe, Sharapova is a bonafide jetsetter, and wanted to bring the best of the best into her personal retreat.

“I’ve traveled all over the world and enjoyed lots of incredible spaces,” she says. “But my home is my absolute favorite. I think that’s the way it should be.”

To read the full story and see more photos, pick up the July/August issue of Architectural Digest or visit archdigest.com.