Maria Sharapova

 

 


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Maria Sharapova is one of the most beloved figures in sports, and Maria Sharapova pics are among the most sought after images on Google, Yahoo, and other search engines.  Sure, you know that Maria is beautiful and that plays tennis. But what do you really know about this vixen of the tennis courts?

Who is Maria Sharapova?

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova was born on April 19, 1987 and is a Russian pro tennis player.  Right before Sharapova’s birth, her parents left their homeland of Gomel, Belarus, which was affected by the Chernobyl nuclear accident.  Russia’s first-ever number one tennis player and friend of the family gave her a tennis racket when she was four, and her love of tennis began.  Her first tennis coach noted that she has “exceptional” eye to hand coordination.  By age seven, coaches were recommending that Sharapova receive professional training.  Moving to the states in 1004, Sharapova’s father took menial jobs to pay for her tennis lessons until she was signed by IMG, who would go on to pay her tuition to attend a tennis academy.  By age 9, Sharapova was enrolled officially in the tennis academy.

Sharapova was formerly ranked number one on the planet in tennis, and has lived in the United States since 1994.  She has won two dozen WTA single titles, which includes three Grand Slam single titles at the 2008 Australian Open, 2006 U.S. Open, and Wimbeldon 2004.  Sharapova also won the end of the year WTA Tour Championships that same year.

WTA Rankings

The WTA (Women’s Tennis Association) ranked Sharapova as number one in the world in singles – four different times. That’s quite a feat.  Sharapova was first ranked the best in the world in August of 2005 and regained her ranking for the fourth individual time in May of 2008.  Currently, she is ranked as the world’s number four women’s tennis player, which is still quite a feat in itself.  Sharapova’s final record for being in five Grand Slam finals is three and two.

Professional Breakthrough

Sharapova made her professional debut in 2004 at the young age of 17 when she defeated Serena Williams at Wimbledon and achieved her first Grand Slam title.  Sharapova entered into the top ten of the Women’s Tennis Association Rankings with this win.  Although Sharapova did not win a major prize in 2005, she still held on at least briefly to her number one spot.  Her second major win was a the 2006 U.S. Open, where she defeated Amelie Mauresmo, who was then ranked as the world’s number one player.  She also defeated the world’s number two player, Justine Henin, in the final round of the U.S. Open that year.

Injury

The 2007 tennis season for Sharapova was one of continual pain as the tennis great nursed a chronic shoulder injury.  Many Maria Sharapova pics during this time show her with this injury.  The injury caused her ranking to plummet out of the top five for the first time in nearly two years.  Ultimately, Sharapova won her third Grand Slam at the Australian Open in 2008.  In May 2008, she reclaimed her number one ranking, around the same time that her should problem began to effect her again.  In October of the same year, she underwent surgery that would keep her off the courts for almost a year.  She returned in 2009 to the sport that she loves so much, going back in at the 126th spot in the world.  After surgery, Sharapova won five single titles, which brought her career total to twenty-four_ and which improved her world ranking to number two.

Public

As you can see in many Maria Sharapova pics, the camera seems to follow Sharapova around, and her popularity seems to know no bounds.  Sharapova has been a featured model in a number of campaigns, and had a feature in Sports Illustrated’s annual Swimsuit Issue.  Sharapova has also been featured in several ads, including Prince and Canon, Nike, and is the official face of many fashion houses, including Cole Haan.  Yahoo voted Sharapova the most searched for athlete for the years 2005 and 2008.  And since 2007, Sharapova has been an official UN Goodwill Ambassador, concentrating particularly on the recovery programs for the nuclear accident Chernobyl.  In June 2011, Sharapova was named by Time Magazine as one of the 30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present, and Future.

Maria Sharapova Trivia

Some things that you probably didn’t know about Sharapova include:

An interesting ban has been put into place in the world of tennis: a grunting ban. Curiously, tennis great Maria Sharapova is infamous for her loud outcries on the court, and some have measured her grunts at greater than 100 decibels, which is the same sound intensity of a speeding train or a chain saw. Yes, despite her pics that show her being a sporty lady, she can sound like a true animal on the court.

The governing body of tennis, the World Tennis Association, plans to educate players to stop grunting and crying out so loudly, since some competitors, and a lot fans and sports casters have called for them to turn down the volume. In the future, umpires in the sport will have handheld devices that allow them to measure the court’s noise level. The education of players in lower tier tournaments and tennis academies has already started.

Grunting and similar noises became the buzz earlier in 2012 when Sharapova and Victoria Azarenka from Belarus grunted their way to victories. But according to Sharapova, teaching kids from a younger age to develop a breathing technique that allows them to avoid grunting makes sense. Sharapova and others who are already ‘grandfathered’ in to grunting are not being asked to stop. Grunting has been called cheating by Martina Navratilova, nine-time Wimbledon champ. In some instances, players claim that other players grunt loudly in order to distract them, and thus gain the upper hand. Either way, the older players in the sport, such as their years’ field of champions, will not need to concern themselves with staying mum on the court. However, upcoming champs will need to lower it down if they want to stay in the game and on top of their game. Grunting will soon be an offense under WTA rules and guidelines.


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