Maria is one of the biggest female stars of world tennis, as well as being one of the world’s most beautiful women. She has become a role-model and icon to millions of adoring fans. She has been labelled as a power baseliner and excellent all round player, she is also noted for her powerful and well placed forehand, double-handed backhand and serves. Being an offensive player, Sharapova is usually able to overpower her opponents or keep them on the run with sharp angles from the baseline.
Sharapova has won 27 WTA singles titles, including four Grand Slam singles titles. She has also won the year-end WTA Tour Championships in 2004. The Women’s Tennis Association has ranked Sharapova World No. 1 in singles on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks. She became the world No. 1 for the first time on August 22, 2005, and regained the ranking for the fifth time on June 11, 2012. She has been in seven Grand Slam finals with a record of 4–3.
Her parents moved from Homyel, Belarus, to Siberia, Russia, in 1986, after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. She was born the following year in Nyagan, Russia.
At the age of six, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow run by Martina Navratilova, who recommended professional training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, which had previously trained players such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Anna Kournikova. With money tight, Yuri borrowed the sum that would enable him and his daughter, neither of whom could speak English, to travel to the United States, which they finally did in 1994.
Maria has lived in the United States since she was seven but retains her Russian citizenship.
Sharapova made her professional breakthrough in 2004 at age 17, when she defeated two-time defending champion and top seed Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon finalfor her first Grand Slam singles title. She entered the top 10 of the WTA Rankings with the win. She subsequently won major titles at the 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open, before being forced out of the game for ten months by a recurring shoulder injury, which ultimately required surgery in October 2008. Sharapova returned to the game in May 2009, returning to the top 10 in March 2011 and capturing her fourth grand slam title at the 2012 French Open. By doing so, it made her the 6th woman in the Open Era to complete the career grand slam. In the same year, she won an Olympic silver medal in the London 2012 Olympics, losing the final to Serena Williams.
She has won every Grand Slam singles title except the French Open. She believes that winning the French Open will be a big challenge because her aggressive game does not suit a clay surface.
Sharapova has been featured in a number of modeling assignments and advertisements, and is the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan.
Maria has made donations to many needy people including victims of the 2004 tsunami disaster in Thailand and victims of the school siege in Beslan, Russia in 2004.
In 2007 Maria was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and donated US$100,000 to UNDP Chernobyl-recovery projects.
Maria is a wonderful asset to any campaign.