Thursday, December 25, 2008

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova

Born on April 19, 1987
Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова?·i, Mariya Yur’evna Sharapova; ) is a Russian professional tennis player. A former World No. 1, she was on November 15, 2008, ranked World No. 9 by the Women's Tennis Association. Sharapova has won three Grand Slam singles titles. In 2004, at the age of 17, she won Wimbledon, defeating Serena Williams in the final. 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.

"I've always just wanted to be me and people can say whatever they want to say."
- Maria Sharapova

Sharapova's representation of Russia in the Fed Cup has been controversial. At the end of 2004, compatriot Anastasia Myskina stated she would stop playing for Russia if Sharapova joined. Nevertheless, at the end of 2005, Sharapova stated she was now keen to make her Fed Cup debut and was set to play against Belgium in April 2006, but withdrew.

in April 2007 and Sharapova later withdrew from ties against Spain against the United States in July 2007 because of injuries. The latter withdrawal led to Russia's captain saying she would be "ineligible for selection" for the Fed Cup final in September. However, Sharapova attended the final, cheering from the sidelines and acting as a "hitting partner" in practices, resulting in some of her Russian teammates implying that she was attending only to enable her to play at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (rules state that players must have "shown commitment" to Fed Cup in order to play). Svetlana Kuznetsova said, "She said she wanted to be our practise partner but if you can't play how then can you practise?"

Sharapova finally made her Fed Cup debut in February 2008, in Russia's quarterfinal tie against Israel. Sharapova won both her singles rubbers, against Tzipora Obziler and Shahar Pe'er, helping Russia to a 4–1 victory. Sharapova, however, did not play in Russia's Fed Cup semifinal or final later that year.

Arguably, the combination of her tennis success and physical beauty have enabled her to secure commercial endorsements that greatly exceed in value her tournament winnings. In April 2005, People named her one of the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world. In 2006, Maxim ranked Sharapova the hottest athlete in the world for the fourth consecutive year. She posed in a six-page bikini photoshoot spread in the 2006 Valentine's Day issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, alongside 25 scantily-clad supermodels. In the same year, preceding the official debut of the Land Rover Freelander LR2 Maria appeared at a private presentation at the Kensington Roof Gardens held for journalists.

In a poll run by Britain's FHM magazine, she was voted the seventh most eligible bachelorette, based on both "wealth and looks."

Sharapova used the Prince Tour Diablo for part of 2003 and then used several different Prince racquets until the US Open. She gave the racquet she used in the 2004 Wimbledon final to Regis Philbin when taping Live with Regis and Kelly. Sharapova began using the Prince Shark OS at that tournament and had a major part in the production of the Shark racquet.[citation needed] She then switched to the Prince O3 White racquet in January 2006. Because of Sharapova's various shoulder injuries, she switched to the Prince O3 Speedport Black Longbody in July 2008.[citation needed]

In June 2007, Forbes magazine listed her as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of over US$23 million. (CBS, the American television network, reported in August 2006 that the figure is over US$26 million.[citation needed]) The majority is made from endorsements and sponsorships. In a later interview, she said, "You know, one of the greatest things about being an athlete and, you know, making money is realizing that you can help, you know, help the world, and especially children, who I absolutely love working with."

Nothing's hotter than a toned-to-perfection body, which is precisely why Maria Sharapova ranks high on our hotness scale. Tennis athletes have long, lean, muscular bodies and Maria Sharapova's is no exception. Add to that her golden-blond locks and gem-like green eyes and this Russian beauty doesn't only make jaws drop on the courts.

Like many women who originate from Russia, Maria Sharapova has been blessed with magnificent features. Her face is the epitome of classical beauty. She has long blond hair, and even longer legs. This 6'2" stunner definitely doesn't leave many empty seats in the stands

maria sharapova is named no. 74 in 2008 top 99
Maria Sharapova spread the love in 2007, and was named a UNDP Goodwill Ambassador. She even donated $100,000 to Chernobyl recovery projects. Her good Samaritan ways must have rubbed off on her tennis skills because Maria Sharapova also came away with the winning title at the Acura Classic in San Diego

Nickname(s) Masha
Country Russia
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)
Weight 59.1 kg (130 lb, 9.31 st)
Turned pro April 19, 2001
Retired Active
Plays Right-handed; two-handed backhand
Career prize money US$12,169,281

Career record: 305–70
Career titles: 19
Highest ranking: 1 (August 22, 2005)

Grand Slam results
Australian Open W (2008)
French Open SF (2007)

Wimbledon W (2004)
US Open W (2006)
Major tournaments
WTA Championships W (2004)

Career record: 23–16
Career titles: 3
Highest ranking: 41 (June 14, 2004)
Mixed Doubles
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