Born19 April 1987
Maria Sharapova is a Russian professional tennis player in the WTA who inspires wonders and encourages young ones, especially girls, to infuse passion as well as hard work in whatever chosen field of career. Sharapova is one of the greatest sportswomen the game of tennis has known. Earning accolades as well as breaking records, Sharapova is one few women as well as the only Russian who holds the Grand Slam.
Childhood & Early Life
Maria Sharapova was born on 19 April 1987 to her mother, Yelena Sharapova and father, Yuri Sharapova, in the Nyagan town of Russia and grew up in the same place. In 1989, when Sharapova was two, the family moved to Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia.
Sharapova’s interest in Tennis was one which was noticed by her father’s friend Aleksandr Kafelnikov who handed her the first racquet she’s owned at the tender age of four. When Sharapova turned six, she began taking Tennis classes at a Tennis clinic. On seeing Sharapova progress, they recommended she attended IMG Academy, Florida for her professional training. Despite not having sufficient funds, her determined father (Yuri Sharapova) borrowed money in order to see his little girl get the best Tennis training to compete in the major league. Upon her arrival to Florida, Yuri resorted to menial jobs, to sponsor his little girl’s Tennis classes, pending the time she was of age to enrol in the Academy. Before she attended Academy, Sharapova trained with the Rick Macci Tennis Academy. However after signing with IMG, Sharapova discontinued her session with Rick Macci. Long-limbed and powerful, Sharapova showed immense promise on the competitive circuit. She turned professional on her 14th birthday but continued to compete among her peers, finishing runner-up at the junior Wimbledon and French Open tournaments in 2002.
Sharapova claimed her first WTA victory at the 2003 AIG Japan Open and also reached the fourth round at Wimbledon on her first attempt during the same year. Success came the following year when she won the singles title at Wimbledon, becoming Russia's first female Wimbledon champion. At the end of 2004, she added a WTA Championships title to her list of achievements. She became the first Russian woman to ascend to the sport's top ranking in 2005, and the following year she claimed her second Grand Slam title with a win at the U.S. Open. At the start of 2008, Sharapova won her third grand slam singles title at the 2008 Australian Open, defeating Ana Ivanovic in straight sets. She finished 2009 ranked World No. 14, having improved her ranking from World No. 126 when she returned to the sport after a lengthy injury break. In April 2011, Sharapova returned to the top ten of the WTA Rankings for the first time in three years after losing to Victoria Azarenka in the final of the Sony Ericsson Open. In May, she won her biggest title on clay at the time in Rome, defeating Samantha Stosur in the final. At Wimbledon, she reached her first grand slam singles final in three years but lost in straight sets to first time grand slam finalist, Petra Kvitová. Sharapova finished the year ranked World No. 4, her best finish since 2008.
In June 2012, Sharapova capped her comeback by defeating Sara Errani in the French Open final. The victory made her just the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam and allowed her to regain the world's No. 1 ranking.
At the 2012 Summer Olympic Games — Sharapova's Olympic debut — she won a silver medal in women's singles, losing the gold to American tennis star Serena Williams. The Russian continued to play well in subsequent majors, finishing runner-up at the 2013 French Open. However, shoulder problems again took a toll, and not long after a disappointing second-round loss at Wimbledon, she withdrew from action for the remainder of the season.
Regaining momentum in 2014, Sharapova won her second French Open and fifth overall Grand Slam title by defeating Simona Halep. In 2015, she advanced to the Australian Open final and the semifinals of the U.S. Open, before finishing the year ranked No. 4.
Sharapova has been involved in romantic relationships with bigwigs in different industries, from sports, TV to Music. She was in a romantic relationship with Adam Levine dating back to 2005, which ended in the same year. Later on, she dated Andy Roddick for 2 years from 2005 to 2006.After the breakup she was in romantic relationship with Charlie Ebersol, a TV producer in 2008. After moving on from her break up with Charlie, Sharapova became engaged to Slovenian professional basketball player Sasha Vujacic after dating for a couple of years.
Maria Sharapova has confirmed she is dating a good friend of Prince William and Prince Harry. The tennis star has reportedly been linked to British millionaire Alexander Gilkes.
On April 14, 2001, Maria Sharapova made her professional debut on her 14th birthday.
When Maria Sharapova was 15 years old, she played in the finals of the Australian Open junior tournament, making her the youngest person to reach the finals.
In 2003, Maria Sharapova was awarded as the Russian Cup Newcomer of the Year.
As a professional, Maria Sharapova was awarded as the WTA Newcomer of the Year in 2003.
In 2004, Maria Sharapova was able to enter the top 10 for the first time.
Maria Sharapova got her first grand slam singles title at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.
In the 2004 WTA Tour Championships, Maria Sharapova won the finals against Serena Williams.
Maria Sharapova was awarded as the WTA Player of the Year and WTA Most Improved Player of the Year in 2004.
On August 22, 2005, Maria Sharapova was the first Russian woman to gain the world No. 1 ranking.
Maria Sharapova was awarded as the ESPY Best Female Tennis Player in the year 2005, 2007, and 2008.
Maria Sharapova had a 19-match win streak during 2006.
In 2005 and 2006, Maria Sharapova was awarded as the Russian Cup Female Tennis Player of the Year.
In 2007, Maria Sharapova became the ESPY Best International Female Athlete.
With around $22 million earned in 2009, Maria Sharapova was the top earner in female sports even if she only played three tournaments because of a shoulder injury.
Maria Sharapova received the awards for WTA Humanitarian of the Year, WTA Most Fashionable Player (on and off court) and WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player in 2010.
In 2012, Maria Sharapova was only the tenth woman to complete a Career Grand Slam with the French Open victory.
Maria Sharapova was the first female flag bearer for Russia in Olympic Games history.
On August 13, 2012, Maria Sharapova was awarded with the Medal of the Order For Merit to the Fatherland 1st Class.
Maria Sharapova bagged her first grand slam singles title since 2008 and fourth title overall at the 2012 French Open, which made her the sixth woman in the open era to complete a Career Grand Slam in singles.
Maria Sharapova reached the final of the Australian Open and won her third title in Rome in 2015.
Drug Controversy and Suspension
In March 2016, Sharapova announced that she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January. At a press conference, the tennis star said that she had tested positive for Mildronate, with an active ingredient of meldonium, which she had been taking for health issues since 2006. The drug was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency's (WADA) prohibited list on January 1, 2016.
On June 8, 2016, an independent tribunal appointed by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) suspended Sharapova from playing for two years because of the failed drug test.
In October 2016, after Sharapova appealed her two-year suspension, the Court of Arbitration for Sport announced that her punishment would be reduced by 15 months, allowing her to return to international competition in April 2017.
At the conclusion of her suspension, Sharapova returned to action at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix on April 26, 2017. She won her first WTA title in two years at the Tianjin Open in October, and gradually battled her way back into the sport's Top 30 before the start of the French Open in May 2018.
“You can’t control what people say about you and what they think about you. You can’t plan for bad luck. You can only work your hardest and do your best and tell the truth. In the end, it’s the effort that matters. The rest is beyond your control.”
“At the beginning, it’s all you have: a simple forehand, a simple backhand. It’s all you have at the end, too.”
“I don't think it's for them to have an opinion, because they don't have the facts'.”
“If you don't know where you come from, you don't know who you are. “If you don't know where you come from, you don't know who you are. ”
“I love where I'm from. I don't live there because of the circumstances, but all my family is there. It's what's inside, it's not what's outside that determines the culture and the feeling.”
“I want to be different. If everyone is wearing black, I want to be wearing red.”
“I'm not the next anyone, I'm the first Maria Sharapova”.