about | biography

 

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova
Country Russia
Residence Bradenton, Florida, USA
Date of birth April 19, 1987
Place of birth Nyagan, Siberia, Russia
Height 1.905 m (6 ft 3 in)
Weight 68 kg (149 lbs)
Turned Pro 2001
Plays Right; Two-handed backhand
Career Prize Money: US$7,774,967
Singles
Career record: 221-54
Career titles: 13
Highest ranking: 1 (August 22, 2005)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open SF (2005, 2006)
French Open QF (2004, 2005)
Wimbledon W (2004)
U.S. Open W (2006)
Doubles
Career record: 23-16
Career titles: 3
Highest ranking: 41

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova, born April 19, 1987, is a Russian professional tennis player. A United States resident since 1994, Sharapova has competed on the WTA tour since 2001. She has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam. She is also an Olympic medalist, having earned silver for Russia in women's singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Sharapova became the world No. 1 for the first time on August 22, 2005, at the age of 18, and last held the ranking for the fifth time for four weeks from June 11, 2012, to July 8, 2012. Her 35 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles—two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open—rank third among active players, behind Serena and Venus Williams. She won the year-ending WTA Finals in her debut in 2004. She has also won three doubles titles.

Despite an injury-prone career, Sharapova has achieved a rare level of longevity in the women's game. She won at least one singles title a year from 2003 until 2015, a streak only bested by Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, and Chris Evert. Several tennis pundits and former players have called Sharapova one of tennis's best competitors, with John McEnroe calling her one of the best the sport has ever seen.

ENDORSEMENT

Sharapova's tennis success and appearance have enabled her to secure commercial endorsements that greatly exceed the value of her tournament winnings.

In March 2006, Forbes magazine listed her as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of over US $18 million, the majority of which was from endorsements and sponsorships. She has topped that list every year since, even after her 2007 shoulder injury.

In 2011, Forbes listed Sharapova as No. 29 in their list of 50 top-paid athletes, the only woman on the list.

In 2012, she was listed as No. 15, and was joined in the top 20 by Li Na at No. 16 and Serena Williams at No. 17. In April 2005, People named her one of the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world. In 2006, Maxim ranked Sharapova the hottest athlete in the world for the fourth consecutive year. She posed in a six-page bikini photoshoot spread in the 2006 Valentine's Day issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, alongside 25 supermodels. In a poll run by Britain's FHM magazine, she was voted the seventh most eligible bachelorette, based on both "wealth and looks."

Immediately after her win at the 2004 Wimbledon Championship, mobile phone company Motorola signed Sharapova to endorse their mobile phone line. Additionally, she appeared in commercials for Land Rover and Canon, as well as approved of namesake items by watch brand Tag Heuer and jeweller Tiffany. Tiffany also provides Sharapova with earrings from the "Tiffany for Maria Sharapova" collection at the four major events, that are also retailed globally. She also starred in an award-winning campaign for the sports clothing brand Nike, "Pretty", in the summer of 2006. She signed a sponsorship deal in January 2007 with Gatorade and Tropicana, which ended in 2009. In 2007, Sharapova was featured in a number of Canon USA's commercials for the PowerShot. Sharapova has also been depicted in many tennis-related video games. Some of the titles include the Top Spin series, Virtua Tennis series, and Grand Slam Tennis series. During the layoff due to her shoulder surgery, sensing the fleeting nature of a professional athlete's career, Sharapova decided to focus on developing her name as a brand, beginning with meeting with her sponsors more extensively to further her brand. In January 2010, it was announced that Sharapova had renewed her contract with Nike, signing an 8-year deal for $70 million. This is the most lucrative deal ever for a sportswoman, dwarfing the previous record, which was Venus Williams' $43 million deal with Reebok.


 

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