Maria Yuryevna Sharapova born April 19, 1987 is a Russian professional tennis player and a former World No. 1. As of November 19, 2007, she is the fifth-ranked female player in the world. At the end of 2006, she was the world's highest-paid female athlete. Sharapova has won two Grand Slam singles titles. She is a former U.S. Open champion, having defeated Justine Henin in the final of the 2006 U.S. Open. Two years earlier, she defeated Serena Williams in the final at Wimbledon. In 2006 Sharapova signed a lifetime endorsment deal with Prince Sports, Inc., a longtime sponsor of Sharapova. She currently plays with the O3 White racquet.
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Sharapova has been labelled as an offensive baseliner by tennis critics and fans. She is noted for having an excellent double-handed backhand and serves; particularly for the power and placement of these shots. She also is noted for having a good forehand. Likewise, critics claim that for her height, Sharapova has decent agility on-court. Being an offensive player, Sharapova is usually able to overpower her opponents or keep them on the run with sharp angles from the baseline.
However she is not known for being among the strongest of defensive players. She can lose precision on her groundstrokes when she is put on the run herself, a weakness that the best all-around players will exploit. Sharapova is also not a natural volleyer. Instead she typically uses a powerful "swinging" volley for net approaches. Sharapova usually serves for placement but uses enough power on her first and second serve that attacking that stroke is very difficult for her opponents.Due to her shoulder injuries, Sharapova has adopted a new service action with a shorter backswing.
- I am not the next anyone; I'm the first Maria Sharapova.
- At the press conference after losing the 2007 Australian Open final: You mean my speech was better than my game today?
- When asked at the press conference after the 2006 U.S. Open final about her father's illegal signaling and feeding her during the match: I believe, at the end of the day, personally, my life is not about a banana.
- When I was working my way to the top of tennis, I didn't say I was number two, I said I wanted to be number one.
- I am both an athlete and a businesswoman.
- Sharapova told Sports Illustrated: People seem to forget that Anna Kournikova isn't in the picture anymore. It's Maria-time now.
Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year
WTA Player of the Year;WTA Most Improved Player of the Year
ESPY Best Female Tennis Player; Named the country's best female player for the year by Russia's tennis federation; Master of Sports of Russia; Prix de Citron Roland Garros
Named the country's best female player for the year by Russia's tennis federation; Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year
ESPY Best Female Tennis Player; ESPY Best International Female Athlete