On the highly anticipated press conference, Maria Sharapova announced she had failed a drug test at the Australian Open.

Maria Sharapova was informed by the International Tennis Federation that she had tested positive Meldonium, a drug that Maria had used since 2006 due some health problems and family history of diabetes. The substance was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency’s list of banned substances on Jan. 1, 2016. Maria had been legally taking the drug for ten years.

At this point, Maria doesn’t know yet what will be the penalty or how long she will be out of the tour.

On late December 2015, Maria Sharapova received an email that informed her of the new substances added to the list, but she consciously decided not to read it.

“I made a huge mistake,” Sharapova said. “I don’t want to end my career this way.”

Her parents were also presented at the press conference.

Maria also made a public apology to her fans.

As a fan of Maria for over ten years, I can safely say that this only makes me appreciate her courage even more after facing the press with this news. My support for her now will be stronger and I cannot wait to report the news that she will be back on court.

Maria Sharapova has called a press conference scheduled for Monday in which she will make a “major announcement” according to her management.

The press conference will be live on her website www.mariasharapova.com

DATE:  MONDAY, MARCH 7, 2016

TIME:  12:00 PM PST

Former World No.1 Maria Sharapova announced that she would be unable to participate in the upcoming BNP Paribas Open due to an ongoing left forearm injury that saw her miss the Middle East Swing.

“I am extremely disappointed that I am unable to compete in this year’s BNP Paribas Open,” she said. “I have been focused on healing my left forearm injury and tried to get my body to be 100% ready to play this event, as it is one of my favorites on the WTA and so close to my home in LA. I know the tournament will be a great success this year and I will be anxious to return next year and hopefully many years after.”

A two-time winner in Indian Wells (2006, 2013), Sharapova pulled out of the Brisbane International to start the season due to pain in her left forearm, and though she reached the quarterfinals of theAustralian Open, the Russian has not played a match since.

Last night Maria was present at the Annual Vanity Fair Oscar Party. It was nice seeing her at the event after two years of not going. Maria wore a dress by Preen By Thornton Bregazzi, shoes by Gianvito Rossi and jewelry by Anita Ko.

She was also styled by Petra Flannery, makeup by Kara Yoshimoto Bua and hair by Maria’s good friend Adir Abergel.

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Gallery Link

Every year Porsche Tennis Grand Prix publishes an online magazine as a recap from the tournament. This year’s magazine is online and I’ve added scans to the gallery of Maria’s feature that includes a new photoshoot.

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Gallery Link

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Today Sugarpova announces a joint Business Venture with European Chocolatier Experts, Baron Chocolatier.

The partnership will produce a variety of Sugarpova Premium Chocolates, with an initial introduction of a decadent collection of 100g chocolate bars in Dark, Milk, Dark with Toasted Coconut and Milk with Strawberry. The unique product is Non-GMO, Certified Kosher, Halal and made with natural ingredients.

“I traveled extensively around the world, in search for the right chocolatier,” says Maria. “Baron is the perfect fit, given their deep-rooted history in creating premium chocolate products coupled with their significant strides in craftsmanship.”

The Sugarpova Premium Chocolate collection complements the existing line of Sugarpova gummy candies and gift items available allover the world and online at sugarpova.com. The joint venture with Baron will allow for Sugarpova to expand into a fast growing and exciting category with a premier and widely distributed chocolatier.

“At Sugarpova, we continue to elevate and evolve our business through innovative partnerships and trailblazing engagements,” says Max Eisenbud, CEO of Sugarpova. “Baron Chocolatier was the right fit for our category expansion due to their commitment to producing quality chocolate products that taste great, as well as their vast distribution network.”

“I wanted to create an ‘experience’ with this product — a moment of indulgence, where time can stop and one can enjoy life’s little pleasures such as a bite of sensually rich chocolate,” says Maria. “This product wraps up my all time favorites in life: food + a smile + a slight moment of indulgence.”

“With Sugarpova Chocolate, you can take a break from the hustle and bustle of life to catch your breath and give yourself a selfish moment to enjoy such a simple pleasure as a bite of delicious and tasty chocolate.”

Chris Mattina, Senior Vice President & General Manager European Chocolate Ltd – division of Millano Group, comments, “Our partnership with Maria and the Sugarpova team has given the consumer the opportunity to experience the intersection of Fashion and Food, without the guilt – GMO-Free, Natural Ingredients, zero trans fats, Kosher, Halal. Chocolate that tastes great and is a simple indulgent pleasure!”

Sugarpova Premium Chocolates will showcase at the upcoming ISM Exposition in Cologne, January 31 – February 3, 2016, with the theme of Moderation in Moderation, giving the consumer permission to indulge in a great quality chocolate product made by a world-class chocolatier. The product will launch in the United States in 2nd Quarter 2016, shipping in May.

Source: (mariasharapova.com)


Q. Tough match today. Your thoughts about how it went, what went wrong?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, you know, she played quite explosive. Thought at times, you know, when I got in the rally I wasn’t moving forward, wasn’t cutting the angles off enough.

She got herself back in the points. She was really explosive off the return. Yeah.

Q. Looking back on the match, is there much you think you could have done differently? Tight first set.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I mean, I feel like if it was 5-All, I mean, the momentum would have been a little bit different than going into where she played a really great beginning of the second set.

You know, I think at 5-All maybe the mentality of her confidence would have changed a little bit. But, you know, she returned really well on those deuce points. Really got me on the back foot, yeah.

Q. You mentioned her confidence. She got off to a fairly slow start in the first set. What were your thoughts when you saw that? Why weren’t you able to keep that gap that you had early on?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It was a 2-0 gap, so I’m not sure it’s…

Q. It’s something.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Absolutely. But the match is still two-out-of-three. It’s not about the first point or a point in the middle. It’s really about the last point, so…

(more…)

Maria is out of the Australian Open at the quarter-final stage after a 4-6 1-6 loss to No.1 seed Serena Williams of the United States. The match lasted an hour and 32 minutes on Rod Laver Arena.

The match started strongly for Maria as she got an early break and led 2-0. The set was intense as Williams then won six of the next eight games to take the set 6-4 in 55 minutes and dropped only one game in the second set.

Source: (mariasharapova.com)


Q. What gives you more satisfaction? A crisp, clean win or a battle like that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: A crisp win, as in…

Q. As in, you know, straightforward win, very few games, or a real tough kicker like that.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, I think you take everything that you can get. I mean, I felt like there was a few ups and downs in the beginning after not taking some of my chances.

I think it was really easy for me just to go away and let her run with the first set, and I’m glad I didn’t. I’m glad I was still there and kept motivating myself to try to open up some more doors and finally breakthrough. I was definitely hesitant on some of those points.

But overall, yeah, felt like a quality match. Yeah.

Q. Some great serves at the right time. Do you think it made the difference today?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I thought I served quite well; I found my spots; hit the line many times today. That was important.

Q. I know you served quite well, also some unforced errors. What exactly was going on for you on court?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Can you rephrase that question, please?

Q. Some great serving and also some unforced errors.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Were there any winners? (Laughter.)

Q. There was quite a few. Just saying like…
MARIA SHARAPOVA: If you could paint the whole picture for me first, and then…

Q. Just seems like there was a mixed bag.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah.

(more…)

Maria Sharapova took over two hours to defeat Swiss teen Belinda Bencic 7-5, 7-5 under the roof of the Rod Laver Arena. Maria also established a personal record of 21 aces in a match, and that makes Maria the tournament leader with 52 aces.

In the first set, Maria had break points in the first two service games of Bencic, all of them were saved. A doble fault handed the Swiss the first break of the match to lead 3-2. However, the lead didn’t last too much as it was followed by a run of four consecutive breaks. As Bencic served to force a tiebreak, an unforced error gave Maria the first set.

The second set was full of opportunities for Maria, but the young Swiss wasn’t going to give in that easily. Once again Bencic found herself serving to stay in the match as the Russian lead 6-5.

Maria had a match point on Bencic’s serve, which she failed to capitalized after dumping a backhand into the bottom of the net. In her second match point, Sharapova responded with an amazing return which was called out, but the Russian wasn’t convinced and a challenge confirmed her pass to the quarterfinals.

In the next round Maria will face No. 1 Serena Williams.