Maria Sharapova - Smartasses Top 100 Sexiest Women
Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова [pronounced sha-RAH-po-va] Russian pronunciation: [mɐˈrʲijə ʂɐˈrapəvə]; born April 19, 1987) is a former World No. 1 Russian professional tennis player. Notable Sharapova wins are: 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open. She was also runner-up at the 2007 Australian Open. She has also won the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships in 2004. The Women’s Tennis Association has ranked her first World No. 1 on Aug 22, 2005.
Sharapova made her professional breakthrough in 2004 when, at age 17, she upset two-time defending champion and top seed Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final for her first Grand Slam singles title. She won her second major at the 2006 US Open defeating then-World No. 1 Amélie Mauresmo in the semifinals and World No. 2 Justine Henin in the final. She ultimately won her third Grand Slam at the 2008 Australian Open, defeating Henin in the quarterfinals and Ana Ivanović in the final. After reclaiming the number one ranking in May 2008, Sharapova’s shoulder problems re-surfaced, ultimately requiring surgery in October and forcing her out of the game for nearly ten months. Sharapova returned in May 2009 and was ranked No. 126 in the world due to her extensive lay-off.
|Born: April 19th, 1987 Aries|
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Sharapova’s public profile extends beyond tennis, as she has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Also she has been featured in many advertisements including Nike, Prince, Canon and many more, also being the face of many fashion houses, primarily Cole Haan. Sharapova was the most searched-for athlete on Yahoo! in both 2005 and 2008. She has been a United Nations Development Project Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme.
Sharapova was born in 1987 to Yuri and Yelena, ethnic Belarusians, in the town of Nyagan’ in Siberia, Russia. Her parents moved from Gomel, Belarus after the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986 affected the region. When Sharapova was two, the family moved to Sochi where her father befriended Aleksandr Kafelnikov, whose son Yevgeny would go on to win two Grand Slam singles titles and became Russia’s first ever World No. 1 tennis player. Aleksandr gave Sharapova her first tennis racket at the age of four, whereupon she began practicing regularly with her father in a local park. She took her first tennis lessons with veteran Russian coach Yuri Yutkin, who was instantly impressed when he first saw her, noting her “exceptional hand-eye co-ordination.”
At the age of seven, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow run by Martina Navrátilová, who recommended professional training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. With money tight, Yuri was forced to borrow the sum that would allow him and his daughter, neither of whom could speak English, to travel to America, which they finally did in 1994. Visa restrictions prevented Sharapova’s mother from joining them for two years. Arriving in Florida with just $700 to his name, Sharapova’s father took various low-paying jobs, including dish-washing, to fund her lessons until she was old enough to be admitted to the academy. In 1995, she was signed by IMG, who agreed to pay the annual tuition fee of $35,000 for Sharapova to stay at the academy, allowing her to finally enroll at the age of 9. -Wikipedia