Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is this yearâ€™s French Open winner. This is her second win of the title, and follows her 2008 Australian Open title, her 2006 US Open crown and her 2004 Wimbledon success.
In 2012, Forbes placed her No. 15 in their list of 50 top-paid athletes. Sharapova was also named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future” by Time in 2011.
She has won 32 WTA singles titles, including five Grand Slam singles titles. The WTA has ranked Sharapova world No. 1 in singles on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks.
Start of professional training:
Born in April 19, 1987, in Nyagan, Russia, her father took her to the US to impart her training in Tennis. In 1995, at 8 years old, she was sponsored by IMG, who paid the annual tuition fee of $35,000. She began her training at the age of 9 at Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy.
She defeated two-time defending champion and top seed Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final for her first Grand Slam singles title at the age of 17.
Modelling and campaigns:
Sharapova has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has been featured in many advertisements, including for Nike, Prince, and Canon, and is the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan.
She also signed a three-year deal to be brand ambassador for Porsche in 2013.
Fall and rise:
She was 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.
Since February 2007, she has been UNDPs Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme, donating US$210,000 to related projects.
“Sugarpova” is a candy line created by Maria Sharapova and candy veteran Jeff Rubin, founder of international retailer IT’SUGAR. A portion of all proceeds go towards the Maria Sharapova Foundation, Sharapova’s charity.