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 Maria Sharapova

Born:   April, 19, 1987

Famous tennis player, Olympics-2012 Silver Champion


A famous Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova was born on April, 19, 1987 in the little Siberian town of Nyagan’. Her parents have there from Gomel (Belarus), pulling through the consequences of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Later, the family moved to Sochi. Masha has begun playing tennis when she was 4 years old. Her first trainer was Yuri Yudkin, who noticed a girl on her father’s trainings: Yuri Sharapov was found of tennis. It is curious, that Masha’s first racket was a present of another tennis celebrity to-be, Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who also lived in Sochi. According to Yudkin, Masha has already shown her outstanding qualities as a little girl. She never complained that she was tired, but the most amazing was her intellect: she understood and simulated everything the trainer showed and explained her. Moreover, Masha was (and she is still) a person of single purpose. She must win anyway!

At the age of six Masha lucked to play with Martina Navratilova, who presented master class plays in Moscow. It was a turning point in Maria’s life. Navratilova noticed a talented girl and recommended professional training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. In 1994 Maria with her father Yuri moved to Florida. Her mother Elena joined them only in two years because of visa restrictions. Yuri Sharapov has chosen the best trainer for his daughter, Robert Lansdorp, who brought up such champions like Pit Sampras, Tracy Austin and Lindsey Davenport.

Sharapova turned professional in 2001 but played just one tournament that year. In 2004 at the age of 17, she won Wimbledon, defeating Serena Williams in the final. Maria was the first Russian woman to do it. She has since won the 2006 US Open, defeating Justine Henin in the final, and the 2008 Australian Open, defeating Ana Ivanović in the final. Sharapova has represented Russia in Fed Cup, although her appearances have been controversial.

She has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in Sports Illustrated. Sharapova was the most searched-for athlete on Yahoo! in both 2005 and 2008. On July 2008, as a result of her success both on and off court, she was the world's highest-paid female athlete earning $26 million. Sharapova repeated this feat again in 2009, despite playing few matches due to injury Sharapova made $22 million between June 2008 and June 2009.

Since 2007, Sharapova began to suffer from a right shoulder injury. She underwent surgery and as a result did not play a professional singles match from August 2008 till May 2009. Because of her inability to play because of injury, she was unable to defend her ranking points. As a result, she was ranked 102 on May 18, 2009. She is currently ranked World number 60 as of June 21, 2009.

Maria is often compared with Anna Kurnikova, maybe because she's also made a shot at the model business. But for Sharapova it is not so serious. Her main business and goal is tennis, and to succeed at it. Maria lives in USA but doesn’t think about getting American citizenship, identifying herself like the Russian only. Maria says that she devotes all her wins to Russia. Maria devotes her free time shopping, listening to different music, and reading fiction in Russian and in English, preferring the Russian classic literature, especially Anton Chekhov.

In 2012, Maria has for the first time in her career won the prestigious Roland Garros title. She was elected to be a flag-bearer for the Russian team at the Olympics-2012. She then smashed all her opponents on the way to the Olympics final where she faced Serena Williams. This time round Serena has reigned at the court, only letting Maria win the silver medal. Nonetheless, this is a great result, considering these were Masha's first ever Olympic Games. 

 Her November wedding to the former NBA basketball player, Sasha Vujacic will certainly be a cherry on the cake for the year 2012. Masha and Sasha will wed on November 10, in Istanbul, Turkey where Vujacic is currently employed. 



Tags: Russian sport Maria Sharapova Russian tennis   

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