Maria Sharapova

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Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova, December 2008.jpg
Kintra Roushie
ResidenceBradenton, Florida,
United States
Born (1987-04-19) 19 Aprile 1987 (age 32)
Nyagan, Roushie SFSR, Soviet Union
Hicht.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Turned pro19 Aprile 2001
PlaysRicht-haundit (twa-haundit backhaund)
Coach(es)Sven Groeneveld, Jimmy Connors, Jimmy Connors
Prize money$23,151,623[2]
Singles
Career record645–169
Career titles27 WTA, 4 ITF
Heichest rankinNo. 1 (22 August 2005)
Current rankinNo. 180 (Julie 3, 2017)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian OpenW (2008)
French OpenW (2012)
WimbledonW (2004)
US OpenW (2006)
Ither toornaments
Tour FinalsW (2004)
Olympic GemmesSilver medal.svg Siller medal (2012)
Doubles
Career record23–17
Career titles3 WTA
Heichest rankinNo. 41 (14 Juin 2004)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open2R (2003, 2004)
US Open2R (2003)
Last updatit on: December 31, 2012.
Olympic medal record
Weemen's tennis
Representin  Roushie
Siller medal – seicont place 2012 London Singles

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Roushie: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова; born 19 April 1987) is a Roushie professional tennis player, who is ranked warld No. 180 bi the Weemen's Tennis Association (WTA). A United States resident syne 1994,[3] Sharapova haes competit on the WTA tour syne 2001. She haes been ranked warld No. 1 in singles bi the WTA on five separate occasions, for a tot o 21 weeks. She is ane o ten weemen, an the lone Roushie, tae haud the career Grand Slam an is an Olympic medalist, haein earned silver for Roushie in weemen's singles at the 2012 Simmer Olympics in Lunnon.

Sharapova became the world No. 1 for the first time on August 22, 2005 at the age o 18, an last held the ranking for the fift time for fower weeks frae Juin 11, 2012 tae Julie 8, 2012.[4][5] Her 35 singles titles an five Grand Slam titles — twa at the French Open an ane each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon an the US Open — rank third amongst active players, behind Serena an Venus Williams. She won the year-endin WTA Finals in her debut in 2004. She haes an aa won three doubles titles.

Despite an injury-prone career, Sharapova haes achieved a rare level o longevity in the weemen’s gemme. She haes won at least ane singles title a year frae 2003 until 2015, a streak anly bested bi Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova an Chris Evert. Several tennis pundits an umwhile players hae cried Sharapova ane o tennis’s best competitors, wi John McEnroe calling her ane o the best the sport haes ever seen.[6]

Sharapova haes been featurt in a number o modelin assignments, includin a featur in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She appeared in mony advertisements, includin those for Nike, Prince, an Canon, bein the face o several fashion houses, maist notably Cole Haan. Syne Februar 2007, she haes been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned speceefically wi the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme. In Juin 2011, she wis named ane o the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" bi Time,[7] an in Mairch 2012 wis named ane o the "100 Greatest of All Time" bi Tennis Channel.

Early life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Maria Sharapova wis born on 19 Aprile 1987 in Nyagan, Roushie SFSR. Her parents, Yuri an Yelena, are frae Gomel, Belarussian SSR. Concerned aboot the regional effects o the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, thay left thair homeland shortly afore Sharapova wis born.[8]

Introduction tae tennis[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 1989, when Sharapova was twa, the family moved tae Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Roushie. Thare her faither Yuri befriended Aleksandr Kafelnikov, whose son Yevgeny wad go on tae win twa Grand Slam singles titles an acome Roushie's first warld No. 1 ranked tennis player. Aleksandr gae Sharapova her first tennis racquet in 1991 when she wis fower, whereupon she began practicing regularly wi her faither at a local pairk.[9] Maria teuk her first tennis lessons wi veteran Roushie coach Yuri Yutkin, who wis instantly impressed when he saw her play, notin her "exceptional hand-eye coordination".[10]

Start o professional training[eedit | eedit soorce]

In 1993, at the age o sax, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow run bi Martina Navratilova, who recommended professional training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which haed previously trained players sic as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, an Anna Kournikova.[9] Wi money tight, Yuri Sharapov borrowed the sum that wad enable him an his daughter, neither o whom coud speak Inglis, tae traivel tae the United States o Americae, which thay finally did in 1994.[10] Visa restrictions preventit Sharapova's mither frae joining them for twa years.[8] Arrivin in Florida wi savings o US$700,[10] Sharapova's faither teuk various law-paying jobs, includin dishwashing, tae fund her lessons until she wis auld enough tae be admitted tae the academy. Afore she entered the IMG business, she trained wi Rick Macci, in the Rick Macci Tennis Academy. She then wis offered a deal frae IMG which forced her tae chynge academies. Oreeginally, she did train wi Rick Macci, but efter the deal wi IMG, she coud nae see Rick Macci anymore. In 1995, she wis signed bi IMG, who agreed tae pey the annual tuition fee o $35,000 for Sharapova tae stay at the Academy, allouin her tae finally enroll at the age o 9.[9]

Tennis career[eedit | eedit soorce]

Junior and early career[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova first hit the tennis scene in November 2000, when she won the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships in the girls' 16 division at the age o juist 13.[11] She wis then gien a special distinction, the Rising Star Awaird, which is awairdit anly tae players o exceptional promise.[12] Sharapova made her professional debut in 2001 on her 14t birthday on Aprile 19, an played her first WTA tournament at the Pacific Life Open in 2002, winnin a match afore losin tae Monica Seles. Due tae restrictions on how mony professional events she coud play, Sharapova went tae hone her gemme in junior tournaments, whaur she reached the finals o the girls' singles events at the Australian Open an Wimbledon in 2002. She wis the youngest girl ever tae reach the final o the Australian Open junior championship at 14 years an 9 months.[13]

Sharapova reached No. 6 in the ITF junior warld singles ranking on October 21, 2002. In all, she won three junior singles tournaments an wis runner-up at five, includin twa junior Grand Slam events. Her win-loss record in junior competeetion wis 47–9.[14]

Junior Grand Slam results:
Australian Open: F (2002)
French Open: 3R (2002)
Wimbledon: F (2002)
US Open: 2R (2001)

Junior Grand Slam tournament finals[eedit | eedit soorce]

Singles: 2 finals (2 runners-up)[eedit | eedit soorce]

Outcome Year Championship Surface Opponent Score
Runner-up 2002 Australian Open Haurd Czech Republic Barbora Strýcová 0–6, 5–7
Runner-up 2002 Wimbledon Gress Roushie Vera Dushevina 6–4, 1–6, 2–6

2003: First toornament titles[eedit | eedit soorce]

Frae 2003, Sharapova played a full saison an made a rapid climb intae the tap 50 bi the end o the year.[15] She made her debuts at baith the Australian Open an the French Open, but failed tae win a match in aither. Then, as a wildcard at Wimbledon, she defeatit 11t seed Jelena Dokić,[16] her first win ower a tap-20 player, tae reach the fowert roond, whaur she lost in three sets tae Svetlana Kuznetsova. Bi the end o September, Sharapova haed already captured her first WTA title at a smawer event, the Japan Open Tennis Championships, afore winnin her seicont in her final toornament o the saison, the Bell Challenge.[17] Tae cap off her first full saison as a professional, she wis awairdit the WTA Newcomer o the Year honour.[18]

2004: Wimbledon champion an rise tae fame[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova wis defeatit in the third roond o the Australian Open bi saxt seed Anastasia Myskina.[19] She later reached the semifinals at the Cellular South Cup, whaur she lost tae eventual champion Vera Zvonareva.[20]

During the spring clay-court saison, Sharapova entered the tap 20 on the WTA warld rankings as a result o reachin the third roond o the Qatar Telecom German Open an the Internazionali BNL d'Italia, baith o which war Tier I events. At the latter event, she defeatit a player ranked in the tap 10 for the first time wi a straucht-sets win ower warld No. 10 an 2004 French Open finalist Elena Dementieva. Later that clay-court saison, she went on tae mak the quarterfinals o a Grand Slam for the first time at the French Open, losin thare tae Paola Suárez.[21]

Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004

Sharapova won the third title o her career at the Wimbledon warm-up DFS Classic, defeatin Tatiana Golovin in the final. Seedit 13t an aged 17 at Wimbledon, she reached her first Grand Slam semifinal bi defeatin Ai Sugiyama. Thare, she defeatit fift seed an umwhile champion Lindsay Davenport. In the final, Sharapova upset tap seed an defendin champion Serena Williams tae win her first Grand Slam singles title, an acome the third-youngest woman tae win the Wimbledon title, behind anly Lottie Dod an Martina Hingis. Sharapova an aa became the seicont Roushie woman (efter Anastasia Myskina haed won the year's previous major at Roland Garros) tae win a Grand Slam singles title. The victory wis hailed bi the media as "the most stunning upset in memory",[22] wi ither writers commentin on her arrival as a serious challenger tae the Williams' dominance at Wimbledon.[23] She entered the tap 10 in the rankings for the first time as a result o the win.[24]

Follaein her Wimbledon win, attention an interest in Sharapova in the media greatly increased, a rise in popularity dubbed "Maria Mania."[25] She won three o sax matches in her preparations for the US Open. At the US Open itself, she reached the third roond, afore bein eliminated bi Mary Pierce.[26] In order tae regain confidence, Sharapova played an won consecutive titles in Asia in the faw, the Hansol Korea Open Tennis Championships an the Japan Open Tennis Championships.

In October, Sharapova defeatit Venus Williams en route tae makin the final o a Tier I event for the first time at the Zurich Open, losin in the final tae Alicia Molik.[27] She then made her debut at the year-endin WTA Tour Championships. Thare, she won twa o her three roond-robin matches (includin a win ower US Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova) in order tae advance tae the semifinals, whaur she defeatit Myskina. In the final, she defeatit Serena Williams, efter trailing 4–0 in the final set.[28]

2005: Rise tae warld No. 1 ranking[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova stairtit the year at the Australian Open, whaur she defeatit fift seed Svetlana Kuznetsova tae reach the seicont Grand Slam semifinal o her career. Sharapova held match pynts in the third set o her semifinal match, afore losin tae eventual champion Serena Williams. In Februar, Sharapova won back-tae-back toornaments, the Toray Pan Pacific Open an the Qatar Total Open, allouin her tae reach number 3 in the warld rankings for the first time.

In the semifinals o the Tier I Pacific Life Open, Sharapova wis defeatit bi Lindsay Davenport, the first time she haed failed tae win a gemme in a match.[29] She defeatit umwhile warld No. 1 players Justine Henin an Venus Williams tae reach the final at the Tier I NASDAQ-100 Open, whaur she lost tae Kim Clijsters.[30][31]

Sharapova made the semifinals o a clay-court tournament for the first time at the Italian Open, whaur she lost tae Patty Schnyder. Sharapova wad hae acome warld No. 1 for the first time haed she won the tournament.[32] Sharapova then reached the quarterfinals o the French Open for the seicont consecutive year, afore losin tae eventual champion Henin.[33] On gress, Sharapova won her third title o the year when she successfully defended her title at the DFS Classic, defeatin Jelena Janković in the final.[34] As the defendin champion at Wimbledon, Sharapova reached the semifinals wioot dropping a set an losin a service gemme juist ance, extendin her winnin streak on gress tae 24 matches. Houiver, she wis then beaten bi eventual champion Venus Williams.[35]

Sharapova haed far fewer pynts tae defend, an sae she became the first Roushie woman tae haud the warld No. 1 ranking on August 22, 2005.[36] Her reign lasted anly ane week, houiver, as Davenport reclaimed the tap ranking efter winnin the Pilot Pen Tennis tournament.[36]

As the tap seed at the US Open, Sharapova lost in the semifinals tae Kim Clijsters,[37] meanin she haed lost tae the eventual champion in every Grand Slam o the saison. Houiver, she ance again leapfrogged Davenport tae tak the warld No. 1 ranking on September 12, 2005. She retained it for sax weeks, but efter playin few tournaments while injured, she again relinquished the ranking tae Davenport.[36][38] Tae conclude the year, Sharapova failed tae defend her title at the year-end Sony Ericsson Championships in Los Angeles, defeatin Davenport in ane o her roond-robin matches, but ultimately losin in the semifinals tae eventual champion Amélie Mauresmo.

2006: US Open champion[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova celebrating efter winnin the 2006 US Open

Sharapova stairtit 2006 bi losin in the semifinals o the Australian Open in three sets tae Henin,[39] an aa losin a rematch several weeks later at the Dubai Tennis Championships, haein defeatit umwhile warld No. 1 Martina Hingis an warld No. 3 Lindsay Davenport in earlier roonds o the tournament. Sharapova claimed her first title in nine months at the Tier I tournament in Indian Wells, defeatin Hingis in the semifinals an Elena Dementieva in the final.[40][41] She reached the final in Miami afore losin tae Kuznetsova.[42]

Sharapova returned for the French Open. Thare, efter saving match pynts in defeatin Mashona Washington in the first roond, she wis eliminated bi Dinara Safina in the fowert roond.[43] On gress, Sharapova wis unsuccessful in her attempt tae win in Birmingham for the third consecutive year, losin in the semifinals tae Jamea Jackson.[44] Despite that, she wis amang the title favorites at Wimbledon, whaur the eventual champion Mauresmo ended up beatin her in the semifinals.[45]

Sharapova claimed her seicont title o the year at the Tier I Acura Classic, defeatin Clijsters for the first time in the final.[46] As the third seed at the US Open, Sharapova defeatit tap seed Mauresmo for the first time in the semifinals,[47] an then followed up bi beatin seicont seed Justine Henin tae win her seicont Grand Slam singles title.[48]

That hairst, Sharapova won titles in back-tae-back weeks at the Zurich Open an the Generali Ladies Linz. Bi winnin aw three o her roond-robin matches at the WTA Tour Championships, she extendit her win streak tae 19 matches, afore it wis snapped in the semifinals bi eventual champion Henin.[49] Sharapova wad hae finished the saison as warld No. 1 haed she won the event. As it wis, she finished ranked warld No. 2, her best year-end finish yet.

2007: Shoulder injury an faw frae the tap 5[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova wis the tap seed at the Australian Open due tae tap-ranked Justine Henin's withdrawal. Efter bein twa pynts away frae defeat in the first roond against Camille Pin, she went on tae reach the final o the tournament for the first time, but wis routed thare bi Serena Williams who wis ranked warld No. 81 at the time. Efter reachin the final, Sharapova recaptured the warld No. 1 ranking.[36] She held it for seiven weeks, surrendering it back tae Henin efter failing tae defend her title at the Pacific Life Open, instead losin in the fowert roond tae Vera Zvonareva efter strugglin wi a hamstring injury.[50] The follaein fortnight, she defeatit Venus Williams in the third roond o the Sony Ericsson Open,[51] afore bein beaten again bi Serena Williams.[52]

A shoulder injury forced Sharapova tae miss maist o the clay-court saison for the seicont consecutive year, resultin in her anly tune-up for the French Open bein the İstanbul Cup,[53] whaur she lost in the semifinals tae Aravane Rezaï. She reached the semifinals o the French Open for the first time in her career, afore losin tae Ana Ivanovic.[54] On gress, Sharapova wis runner-up tae Jelena Janković at the DFS Classic.[55] Follaein that, she experienced her earliest Wimbledon loss syne 2003 bi losin in the fowert roond tae eventual champion Venus Williams.[56]

Sharapova clinched the US Open Series bi defendin her title at the Acura Classic, her anly championship o the year, an reachin the semifinals in Los Angeles.[36] In her US Open title defence, Sharapova wis upset in her third-roond match tae 30t seed Agnieszka Radwańska,[57] makin it her earliest exit at a Grand Slam singles tournament syne the 2004 US Open, whaur she lost in the same roond.[36]

Follaein the US Open loss, Sharapova did nae play again until the Kremlin Cup in October, whaur she lost her openin match tae Victoria Azarenka.[58] Shortly efter this, she fell oot o the tap 5 in the warld rankings for the first time syne 2004. She qualified for the aicht-woman year-end Sony Ericsson Championships acause o a withdrawal bi Venus Williams afore the stairt o the tournament.[36] Despite haein nae previously won a match in twa months, Sharapova topped her roond-robin group at the tournament, efter winnin aw three o her matches, defeatin Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ana Ivanovic, an Daniela Hantuchová. She then defeatit Anna Chakvetadze in the semifinals.[59] In the final, she lost tae warld No. 1 Henin in a match that lasted 3 oors an 24 minutes. Sharapova reached the tap five again tae end the year.[60]

2008: Australian Open champion an seicont shoulder injury[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova wis seedit fift at the Australian Open, but wis nae considered a favorite. Housomeiver, she defeatit umwhile warld No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the seicont roond, an then warld No. 1 Henin in the quarterfinals,[61] endin the latter's 32-match winnin streak.[62] She proceeded tae the finals bi defeatin Jelena Janković in the semifinals, an defeatit Ana Ivanovic in the final tae win her third Grand Slam title, haein nae dropped a set all tournament.

Efter the Australian Open, Sharapova extendit her winnin streak tae 18 matches. This run encompassed twa wins includin at the Tier I Qatar Total Open. Her winnin streak wis ended in the semifinals o the Pacific Life Open bi Kuznetsova. In Aprile, Sharapova won the Bausch & Lomb Championships, haein survived her langest-ever match, at 3 oors an 26 minutes lang, in the third roond against Anabel Medina Garrigues.[63] The follaein week, at the Family Circle Cup, she lost in the quarterfinals tae Serena Williams, her fowert consecutive loss tae the American.[64]

In Mey, Sharapova regained the warld No. 1 ranking acause o Henin's suddent retirement frae professional tennis an request tae the WTA that her ain ranking be removed immediately.[65] As the tap-seedit player at the French Open Sharapova wis within twa pynts[66] o bein knocked oot bi Evgeniya Rodina in the first roond, afore eventually winnin.[67] As a result o losin tae eventual finalist Dinara Safina in the fowert roond (efter serving for the match),[68] she relinquished her No. 1 ranking.[69] Her dip in form continued at Wimbledon, whaur she lost in the seicont roond tae warld No. 154 Alla Kudryavtseva. This wis her earliest loss at Wimbledon, an at ony Grand Slam in awmaist five years.[70]

Sharapova withdrew frae the Rogers Cup tournament in August follaein a shoulder injury.[71] An MRI scan revealed that she haed been sufferin frae a rotator cuff tear syne Aprile, forcing her oot o aw tournaments for the rest o the saison, includin the Beijing Olympics, the US Open, an the WTA Tour Championships.[72] In spite o that, she still finished the year ranked warld No. 9. In October, efter a failed attempt tae rehabilitate the shoulder, Sharapova haed surgery tae repair the tear.[73]

2009: Shoulder surgery an rehabilitation[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova did nae attempt tae defend her Australian Open title, as she continued tae recover frae surgery.[74] She returned tae the sport in Mairch, in the doubles tournament at the BNP Paribas Open, but she an pairtner Elena Vesnina lost in the first roond. Efter this, Sharapova withdrew frae further singles tournaments, resultin in her staundin in the warld rankings bein severely affected. She dropped oot o the tap 100 for the first time in sax years in Mey, the nadir bein warld No. 126.[1]

Sharapova made the quarterfinals o the French Open, her best Grand Slam performance o 2009

Playin her first singles tournament in nearly ten months, Sharapova made the quarterfinals o the clay-court Warsaw Open in Mey, losin tae finalist Alona Bondarenko.[75] The follaein week, in her first Grand Slam appearance syne her surgery, she reached the quarterfinals o the French Open, afore her run wis ended bi Dominika Cibulková.[76]

During the summer gress-court saison, Sharapova played in Birmingham, losin in the semifinals tae Li Na.[77] Sharapova then played at Wimbledon as the 24t seed. She wis upset in the seicont roond bi Gisela Dulko in three sets.[78]

Sharapova enjoyed considerable success in the summer months, reachin the quarterfinals at the Bank o the Wast Classic, the semifinals at the LA Weemen's Tennis Championships, an finishinrunner-up at the Rogers Cup tae Elena Dementieva. At the 2009 US Open, Sharapova wis seedit 29t. She foond her wey intae the third roond, defeatin Tsvetana Pironkova an Christina McHale all in straucht sets. She wis stunned in the third roond bi American teenager Melanie Oudin.[79] It wis the seicont time in Sharapova's career that she lost tae a teenager at a Grand Slam, haein lost tae Agnieszka Radwańska during the same event in 2007. The loss made Sharapova's ranking go doun tae No. 32.[1]

The final stretch o the saison brought Sharapova her first title o the year in Tokyo, efter opponent Jelena Janković retired efter bein doun 2–5 tae Sharapova in the final.[80] Bi virtue o that result, she wis the recipient o a bye at the China Open, but failed tae capitalize on it, losin tae Peng Shuai in the third roond.[81] She ultimately finished the saison at warld No. 14, haein improved frae No. 126 when she stairtit her comeback frae injury.[1]

2010: Comeback an struggles wi form[eedit | eedit soorce]

Efter playin twa exhibition tournaments in Asia, Sharapova offeecially began her saison at the Australian Open, whaur she wis upset in her first-roond match against Maria Kirilenko. The loss meant that for the first time syne 2003, Sharapova haed lost her openin match at a Grand Slam event.[82] She then rebounded bi winnin a smawer American event, the Cellular South Cup, her 21st career WTA title an first o the year.[83]

At the BNP Paribas Open, Sharapova lost in the third roond tae Zheng Jie, aggravating a bruised bane on her right elbow in the process, which resulted in her eventual withdrawal frae the Sony Ericsson Open[84] an the Family Circle Cup.[85]

Returning at the 2010 Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, Sharapova lost in the first roond tae Lucie Šafářová. She continued her French Open preparation at the Internationaux de Strasbourg as a wildcard, advancing tae the final, whaur she beat Kristina Barrois. This wis her first title on reid clay an 22nt oweraw title.[86] At the French Open, Sharapova's brief clay saison culminatit wi a third-roond loss tae fower-time champion Justine Henin.[87]

Sharapova began her preparations for Wimbledon at the Aegon Classic. She advanced tae the final for the fowert time, whaur she lost tae Li Na. As the 16t seed at Wimbledon, Sharapova lost in the fowert roond tae warld No. 1 an eventual champion Serena Williams, despite haein three set pynts in the openin set.[88] The match wis seen as anither encouraging performance for Sharapova, wi some statin thair belief that she wis approachin the form that wad see her contending for Grand Slams ance mair,[89] an Sharapova herself statin that she felt that she wis "in a much better spot than I was last year."[90]

During the US Open Series, Sharapova made twa straucht finals, losin tae Victoria Azarenka at the Bank o the Wast Classic,[91] an tae Kim Clijsters at the Western & Southern Financial Group Weemen's Open.[92] In the latter match, Sharapova held three match pynts while leadin 5–3 on Clijsters's serve late in the seicont set, but coud nae convert them. At the U.S. Open, Sharapova wis the 14t seed. She made it tae the fowert roond, whaur she played tap seed an 2009 finalist Caroline Wozniacki an lost.[93]

Sharapova's last twa tournaments o the saison ended in disappointment. She played in the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, whaur she wis upset in the first roond bi 39-year-auld Kimiko Date-Krumm.[94] Her last tournament o the year wis the China Open, whaur she lost in the seicont roond tae fellae Roushie Elena Vesnina.[95] She ended the year at number 18 in the warld.[96]

2011: Return tae the tap 10[eedit | eedit soorce]

It wis annoonced that Sharapova wad bring in Thomas Högstedt as a coach for the 2011 saison, joining Michael Joyce.[97] On December 5, Sharapova won an exhibition match against warld No. 2 Vera Zvonareva in Monterrey, Mexico.[98] In Sharapova's first offeecial Australian Open warm-up tournament at the 2011 ASB Classic in Auckland, New Zealand, she wis seedit first. She lost tae the Hungarian veteran an eventual champion Gréta Arn in the quarterfinals. Efter the ASB Classic, Sharapova decidit tae split up wi Joyce, endin a successfu cooperation that haes brought her twa Grand Slam victories an the Warld No. 1 ranking.[99]

Sharapova participated in the first Grand Slam o the saison at the Australian Open, whaur she wis the 14t seed, but lost tae Andrea Petkovic in the fowert roond.[100] She an aa haed tae pull oot o the 2011 Dubai Tennis Championships an 2011 Qatar Ladies Open acause o an lug infection.[101] Sharapova returned tae the tour in Mairch bi takin pairt in the 2011 BNP Paribas Open, whaur she wis seedit 16t. She defeatit umwhile warld No. 1 Dinara Safina, in the fowert roond en route tae the semifinal, whaur she lost tae warld No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki.[102] At the 2011 Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Sharapova defeatit 26t seed Alexandra Dulgheru in the quarterfinals, in a match lasting 3 oors an 28 minutes.[103] In the semifinals, Sharapova teuk her Australian Open reprisal on Germany's Andrea Petkovic bi defeatin her. In the final, she wis defeatit bi Victoria Azarenka, despite a late comeback in the seicont set.[104] Wi this result, Sharapova returned tae the tap 10 for the first time syne Februar 2009.[1]

During the clay-court saison, Sharapova participated in 2011 Mutua Madrileña Madrid Open, whaur she lost tae Dominika Cibulková in the third roond, an the 2011 Internazionali BNL d'Italia, whaur she wis seedit seivent. She defeatit tap seed Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals an saxt seed Samantha Stosur in the final tae tak home the title, merking her biggest clay-court victory tae date.[105] At the 2011 French Open, Sharapova wis seedit seivent. She defeatit French wildcard Caroline Garcia in the seicont roond, despite trailing 3–6, 1–4, afore winnin the last 11 gemmes o the match. In the quarterfinals, she defeatit 15t seed Andrea Petkovic, merking her first Grand Slam semifinal syne her comeback frae the career-threatening shoulder injury. She then lost tae saxt seed an eventual champion Li Na, in the semifinals, endin her clay saison wi a win-loss record o 12–2.[106]

At the 2011 Wimbledon Championships, Sharapova haed nae dropped a set entering the final, afore losin tae aicht seed Petra Kvitová in straucht sets.[107] This merked her first final in ower three years at a Grand Slam event. Sharapova stairtit her summer haurd-court saison at the 2011 Bank o the Wast Classic in Stanford, Californie. In a heichly anticipatit match, Sharapova lost tae the eventual champion Serena Williams in the quarterfinals.[108] In her next event at the 2011 Rogers Cup in Toronto, Canadae, Sharapova lost tae Galina Voskoboeva in the third roond, merking her 100th career loss.[109]

Sharapova at the Western & Southern Open, August 2011

Sharapova then contested the 2011 Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati, Ohio. As the fowert seed, she received a bye intae the seicont roond. On the wey tae her fowert final o the year, she beat Anastasia Rodionova,[110] 14t seed Svetlana Kuznetsova,[111] tenth seed Samantha Stosur,[112] an 2nt seed Vera Zvonareva.[113] In the final, she defeatit fellae umwhile warld No. 1 Jelena Janković, in 2 oors an 49 minutes, makin it the langest WTA tour final o the year.[114] She subsequently moved up tae warld No. 4, her heichest ranking syne August 2008 an the heichest syne her comeback frae her shoulder injury.[115]

Sharapova entered the US Open, whaur she wis seedit third. She beat Heather Watson, an Anastasiya Yakimova, tae reach the third roond. She wis then upset bi Flavia Pennetta. Houiver, acause o the faw o Kim Clijsters an Vera Zvonareva in the rankings, Sharapova climbed tae warld No. 2.[116] Sharapova's next tournament wis the 2011 Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Japan.[117] As seicont seed, she received a bye intae the seicont roond, whaur she beat Tamarine Tanasugarn. She then beat 13t seed Julia Görges, afore retiring against Petra Kvitová in the quarterfinal, 3–4, efter slipping on the baseline, sufferin an ankle injury. This an aa forced her tae withdraw frae the 2011 China Open the follaein week. Sharapova then flew tae Istanbul tae prepare for the 2011 WTA Tour Championships, her first time qualifying syne 2007. During the WTA Tour Championships, Sharapova withdrew during the roond-robin stage efter defeats against Samantha Stosur an Li Na, as a result o the ankle injury she haed suffered in Tokyo.[118] Sharapova ended the year as No. 4 in the warld, her first tap-10 finish syne 2008 an first tap-5 finish syne 2007.

2012: Career Grand Slam, return tae world No. 1 an Olympic siller medal[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova withdrew frae the 2012 Brisbane International acause o her ongangin ankle injury.[119] Her first tournament o the saison wis the 2012 Australian Open, whaur she wis seedit fowert. Sharapova advanced tae the final roond conceding five gemmes, defeatin Gisela Dulko, Jamie Hampton, an 30t seed Angelique Kerber, compatriot Ekaterina Makarova an warld No. 2 Petra Kvitová. She lost tae Victoria Azarenka in twa sets. As a result her ranking improved tae warld No. 3. She then played in the Paris, whaur she lost in the quarterfinals tae eventual champion Angelique Kerber. As a result her ranking improved tae warld No. 2.

Sharapova at the 2012 Summer Olympics, Julie 2012

At the Indian Wells, efter battling for ower three oors, Sharapova defeatit compatriot Maria Kirilenko tae set up a semifinal meetin wi Ana Ivanovic. Sharapova advanced tae the final efter Ivanovic retired due tae a hip injury.[120] In the final, she played warld No. 1 Victoria Azarenka in a rematch o the Australian Open final, but lost again in straucht sets. Sharapova's next tournament wis the 2012 Sony Ericsson Open, whaur she wis seedit 2nt an received a bye. In the final, Sharapova lost in straucht sets tae 5t seedit Agnieszka Radwańska. This wis her third loss o the year in finals oot o fower tournaments played sae far. In the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Sharapova wis seedit seicont. She haed a bye in the first roond, an advanced tae the third roond efter Alizé Cornet retired in the seicont set. She won her first title o the year in Stuttgart efter defeatin warld number ane Victoria Azarenka. In daein sae, Sharapova defeatit three current Grand Slam title holders tae win the tournament. Sharapova then played on the 2012 Mutua Madrid Open, a premier mandatory event. In the third roond, Sharapova's opponent Lucie Šafářová wis unable tae compete an withdrew frae the tournament, earnin Sharapova a walkover intae the quarterfinals.[121] She wis then beaten bi eventual champion Serena Williams in straucht sets.

As the defendin champion an seicont seed at the Italian Open, Sharapova haed a bye in the first roond. In the semifinals, Sharapova defeatit Angelique Kerber tae advance tae the final for the seicont year in a row. In the final, Sharapova saved match pynt for a 2-oor 52 minute win ower Li Na for her 26t career title.[122] This merked the fowert time Sharapova haed successfully defended a title.

Sharapova wis seedit seicont at the French Open, whaur she defeatit Alexandra Cadanțu, Petra Kvitová on her wey tae the finals, allouin her tae regain the warld No. 1 ranking. In the final, she defeatit Sara Errani for her first French Open title. Sharapova became anly the tenth woman tae complete a Career Grand Slam wi the French Open victory.[123] During the tournament, Sharapova wis an aa asked bi the Roushie Olympic Committee tae cairy the Roushie banner in the Olympic Gemmes, makin her the first female banner bearer for Roushie in Olympic history.[124]

Sharapova then extendit her win streak tae 15 matches when she competit in the Wimbledon Championships as the tap seed thare for the first time in her career. Houiver, she wis upset in the fowert roond bi 15t-seedit Sabine Lisicki, whom she beat in last year's semifinals. As a result, she lost her No. 1 ranking tae Victoria Azarenka.

She played in the 2012 Summer Olympic Gemmes in Lunnon, her first Olympics.[125] In the quarterfinals, Sharapova defeatit fellae umwhile No. 1 Kim Clijsters tae advance tae the semifinals, whaur she faced her compatriot, Maria Kirilenko. Sharapova defeatit Kirilenko tae reach the Olympic final, whaur she lost tae Serena Williams,[126] merking her worst defeat bi the American. Wi this performance, Sharapova owerteuk Agnieszka Radwańska as warld No. 2.

Sharapova wis seedit third at the US Open, but haed no haurd-court tune-ups efter the Olympics due tae a painch virus.[127] In the fowert roond, Nadia Petrova teuk it tae a third set an wis winnin until a rain delay. Efter the delay, Sharapova came back tae win. In the quarterfinals she faced Marion Bartoli, who wis 4–0 up afore a rain delay, which delayed the match a whole day. Sharapova then came back frae a set doun tae win.[128] In the semifinals Sharapova lost tae warld No. 1 Victoria Azarenka.

Sharapova's next tournament wis the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo. She made it tae the quarterfinals, losin tae Samantha Stosur.[129] At the China Open she wis seedit seicont. In the finals she wis again defeatit bi Azarenka.[130] Sharapova's next tournament wis the year-end championships in Istanbul, whaur she wis seedit seicont. She defeatit Sara Errani, Agnieszka Radwańska, an Samantha Stosur in the roond-robin matches. In the semifinals, Sharapova beat Azarenka, bringin thair head-tae-head meetins tae 7–5 in Azarenka's favour. Awtho Sharapova made it tae the final, Azarenka clinched the year-end No. 1 ranking wi her twa roond-robin wins. She lost tae Serena Williams for the 13t consecutive time in the final.[131]

2013: Third shoulder injury[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova's first scheduled toornament o the 2013 saison wis the Brisbane International, whaur she wis seedit seicont. Houiver, she withdrew frae the tournament afore it began, citing a collarbone injury.[132] She stairtit her saison at the Australian Open seedit seicont. She defeatit Olga Puchkova an Misaki Doi in the first twa roonds wioot losin a gemme in aither match, the first time a player haes won in back-tae-back double bagels at a Grand Slam tournament syne the 1985 Australian Open.[133] Sharapova then defeatit Venus Williams, Kirsten Flipkens, an Ekaterina Makarova, whaur in losin anly nine gemmes she broke Monica Seles' record o fewest gemmes dropped heidin intae a Grand Slam semifinal.[134] She lost tae Li Na in the semifinals.

Sharapova at the French Open, Mey 2013

She reached the semifinals at the Qatar Total Open, losin tae Serena Williams for the 10t straucht time in her career.[135] Her next tournament wis Indian Wells, whaur she wis seedit seicont. She received a bye intae the seicont roond an successfully reached the final wioot dropping a set, whaur she faced 2011 Indian wells champion an umwhile warld No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki. Efter an oor an twenty-ane minutes, Sharapova won the tournament.[136] This wis Maria's 28t career title an seicont at Indian Wells. Her win an aa made her the No. 2 player in the warld behind Serena Williams.[137][138][139]

Maria then competit at the Sony Open. Ance again she reached the final wioot dropping a set an faced warld No. 1 Serena Williams. Maria stairtit the match strang, winnin the first set. Houiver, Serena won the seicont an dominated the third set. This wis Maria's 11t consecutive loss against Serena.[140][141]

Next, she played at the indoor clay event in Stuttgart, whaur she wis the defendin champion. Maria wis tap seed an haed a bye in the first roond. Her first three matches war lang three-setters: she first beat warld No. 25 Lucie Šafářová, dropping the seicont set on a tiebreak, then Ana Ivanovic, then in the semifinals she won against third seed Angelique Kerber. In the final, in what wis her ninth victory against the Cheenese oot o 14 matches, she beat seicont seed warld No. 5 Li Na in straucht sets tae win her 29t career title.[142]

A week later, she competit at the Madrid Open, reachin the final, again wioot dropping a set. She faced Serena Williams for the 15t time, losin for the 12t consecutive time in straucht sets.[143]

Next, she played in Roum, whaur she wis seedit seicont an haed a bye in the first roond. She beat 16t seed Sloane Stephens in straucht sets (wi the loss o juist three gemmes) in the third roond, but then did nae play her quarterfinal match against seivent seed Sara Errani an retired frae the tournament due tae a viral illness.[144][145]

At the 2013 French Open, Sharapova reached the final again, beatin Azarenka in three sets in the semifinals, but thare she lost in straucht sets tae Serena Williams. At Wimbledon she wis comprehensively beaten in the seicont roond bi qualifier Michelle Larcher de Brito. Sharapova then returned tae the tour at the 2013 Western & Southern Open, whaur she lost her openin match tae Sloane Stephens in three sets. A week later Sharapova withdrew frae the U.S. Open citing a shoulder injury, which prematurely ended her saison.[146]

2014: Comeback and second French Open title[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova haed nae played syne August 2013 due tae a recurring shoulder injury an made her comeback at the 2014 Brisbane International.[147] Sharapova advanced tae the semi-finals whaur she wis beaten in straucht sets bi Serena Williams. At the 2014 Australian Open Sharapova, ranked 3rd, wis knocked oot o the tournament in the 4t roond bi the 20t seed, an eventual finalist, Dominika Cibulkova. Sharapova lost the match in 3 sets. Sharapova then participated in GDF Suez whaur she wis upset in the semifinals tae fellae Roushie an eventual tournament winner Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova in three sets.

In Mairch, playin in the Indian Wells Masters, she wis beaten bi 22-year-auld Italian Camila Giorgi in the third roond, in three sets.[148] Therefore, due tae the WTA ranking seestem, this wad mean anither drop in ranking, bringin her tae warld No. 7. In Aprile, she won Stuttgart Open, her first title o the year an 30t o her career bi defeatin Ana Ivanovic in three sets. Stuttgart is the anly tournament Sharapova haes won three times. In Mey, Maria won the Madrid Open, her seicont title o the year an first in Madrid, defeatin Simona Halep in three sets. Wi nine clay titles, she joins Venus Williams as the third maist successfu active player on the surface.[149] Sharapova then competit in the Italian Open in Roum, whaur she made the third roond. She lost tae Ana Ivanovic in straucht sets.

Sharapova wis seedit 7t at 2014 French Open an defeatit Ksenia Pervak, Tsvetana Pironkova, an Paula Ormaechea in the first 3 roonds, all in straucht sets. In the fowert roond she defeatit Samantha Stosur, reeling off nine straucht gemmes frae a set an 3–4 doun. This merked her 14t win in 16 meetins wi the Australian. In the quarters, she defeatit Garbine Muguruza, again coming back frae a set doun, tae reach the semifinals at the French for the fowert consecutive year. In the semi-finals, she defeatit Eugenie Bouchard, ance again coming back frae a set doun, tae reach her third consecutive French Open final. In the final, she defeatit Simona Halep in three sets tae win her seicont French Open title an fift oweraw Major title. This wis the first time syne 2001 whaur a third set wis contested in the final. The match teuk juist ower three oors, an haes been describit as ane o the best weemen's finals in recent years. [150] The 2014 Wimbledon Championships will be her next tournament as Sharapova chose nae tae play a warm-up event afore the third Grand Slam o the saison gets underway.[151] At the 2014 Wimbledon Championships, Sharapova reached the fowert roond, whaur she lost tae German Angelique Kerber, the ninth seed, in three sets.

Sharapova then played the 2014 Rogers Cup in Montreal whaur she wis the 4t seed. She received a first roond bye an faced Garbine Muguruza in her opener, she won in 3 sets. In the follaein roond she lost in 3 sets tae Muguruza's compatriot, Carla Suarez Navarro. At the 2014 Western & Southern Open, Sharapova wis seedit 5t an defeatit Madison Keys efter haein a first roond bye. She then went on tae defeat Pavlyuchenkova an newly crowned warld no.2 Simona Halep tae reach the last fower. She faced Ivanovic again but lost in a roller coaster three-setter despite haein twa match pynts. Sharapova then travelled tae New York for the US Open whaur she wis the 5t seed. She defeatit compatriot Maria Kirilenko an Romanian Alexandra Dulgheru afore overcoming 26t seedit German Sabine Lisicki in roond 3 tae set up a clash wi Caroline Wozniacki in the roond o 16. Sharapova lost tae the Dane in 3 sets.

Sharapova next played the inaugural 2014 Wuhan open whaur she wis seedit 4t. Efter receiving a first roond bye she defeatit compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova in 3 sets an next faced Timea Bacsinszky. Awtho Sharapova won thair 2 previous encounters she wis stunned bi Timea in 2 tight sets sicweys endin her campaign at the premier 5 tournament.

The follaein week Sharapova played the China Open in Beijing a Premier Mandatory-level tournament. Reachin the final wioot dropping a set, Sharapova defeatit warld No. 9 Ana Ivanovic in the semis. In the final Sharapova met reigning Wimbledon champion an warld No. 3 Petra Kvitova. Sharapova won the match in 2 oors 30 minutes, defeatin the Czech in three sets. Bi virtue o the win, Sharapova's ranking rose frae No. 4 tae No. 2 in the warld an she secured herself the seicont seeding for the WTA year end Championship. An aa, Sharapova closed in on the year end number ane ranking spot, bein juist 467 pynts behind Williams.

Maria wis ranked No. 2 heidin intae the WTA Tour Championships, wi a chance o owertakin Serena Williams as warld No. 1. She wis drawn in the white group, wi Petra Kvitova, Agnieszka Radwanska an Caroline Wozniacki. Her first match wis a three set loss tae Wozniacki. Maria an aa lost her 2nt roond robin match tae Kvitova in straucht sets; her first loss tae Petra syne 2011. Maria still haed a chance o makin the Semis, houiver she needed tae beat Radwanska in twa sets, an Wozniacki needed tae beat Petra in straucht sets as well. She ended her year wi a win against Radwanska in three sets, finishin3rd oweraw in the White group. She ended the year as warld No. 2, behind Serena Williams.

2015: Fourth Australian Open final[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova kicked off her 2015 saison at the Brisbane International whaur she wis tap seed an received a bye in the first roond. Sharapova defeatit Yaroslava Shvedova an Carla Suarez Navarro. In the semi finals Sharapova faced Elina Svitolina, beatin her in straucht sets. Reachin the final wioot dropping a set, Sharapova played an intense match against seicont seed Ana Ivanovic but came throu in three sets. This wis Sharapova's 10t win ower Ivanovic an bi winnin her 34th title, it meant that Sharapova haes won at least ane title every year for 13 consecutive years. An aa, it wis juist her seicont title in Australie sae far, an for baith she beat Ivanovic. Sharapova's next tournament wis the 2015 Australian Open, whaur she beat Petra Martić an fellae countrywoman Alexandra Panova (despite haein twa match pynts against her) in the first twa roonds, afore beatin Zarina Diyas an Peng Shuai in straucht sets. Thare, she beat seivent-seedit Eugenie Bouchard an fellae Roushie Ekaterina Makarova in straucht sets tae mak her fowert Australian Open final, whaur she lost tae Serena Williams in straucht sets, worsening her record against her tae 2–17. In Februar, follaein her participation in the Fed Cup, Sharapova played in Acapulco, whaur she beat Shelby Rogers, Mariana Duque Mariño an Magdaléna Rybáriková tae advance the semifinals. Sharapova later withdrew frae her match against Caroline Garcia, citing a painch virus. Next, in Indian Wells, she beat Yanina Wickmayer an Victoria Azarenka in straucht sets, afore losin tae defendin champion Flavia Pennetta in the fowert roond in three sets. Efter receiving a bye in the first roond o the Miami Open, Sharapova lost in the seicont roond tae fellae Roushie Daria Gavrilova in straucht sets, merking her earliest exit frae the tournament syne her first appearance in Miami in 2003.

Sharapova began her clay saison in Stuttgart whaur she wis the three time defendin champion. Efter receiving a first roond bye, she lost in the seicont roond tae Angelique Kerber in three sets, snapping Sharapova's win streak at the tournament an merking her first ever loss at the tournament haein won it three times in a row (2012, 2013, & 2014). The loss an aa snapped a 64 match win streak on clay whaur Sharapova won the first set an went on tae win the match. The last time Sharapova lost a match on clay efter winnin the first set wis against Dinara Safina in the fowert roond at the 2008 French Open. As a result o the loss Sharapova lost the No. 2 ranking tae Simona Halep. Sharapova's next clay court tournament wis the Madrid Open whaur she wis the defendin champion. She advanced tae the semifinals. Thare, she wis beaten bi Svetlana Kuznetsova for the first time syne 2008. Sharapova's next tournament wis be the Italian Open in Roum whaur she wis seedit 3rd. She beat Victoria Azarenka in the quarterfinals in straucht sets tae set up a re-match wi Daria Gavrilova. She beat Gavrilova in straucht sets tae advance tae the final, whaur she faced Carla Suarez Navarro. Efter losin the first set, Sharapova managed tae claim the next twa sets an her third Roum title. Bi winnin Roum, Sharapova reclaimed the No. 2 ranking ower Halep.

Fed Cup participation[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova haes lived in the United States syne muivin thare at the age o seiven, but retains her Roushie citizenship, an is therefore eligible tae play in the Fed Cup for Roushie.[152] Houiver, the behaviour o Sharapova's faither during her matches on the WTA Tour, combined wi a perceived lack o commitment bi her tae the Fed Cup, haes made her selection for the Roushie Fed Cup team cause controversy in the past.

Efter Sharapova haed beaten fellae Roushie Anastasia Myskina at the 2004 WTA Tour Championships, Myskina criticized Sharapova's faither, saying: "He was just yelling and screaming instructions to her and I thought he just might jump right on the court at one point in the match." At the Fed Cup semifinals twa weeks later, Myskina stated she wad stap playin for Roushie if Sharapova jynt the Roushie team the follaein saison: "If she joins our team next season you won't see me there for sure. His behaviour is totally incorrect, simply rude. I don't want to be around people like him." Larisa Neiland, assistant tae Roushie Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev, added: "Her father's behaviour (at the WTA Tour Championships) was simply outrageous. I just don't see how he could work with the rest of us." Houiver Tarpishchev himself played doun the problem, insisting: "I feel that things will calm down soon and we'll have Myskina, Sharapova, Kuznetsova and everyone else playing for Russia."[153]

At the end o 2005, Sharapova stated she wis nou keen tae mak her Fed Cup debut[154] an wis set tae play against Belgium in Aprile 2006, but withdrew.[155] She later withdrew frae ties against Spain in Aprile 2007[156] an against the United States in Julie 2007 acause o injuries.[157] The latter withdrawal led tae Roushie's captain saying she wad be "ineligible for selection" for the Fed Cup final in September.[158] Houiver, Sharapova attended the final, cheering frae the sidelines an actin as a "hitting partner" in practices, resultin in some o her Roushie teammates implying that she wis attending anly tae enable her tae play at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (rules state that players must hae "shown commitment" tae Fed Cup in order tae play). Svetlana Kuznetsova said, "She said she wanted to be our practice partner but if you can't play how then can you practice?"[159]

Sharapova finally made her Fed Cup debut in Februar 2008, in Roushie's quarterfinal tie against Israel.[160] She won baith her singles rubbers, against Tzipora Obziler an Shahar Pe'er, helpin Roushie tae a 4–1 victory.[161] For the semifinals, she wis gien permission tae skip the tie, wi Tarpishchev annooncin that she will be on the team for the final.[162] Houiver, the date o the final coincided wi the lay-off frae her shoulder injury, an sicweys she did nae play.[162]

In the 2011 first-roond tie, Sharapova played Virginie Razzano o Fraunce an lost. Sharapova wis supposed tae play Alizé Cornet but she wis sufferin frae a viral illness.[163] Teammate Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova played an defeatit Cornet tae secure the 3–2 win for Roushie against Fraunce. Sharapova continued tae participate in 2012 an helped Roushie tae a 3–2 win against Spain in the first-roond tie. Sharapova defeatit Silvia Soler Espinosa in the first rubber, but wis unable tae play her seicont rubber due tae illness.[164] In 2015, Sharapova helped Roushie earn a place in the semifinals efter beatin Pole Urszula Radwanska in the first tie an her sister Agnieszka Radwanska in the seicont tie.

Playing style[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova is an aggressive baseliner wi pouer, depth, an angles on her forehaund an backhaund.[165] She is ane o the few players on the WTA tour who eften uses the reverse forehaund. Instead o uisin a tradeetional volley or owerheid smash, she prefers tae hit a powerful "swinging" volley when approachin the net or attacking lobs.[166] Sharapova is thocht tae hae good speed aroond the court, especially considering her height.[165] At the beginnin o 2008, some observers noted that Sharapova haed developed her game, shawin improved movement an footwork an the addition o a drop shot an sliced backhaund tae her repertoire o shots.[167][168] Despite her powerful game, Sharapova's greatest asset is considered tae be her mental toughness an competitive spirit, wi Nick Bollettieri statin that she is "tough as nails". Haw-o-famer John McEnroe said o Sharapova, "she's one of the best competitors in the history of the sport."[169] Sharapova is kent for on-court "grunting", which reached a recorded 101 decibels during a match at Wimbledon in 2005.[170] During her seicont roond match in Birmingham in 2003, Sharapova wis asked tae tone doun the level o her grunt efter opponent Nathalie Dechy complained tae the umpire, wi Sharapova's response saying that her grunting wis "a natural instinct."[171] Monica Seles suggestit that gruntin is involuntary an a pairt o tennis.[172] When questioned bi the media aboot her grunting, Sharapova urged the media tae "just watch the match."[173] Her defensive gemme haes been worked on bi her new coach, an this haes reflected in her results, makin consecutive semi-finals at premier mandatory events on the tour. Later in her career, Sharapova an aa added drop shots tae her repertoire, makin for a mair unpredictable gemme style.

Serve[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova at The Championships, Wimbledon in 2009.

Early in her career Sharapova's first an seicont serves war regarded as powerful,[165] an she wis believed tae possess ane o the best deliveries on the Tour.[174] Syne the beginnin o 2007, houiver, problems wi her shoulder hae reduced the effectiveness o her serve.[174] The shoulder injury nae anly resulted in her inconsistent first serves, but an aa her hitting heich nummers o double faults.[175] Twa-time US Open singles champion Tracy Austin believes that Sharapova eften loses confidence in the rest o her gemme when she experiences problems wi her serve an consequently produces mair unforced errors an generally plays mair tentatively,[176] while tennis writer Joel Drucker remarked that her serve wis the "catalyst for her entire game", an that her struggles wi it left her "unmasked."[174]

In her return frae layoff in 2008 tae 2009, she uised an abbreviated motion, which wis somewhat less powerful, an tho producin aces an aa gae a very heich number o double faults. Efter her early loss at the 2009 US Open, Sharapova returned tae a mair elangatit motion, seemilar tae her pre-surgery serve. She haes syne been able tae produce speeds greater than afore, includin a 121 mph serve hit at the Birmingham tournament in 2010 – the fastest serve o her career.[177]

Houiver syne her shoulder operation Sharapova haes been unable tae control her serve. This haes led tae numerous faults, as she is unable tae feel how much power she is generating.[178] The new action led tae an elbow injury, but unner Thomas Högstedt it haes improved but can still be erratic.[179] This improvement in serving can be seen in the 2013 Australian Open an follaein tournaments whaur Maria Sharapova committed fewer double faults than in previous years.

Surfaces[eedit | eedit soorce]

Acause she predicates her gemme on power, Sharapova's preferred surfaces early in her career war the fast-playin haurd an gress courts, as evident throu her 25 victories on haurd court an gress court. This is maist notable when she won the 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 U.S. Open an 2008 Australian Open crowns, whaur she haed her career breakthrough an played her peak tennis level, respectively.

Sharapova initially wis nae as well-suited tae the slower clay courts as she is on haurd an gress courts. Sharapova admitted in 2007 that she wis nae as comfortable wi her movement on clay compared wi ither court surfaces an ance describit herself as lik a "cow on ice" efter a match on clay,[180] due tae her inability tae slide. Later in her career, she showed improvement on this surface wi respect tae experience, as evidenced wi her first WTA reid clay title at the 2010 Internationaux de Strasbourg, 7 years syne playin on the WTA circuit. She won her first French Open title an capturt the career grand slam at the 2012 French Open an as o 2014 leads the WTA tour o active players wi the heichest winnin percentage on clay, wi an 84.25% winnin rate.[181] Syne her shoulder injury, her best surface haes acome clay ower gress & haurd courts, an wi her victory at the 2014 French Open, she haes nou won the French Open twice, which is mair times than she haes won ony ither slam, an her last 3 Grand Slam Finals hae all been at the French Open (3 consecutive finals frae 2012–2014).

Personal life[eedit | eedit soorce]

Relationships[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova haes dated Maroon 5 sangster Adam Levine. The couple dated for a short time in 2005 efter meetin at Sharapova's 18t birthday pairty. Houiver, the couple broke up suin. In 2008, Sharapova briefly dated American televeesion producer Charlie Ebersol but the pair split suin efter. In 2011, Sharapova wis engaged tae Slovenian professional basketball player Sasha Vujačić.[182][183] The twa haed been datin syne 2009.[184] On August 31, 2012, Sharapova confirmed that the pair haed ended the engagement an separated during early 2012. Later that year, she began datin Bulgarian tennis player Grigor Dimitrov. The twa confirmed thair relationship efter the 2013 Madrid Open.

Public profile[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova haes lived in the United States syne muivin thare at the age o seiven. Besides a home in Bradenton, Florida, she an aa haes a residence in Manhattan Beach, California.[185] Frae 2005 tae 2011, Sharapova wis named tae the Forbes Celebrity 100, which attempts tae compile the tap 100 maist powerful celebrities o that year.[186] Sharapova haes made varyin remarks on how lang she intends tae maintain her tennis career. Follaein the retirement o 25-year-auld Justine Henin in 2008, Sharapova said, "If I was 25 and I'd won so many Grand Slams, I'd quit too."[187] In an interview efter the 2008 Australian Open, she balked at the idea o playin for anither ten years, saying that she hoped tae hae a "nice husband and a few kids" bi then.[188] Houiver in an interview afore her 2012 Australian Open semifinal, Sharapova changed her stance, saying she intendit tae continue playin tennis for as lang as she enjoyed playin the game. Sharapova stated "I'm sure when I was 17 years old and someone said, you'll be playing for another eight years, it would be like, you're not going to see me at a press conference at 25 years old. But years go on. I missed a year in my career—I didn't play that year. I've said this, just before the tournament, a few weeks before, I woke up and I was just so happy to be going back on the court. I felt so fresh, full of energy, just with a really good perspective. Times change, obviously. I see myself playing this sport for many more years because it's something that gives me the most pleasure in my life. I think it helps when you know you're good at something, and you can always improve it. It obviously helps with the encouragement."[189]

At the 2004 US Open, Sharapova, alang wi several ither Roushie female tennis players, wore a black ribbon in observance o the tragedy efter the Beslan schuil hostage crisis, which teuk place anly days afore.[190] In 2005, she donated aroond US$50,000 tae those affected bi the crisis.[36] On Februar 14, 2007, Sharapova wis appyntit a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) an donated US$210,000 tae UNDP Chernobyl-recovery projects. She stated at the time that she wis planning tae traivel back tae the aurie efter Wimbledon in 2008,[191] tho it didn't happen, as she haed tae traivel back tae the US acause o shoulder injury.[192] She fulfilled the trip in late Juin – early Julie 2010. Sharapova haes helped tae promote the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Roushie,[193] an wis the first torch bearer in the torch-lichtin ceremony during the openin festivities. In addition, wi Angela Haynes, Maria Kirilenko, Nicole Vaidišová, Rennae Stubbs, Governor Jeb Bush an Jennifer Capriati, Sharapova participated in an exhibition in Tampa in December 2004, raisin money for the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund.[194] In Julie 2008, Sharapova sent a message on DVD tae the memorial service o cancer victim Emily Bailes, who haed performed the coin toss ahead o the 2004 Wimbledon final that Sharapova haed gone on tae win.[195]

Endorsements[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sharapova at offeecial unveilin o her Canon PowerShot Diamond lineup

Sharapova's tennis success an appearance hae enabled her tae secure commercial endorsements that greatly exceed the value o her tournament winnins.[196][197] In Mairch 2006, Forbes magazine listed her as the heichest-peyed female athlete in the warld, wi annual earnins o ower US $18 million,[198] the majority f which wis frae endorsements an sponsorships. She haes topped that leet every year syne, even efter her 2007 shoulder injury.[199][200][201] In 2011, Forbes listed Sharapova as No. 29 in thair leet o 50 tap-peyed athletes, the anly woman on the leet.[202] In 2012, she wis listed as No. 15, an wis jynt in the tap 20 bi Li Na at No. 16 an Serena Williams at No. 17.[203] In Aprile 2005, People named her ane o the 50 maist beautiful celebrities in the warld.[204] In 2006, Maxim ranked Sharapova the hettest athlete in the warld for the fowert consecutive year. She posed in a sax-page bikini photoshuit spread in the 2006 Valentine's Day issue o the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, alangside 25 supermodels.[205] In a poll run bi Britain's FHM magazine, she wis voted the seivent maist eligible bachelorette,[206] based on baith "wealth and looks."

Immediately efter her win at the 2004 Wimbledon Championship, mobile phone company Motorola signed Sharapova tae endorse thair mobile phone line.[207] Additionally, she appeared in commercials for Land Rover an Canon, as well as approved o namesake items bi watch brand Tag Heuer an jeweller Tiffany.[207] Tiffany an aa provides Sharapova wi earrings frae the "Tiffany for Maria Sharapova" collection at the fower major events, that are an aa retailed globally.[208] She an aa starred in an awaird winnin campaign for the sports claedin brand Nike, "Pretty", in the simmer o 2006. She signed a sponsorship deal in Januar 2007 wi Gatorade an Tropicana,[209] which ended in 2009.[210] In 2007, Sharapova wis featurt in a nummer o Canon USA's commercials for the PowerShot.[211] Sharapova haes an aa been depicted in mony tennis-relatit video gemmes. Some o the titles include the Top Spin series, Virtua Tennis series, an Grand Slam Tennis series. During the layoff due tae her shoulder surgery, sensing the fleeting naitur o a professional athlete's career, Sharapova decidit tae focus on developin her name as a brand, beginnin wi meetin wi her sponsors mair extensively tae further her brand.[207] In Januar 2010, it wis annoonced that Sharapova haed renewed her contract wi Nike, signin an 8-year deal for $70 million. This is the maist lucrative deal ever for a sportswoman, dwarfing the previous record, which wis Venus Williams' $43 million deal wi Reebok.[212]

Follaein in the fitsteps o tennis players who stairtit claedin lines sic as Fred Perry an René Lacoste, Sharapova launched her ain tennis apparel line, the "Nike Maria Sharapova Collection", in 2010. The collection includes dresses that she designed for all the major tournaments, in collaboration wi Nike an Cole Haan.[213] She haed previously foond that the outfits gien tae her bi Nike did nae suit her frame an war worn bi ower mony ither players.[207] She comes up wi design ideas an sketches in a process that begins 18 months afore the event[213] an receives royalties frae the sale o the collection, o which the corresponding dresses are coordinated tae be available simultaneously wi the correspondin major tournament.[207] The collection is worn bi ither WTA players, includin Sofia Arvidsson, Eugenie Bouchard, Kai-Chen Chang, Andrea Hlaváčková, Madison Keys, Anastasia Pivovarova as well as junior players sic as Indy De Vroome.[213] Sharapova haed earlier collaboratit wi Nike on the "little black dress" that she wore for her nicht matches at the 2006 US Open.[207] The dress featurt a roond crystal studded collar an wis inspired bi Audrey Hepburn.[207] The dress wis well publicized an received but wis nae mass-produced.[207][213][214] Additionally, she designs shoes an handbags for Cole Haan, for which her signature ballerina flats are ane o the biggest sellers o the entire brand.[207]

Sharapova uised the Prince Triple Threat Hornet for pairt o 2003 an then uised several different Prince racquets until the US Open. She gae the racquet she uised in the 2004 Wimbledon final tae Regis Philbin when taping Live with Regis and Kelly. Sharapova began uisin the Prince Shark OS at that tournament specially designed for her.[215] She then switched tae the Prince O3 White racquet in Januar 2006. She switched tae the Prince O3 Speedport Black in Julie 2008.[216] Efter bein wi Prince for ten years,[217] Sharapova began endorsing Head racquets in 2011 an uses the Head YOUTEK IG Instinct.[218][219]

Sharapova signed a three-year deal tae be brand ambassador for Porsche in 2013.[220]

Sugarpova[eedit | eedit soorce]

Sugarpova is a candy line creaut bi Maria Sharapova an candy veteran Jeff Rubin, foonder o internaitional retailer IT'SUGAR.[221][222] Accordin tae the Sugarpova wabsteid, "Sugarpova is a premium candy line that reflects the fun, fashionable, sweet side of international tennis sensation Maria Sharapova."[223] The line currently consists o 12 different flavors that range frae Flirty, tae Smitten Sour, tae Splashy.[224] A portion o aw proceeds goes tae the Maria Sharapova Foundation, Sharapova's charity.[223] Sugarpova wis launched warldwide in 2013 throu IT'SUGAR an Selfridges stores.

Accordin tae her agent, Sharapova seriously considered changing her last name tae "Sugarpova" for the 2013 US Open, but ultimately decidit against it.[225] Houiver, some reports suggest that she made an application tae a Florida Court tae that effect.[226]

Career statistics[eedit | eedit soorce]

Grand Slam tournaments[eedit | eedit soorce]

Singles performance timeline[eedit | eedit soorce]

Key
W  F  SF QF R# RR LQ (Q#) A P Z# PO SF-B F-S G NMS NH

Won toornament; or reached Final; Semifinal; Quarter-final; Roond 4, 3, 2, 1; competit at a Roond Robin stage; lost in Qualification Round; absent frae toornament event; played in a Davis Cup Zonal Group (wi its nummer indication) or Play-off; won a bronze, siller (F or S) or gowd medal at the Olympics; a doungradit Masters Series/1000 toornament (Nae a Masters Series); or a toornament that was Not Held in a gien year.

Tae avoid confusion an double coontin, these charts are updatit either at the conclusion o a toornament, or when the player's pairteecipation in the toornament has endit.

Tournament 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010 2011 2012 2013 2014 2015 SR W–L Win %
Australian Open 1R 3R SF SF F W A 1R 4R F SF 4R F 1 / 12 48–11 81.36%
French Open 1R QF QF 4R SF 4R QF 3R SF W F W 4R 2 / 13 53–11 82.81%
Wimbledon 4R W SF SF 4R 2R 2R 4R F 4R 2R 4R 1 / 12 42–11 79.25%
US Open 2R 3R SF W 3R A 3R 4R 3R SF A 4R 1 / 10 32–9 78.38%
Win–Loss 4–4 15–3 19–4 20–3 16–4 11–2 7–3 8–4 16–4 21–3 12–3 16–3 5 / 46 172–41 80.25%

Note: At the 2003 Australian Open an 2003 French Open, Sharapova won three qualifyin roond matches at each toornament in order tae enter the main draw.

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