Favorite things:

  • Hobbies and Interests: Modeling, Singing, Dancing, Watching Movies, Sleeping
  • Favorite Color: Pink, Yellow
  • Favorite Food: Russian and Thai
  • Favorite Drink: Orangina, Virgin Strawberry Daiquiris
  • Favorite Candy: Sugarpova
  • Favorite Book: Sherlock Holmes, Pippi Longstocking series
  • Favorite Perfume: Stella McCartney, Maria Sharapova Perfume
  • Favorite Designer: Vera Wang
  • Favorite Music: Hip-hop, R&B
  • Favorite Singer: Madonna, Adele
  • Favorite Movie: Mona Lisa Smile, Pearl Harbor
  • Favorite Restaurant: Craft Los Angeles
  • Favorite Vacation Destination: Le Marais, Paris
  • Favorite Pet: Dog

 

  • Maria Sharapova was born on April 19, 1987 in Nyagan, western Siberia, after her parents fled their home in Gomel following the 1986 Chernobyl disaster.
  • She is a UN Goodwill Ambassador, and has donated heavily to Chernobyl-related projects.
  • Her family name is often mispronounced. It should be “sharr-AA-puh-vuh” (-arr as in “marry”; -aa as in “father”, stress on the second syllable), but Maria accepts the widespread use of “shuh-ruh-POH-vuh”
  • Sponsors recognised her marketing potential at a young age – she signed her first deal, with Nike, back in June 1997 when she was just 11.
  • Her tennis talent was spotted even earlier – in Oct 1993, Martina Navratilova saw a young Sharapova playing at a tennis clinic in Moscow and told Maria’s father, Yuri, that his daughter was especially gifted.
  • While living in Russia her father became friends with the father of Yevgeny Kafelnikov, one of Russia’s most successful male players. He presented the four-year-old Maria with a cut-down racket.
  • To pursue her potential, she and her father emigrated to Miami in 1994 – neither spoke English and they had just $700 dollars that Yuri had borrowed from Maria’s grandparents.
  • She was too young to enroll in a tennis academy so Yuri worked odd jobs and coached Maria himself on public courts.
  • Maria spent her first two years in America separated from her mother Yelena, who was denied a visa until finally being allowed to join her family in June 1996.
  • In December 1995, Maria got a full-time scholarship to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, which has also produced stars such as Andre Agassi, Boris Becker and the Williams sisters.
  • She played her first professional tournament in April 2001 aged just 14, and her first WTA tournament a year later.
  • At 15, she became the youngest person ever to reach the finals of Australian Open junior tournament in 2002.
  • In August 2005 she became the first Russian woman ever to be No 1 in the world tennis rankings.
  • Her hobbies are singing, dancing, watching movies and sleeping.