Maria Sharapova

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Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova on the cover of Sports Illustrated
Country: Russia
Residence: Bradenton, Florida, USA
Height: 188 cm (6 ft 2 in)
Weight: 59 kg (131 lbs)
Plays: Right
Turned pro: 2001
Highest singles ranking: 1 (09/12/2005)
Singles titles: 10
Career Prize Money: $4,021,489
Grand Slam Record
Titles: 1
Australian Open SF (2005)
French Open QF (2004-05)
Wimbledon W (2004)
U.S. Open SF (2005)

Maria Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова, Maria Yuryevna Sharapova; born April 19, 1987) is a Russian professional tennis player, and currently World No. 3. Her parents are originally from Homiel, Belarus, but moved to Russia in 1986 in the aftermath of the Chernobyl nuclear accident. Sharapova was born in Nyagan, Russia, the following year.



At the age of three, Sharapova moved with her family to the resort town of Sochi, beginning to play tennis at the age of four, using a racquet given to her by Yevgeny Kafelnikov's father. At age five or six, at a tennis clinic in Moscow, Sharapova was spotted by Martina Navratilova, who urged her parents to get her serious coaching in the United States.

In 2004, Sharapova became the second youngest Wimbledon women's champion in the Open Era (after Martina Hingis) by defeating defending two-time champion Serena Williams in straight sets (6-1, 6-4). In the process she also became the first Russian ever to win that tournament.

Maria Sharapova uses the Prince Shark Racket and consequently the popularity of the racket has gone through the roof.

A 6 ft 2 in. blonde, Sharapova is regarded by many as possessing a natural beauty and figure and has done some modeling in November 2003 with IMG Models. She enjoys fashion and is known to read celebrity magazines. However, she says she does not want to overdo these activities, preferring to focus on her tennis. She is often compared to Anna Kournikova, also a Russian Bollettieri student and model. However, Sharapova, Bollettieri, and Kournikova all reject the comparison.

From June 2004 until her Wimbledon semi-final appearance in 2005, Sharapova had a 22-match winning streak on grass, including back-to-back Birmingham titles and the Wimbledon crown. Sharapova's huge success continued after winning Wimbledon, with a victory at the WTA Season-Ending Championships and consistent results.

In April 2005, Sharapova was listed by People Magazine as among the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world. In June of 2005, Forbes magazine listed Sharapova as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of $18 million. A significant portion of this amount came from endorsements.

Defending her Wimbledon title in 2005 proved to be a simple enough task at first, with Sharapova sailing through to the semi-finals with ease without losing a set. However, she dropped her first set of the tournament against a rejuvenated Venus Williams and lost the match 6-7 1-6 in one of the most thrilling and masterful displays of power and accuracy seen in the women's game. Sharapova's streak on grass was ended, as was her quest for the No. 1 ranking, with Lindsay Davenport, who lost a historic match to Venus Williams in the 2005 Wimbledon final, holding firm.

However, a back injury Davenport sustained in the Wimbledon final meant that she could not defend her titles won during the US hard court season of 2004. Because of this, she lost valuable ranking points. Sharapova was also suffering from an injury and did not complete a tournament during the season; however, she had fewer points to defend and therefore rose to the No. 1 ranking on August 22, 2005. However, Sharapova's reign was short-lived, lasting only a week after Davenport re-ascended after winning the New Haven title. Sharapova rose to No. 1 ranking again on September 12, 2005 despite losing in the Semi-finals of the US Open.

Her loss in the semifinal of the 2005 US Open against Kim Clijsters, marked the fourth time that season she lost at a Grand Slam tournament against the eventual champion: Australian Open-SF-Serena Williams, French Open-QF-Justine Henin-Hardenne, Wimbledon-SF-Venus Williams, US Open-SF-Kim Clijsters.

US Open 2005

Sharapova was defeated in the semi-finals of the US Open against Kim Clijsters after a nerve-wrecking encounter that ended 2-6 in first set, followed up by 7-6 in the second (ending in a tie-break) to finally lose with 3-6 in the third. Sharapova's defeat was much due to her inconsistent serves that led to a total of seven double faults during the encounter. Nevertheless, after falling behind 0-40 in the 12th game of the second set, the Russian started uncorking winners and managed to bring the game to deuce where after she fought off two more match points to force a tiebreak. Unfortunately, she didn't have the physical endurance left to pull-off a winning game on the last set and inevitably lost the match to Clijsters for the fourth time in a row.


Sharapova studies via correspondence on the internet with the Keystone High School home schooling program and has a liking for sociology.


Maria Sharapova at the 2004 US Open.
Maria Sharapova at the 2004 US Open.


  • WTA Newcomer of the Year


  • WTA Player of the Year
  • WTA Most Improved Player of the Year
  • WTA Player Service


  • ESPY Best Female Tennis Player

Titles (10)

Legend (Singles)
Grand Slam (1)
WTA Championships (1)
Tier I Event (1)
WTA Tour (7)

Singles (10)

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. Sep 29, 2003 Tokyo, Japan Hard Aniko Kapros (Hungary) 2-6 6-2 7-6
2. Oct 27, 2003 Quebec City, Canada Hard Milagros Sequera (Venezuela) 6-2 RET
3. Jun 7, 2004 Birmingham, Great Britain Grass Tatiana Golovin (France) 4-6 6-2 6-1
4. Jun 21, 2004 Wimbledon, London, Great Britain Grass Serena Williams (USA) 6-1 6-4
5. Sep 27, 2004 Seoul, South Korea Hard Marta Domachowska (Poland) 6-1 6-1
6. Oct 4, 2004 Tokyo, Japan Hard Mashona Washington (USA) 6-0 6-1
7. Nov 8, 2004 WTA Championships, Los Angeles, USA Hard Serena Williams (USA) 4-6 6-2 6-4
8. Feb 6, 2005 Tokyo, Japan Carpet Lindsay Davenport (USA) 6-1 3-6 7-6
9. Feb 21, 2005 Doha, Qatar Hard Alicia Molik (Australia) 4-6 6-1 6-4
10. Jun 6, 2005 Birmingham, Great Britain Grass Jelena Jankovic (Serbia & Montenegro) 6-2 4-6 6-1

Singles Finalist (2)

  • 2004: Zurich (lost to Alicia Molik)
  • 2005: Miami (lost to Kim Clijsters)

Performance Timeline

Tournament 2006 2005 2004 2003 2002 Career
Australian Open SF 3r 1r - 0
French Open QF QF 1r - 0
Wimbledon SF W 4r - 1
U.S. Open SF 3r 2r - 0
WTA Tour Championships W - - 1
Finals reached 4 6 2 0 12
Tournaments Won 3 5 2 0 10
Hardcourt Win-Loss 27-5 34-11 20-8 1-2 82-26
Carpet Win-Loss 4-0 1-1 0-0 0-0 5-1
Grass Win-Loss 10-1 12-0 9-2 0-0 31-3
Clay Win-Loss 8-2 8-3 5-2 0-0 13-5
Overall Win-Loss 50-9 55-15 34-12 1-2 140-38
Year End Ranking 4 32 186 N/A

External links

Women's Tennis Association | World No. 1's in Women's tennis
Tracy Austin | Jennifer Capriati | Kim Clijsters | Lindsay Davenport | Chris Evert | Steffi Graf | Justine Henin-Hardenne | Martina Hingis | Amélie Mauresmo | Martina Navratilova | Arantxa Sánchez Vicario | Monica Seles | Maria Sharapova | Serena Williams | Venus Williams
All-time leader Steffi Graf spent 377 weeks on top of the rankings.
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