Maria Sharapova - Russian Tennis Star

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova was born on 19th April 1987 in Nyagan, Western Siberia, Russia but is currently living in Bradenton, Florida in the United States. Maria Sharapova is well known as a professional tennis player, having been a formal World number 1. At present she is ranked number 2 amongst female tennis players and has the title as the world’s highest paid female athlete and model.

Sharapova has a collection of wins to her name. She has won two Grand Slam single titles; the first one was in 2004 at the Wimbledon Championships, where she defeated Serena Williams and in 2006 after having won the title against Justine Henin-Hardenne becoming the U.S Open champion.

In 2004, Maria Sharapova was counted as the third youngest Wimbledon women’s champion, the other two being Lottie Dod and Martina Hingis. She is also the second youngest in the open era after beating the defending champion Serena Williams in the final making her also the only Russian to win that particular tournament. She finally saw defeat a couple of months later when Mary Pierce, a French player and two times Grand Slam champion beat her at the U.S. Open. The year ended well with another victory against her opponent, Williams at the season-ending WTA Championships.

Her success continued with another 22 wins on grass, this included a back-to-back Wimbledon crown and Birmingham titles as well as going as far as the semi-finals in the Australian Open when she lost to Serena Williams. Sharapova then set her sight on taking Davenport’s title as number 1, which she succeeded in doing for just a week due to Davenport sustaining a back injury. Davenport then re-ascended having won the New Haven title only to have it taken out of her hands again by Sharapova. Maria held the number one status for another six weeks before relinquishing it again to Davenport at the Zurich Open.

As third seed in 2006, Sharapova claimed her first title of the year at the Pacific Life Open at Indian Wells. She defeated fellow Russian number 4 seed Elena Dementieva making it the first time the Pacific Life Open had, had two Russians as the finalists. Sharapova took her second title of the year at Acura Classic in San Diego, defeating top seed Clijsters. For the first time Maria Sharapova will be playing for the Russian Fed Cup team in 2007.

In 1986, Sharapova’s parents moved from Gomel, Belarus, to Siberia, Russia due to the Chernobyl nuclear accident, a year later Maria was born. Sharapova’s father took her to the States at the age of 7years to attend the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida. A few years passed before her mother joined them. Although she has lived in the United States since then she still retains Russian citizenship. At the age of nineteen she has purchased a home near the Manhattan beachfront, California but with all this has yet to finish high school.


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