In spite of her supermodel looks, Maria Sharapova is a tigress in the tennis court and one of the greatest female players around. This tennis champion was born in Nyagen, Siberia in 1987. Sharapova started paying tennis at the tender age of four with the racket she received as a gift. Her talents were spotted when she exhibited extraordinary performance in a Russian tennis school by the World Champion Martina Navratilova. Navratilova was the one who encouraged and assisted young Sharapova’s parents to help her pursue a serious tennis career.

She left Russia when she was nine and headed on to the Bollettieri Academy in Florida. The young Sharapova, who was nine had to leave home and her country with her father. Her mother who had to stay in Russia for another two years. The young talented player quickly made a very favorable impression on her trainers and a full scholarship was issued for her.

Sharapova turned pro when she was 14 and began her career on the tennis junior court. In 2001, she had won 25 out of the 28 matches she participated in. The following year she broke her own record with a 28 wins out of the 29 games she entered. In the first season she won two important titles: the Quebec City and Japan Open Championships. By the end of the year Sharapova was ranked as the best tennis player in the world.

She won the WTA World tour title and played in all of the four Grand Slams where she made it to the fourth round.
In 2004, Sharapova rocked the world and amazed millions of tennis fans when she beat Serena Williams at the Wimbledon and won her first grand Slam Title. By now she had won over a million dollars and another estimated $15 million in commercial endorsements. She was an instant superstar. Maria Sharapova became the first Russian woman to reach the number one in the WTA ranking in the same year. She was named as WTA Player of the Year and WTA Most Improved Player of the year both in the year 2004 and 2005. She was named as the best female tennis player by ESPY.

Maria’s athletic prowess is attributed to her strong physique, excellent power and the depth and angles of her serves and the amazing groundstroke. She’s known for her fearlessly aggressive attitude in the courts and very strong defensive skills. During her career, she has won there Grand Slams. She defeated Justine Henin in the Final of the US Open the championship in 2006. She defeated Ana Ivanovic in 206 to take the Australian Open in 2008.

Maria has also been featured in various modeling assignments which earned her millions of dollars. She was also featured in a lavish spread in the Sports Illustrated which is actually similar to winning a Grammy for supermodels. In 2009, she was named the highest paid female athlete for her earnings and modeling assignments and celebrity endorsements. She was also voted as the ESPY best female tennis player in 2007 and 2008. Currently she ranked as No 6 in the list of the World’s best tennis players.

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