Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova

is a Russian professional tennis player and a former World No. 1
1987 - Born on April 19 in Nyagan, in the Siberian region of Russia, coincidentally on the same day the Soviet Union carries out an underground nuclear test.1989 - Yuri Sharapov and his wife Yelena, together with young Maria, move to the Black Sea resort of Sochi on the "Russian Riviera" - drawn by the prospect of palm trees and 200 days of sunshine a year1991 - A four-year-old Maria picks up a racket and starts playing tennis.1992 - While playing in an exhibition tournament in Moscow the five-year-old Maria is spotted by tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who recommends Nick Bollettieri's tennis academy in the United States.1995 - Maria and her father travel to Miami and arrive, uninvited, at Bollettieri's academy in Bradenton, Florida. One of Bollettieri's coaches agrees to take her on court and with her first stroke she knocks his hat off. "Then I hit a few balls and he called Nick right away," she said.1996 - The nine-year-old begins a two-year separation from her mother - the result of visa restrictions and the family's financial situation - as she starts intensive training at the Bollettieri academy."When I came to the United States it wasn't easy for me," said Sharapova. "I didn't see my mum for two years and I barely saw my dad for one year. I was living in a dormitory by myself and sacrificed a lot of things."2001 - Maria turns professional on her 14th birthday. Off court she develops interests in fashion, reading, dancing, stamp-collecting and movies - her favourite is Pearl Harbor.2002 - She reaches the final of the junior event at the Australian Open and in March enters the WTA world rankings at No 532. Her talent, though, has already been noticed and she appears in a magazine list as one of 20 teenagers who will change the world and one of the 21 athletes to star in the 21st century. She ends the year ranked at No186.2003 - In the year she was voted one of the "coolest girls" in America, Sharapova rapidly rises up the rankings. She makes her grand slam debut in the Australian Open and also qualifies for the French Open. Then, after reaching the semi-finals at Edgbaston, she progresses to the fourth round at Wimbledon, the best-ever performance by a female wild card. She wins her first titles on the WTA tour - in Japan and Quebec - and ends the year ranked 32."My drive and determination comes from my Russian blood," says the 16-year-old, now attracting attention for her glamour as well as her game. However, despite her fashion photo-shoots she rejects any comparison with another Russian, Anna Kournikova.2004 - Coached by her father and Robert Lansdorp, who has also worked with Pete Sampras and Lindsay Davenport, Sharapova goes from strength to strength, reaching the third round of the Australian Open before losing to another Russian, Anastasia Myskina.In March she plays Serena Williams for the first time, losing 6-4, 6-3 in Miami. A month later she breaks into the world's top 20 and the 6ft 17-year-old maintains her momentum by reaching the French Open quarter-finals, losing to Paola Suárez 6-1, 6-3.The setback is only temporary as she embarks on a run of 11 consecutive victories on grass, racing to the Edgbaston title - she beat the 16-year-old Tatiana Golovin of France in the final - and then, world ranked 15 and seeded 13, reaching the Wimbledon final.As she faces up to Serena Williams today, Sharapova has already won £300,000 from her playing career. If she triumphs today that figure will be close to her first million.Source: biggeststars.com
“A couple of points in the third set made a difference to the end result, ... When I was 1-5 down, I played very relaxed and tied the score but at 5-all, she held her serve after she had a couple of lucky points and it turned her way. I should forget this loss because I had two good weeks in Russia and will take positive things from my game today.”More Maria Sharapova quotes [11/15/2006 12:11:00]
My parents had a normal life in Russia and they could have easily kept living a normal life, working and raising a child in Russia.More Maria Sharapova quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]
“This is my favorite grand slam and I'd never imagined I'd be in the final so early. I don't know what to say, I'm going to cry right now.”More Maria Sharapova quotes [11/15/2006 12:11:00]
I think it's so cool to be tall. Even when I'm not wearing heels people tell me I'm tall and I always take it as a complement. The good thing is I can always see everybody in the room.More Maria Sharapova quotes [03/12/2018 02:03:32]
Whenever I have friends over, we end up eating and talking and losing track of time, and, once in a while, singing karaoke. It reminds me of the family meals we had in Russia, which always lasted a very long time. That's a tradition I miss.More Maria Sharapova quotes [03/29/2018 05:03:36]

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