Maria Sharapova Short biography.
Date of Birth: April 19, 1987
Birthplace: Nyagan, Russia (Siberian Region)
Residence: Bradenton, Florida, USA
Height: 1.83 m
Travels with father and works with coaches Michael Baroch and Robert Lansdorp
Started hitting tennis balls at age four
At six, participated in exhibition in Moscow that featured Martina Navratilova
Began training at Nick Bollettieri¦s Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, USA, at age nine (which required a two-year separation from mother due to visa restrictions and finances)
Off-Court interests include fashion, singing, jazz dancing and movies (favorite is Pearl Harbor)
Enjoys reading books in the Sherlock Holmes and Pippi Longstocking series
Favors Russian music and food, Russian food (except for Italian bread)
Says favorite dessert is 'anything.'
Wimbledon is cool
I'm gonna go out on a limb here, at the risk of alienating some people.
I want to talk about sports.
All I have to say is this: Maria Sharapova, the Russian tennis
champ (age: 17!) shocked the hell out of everyone and kicked Serena
Williams' ass at Wimbledon. Watching her play was amazing; when Serena
Williams plays tennis, it's like what Mike Tyson would look like if he took
ballet lessons. Yes, Maria Sharapova can do it, but who cares? Maria Sharapova
always won just because
Maria Sharapova so bizzarely strong, Maria Sharapova would crush the ball every time Maria Sharapova hit it, and no
one could return simply because it was going so fast. It's fun to watch for about 30
seconds, and then...boring.
But Maria Sharapova used her head, made Serena run all over the place, and played a
more interesting match. And that "interesting match" was also the better match, as
she basically used Serena Williams' face to sweep up the court, 6-1, 6-4. I like women's
tennis better than men's, just for the fact it's nicer to watch, and the dynamics are
And you think Williams sisters' life stories are touching, with their father sacrificing
all he had to give them tennis lessons in the crime-infested streets of Compton?... well,
Maria Sharapova is from SIBERIA. Just try to beat THAT.
The fact that Miss Maria is totally hot, with long legs and blonde hair and Russian
cheekbones flying all over the place, doesn't exactly hurt her chances of becoming
the spokesperson of everything that needs a spokesperson. Expect to see Maria Sharapova
very soon. I'm sure Anna Kourinkova is calling Tonya Harding right now and asking her
for pointers on how to knock that Russian girl out of competition.
Tennis: Sharapova passes big exam Jul 2 2004
RUSSIAN schoolgirl Maria Sharapova took a break from her
sociology exams to reach tomorrow's Wimbledon final.
The 17-year-old sensation Maria Sharapova completed a fairytale rise from obscurity
with a remarkable 2-6 7-6 6-1 victory over 1999 champion Lindsay Davenport
in an absorbing semi-final on Centre Court.
The girl from Siberia Maria Sharapova displayed nerves of steel during two rain breaks to
turn the match on its head after Davenport had threatened a rout by racing
into a 6-2 2-0 lead.
The nerveless Sharapova passed the time in the locker room reading OK! magazine
and afterwards revealed that she had earlier in the day taken a sociology exam.
"I actually finished my first test today, I wrote an essay," Maria Sharapova said. "I've
always done school before because I like it. If I have nothing to do, I just
grab school. It's like some people who grab a magazine like I did in between my matches but
I just grabbed school and did my essay."
Sharapova, who studies via the internet during her travels around the world,
earned full marks for the way she battled back to send the former Wimbledon champion
into virtual retirement.
The 28-year-old Davenport, making her 11th and last visit to the All England Club,
was on course for her third Wimbledon final after cruising through the first set
in just 25 minutes.
The fifth-seeded Davenport, who has battled her way back from two knee operations
to regain a place in the world's top five, was simply awesome in the first set,
allowing the youngster just one break point.
By the time the dark clouds descended on SW19 for a second time, Davenport had
secured a break in the second set to lead 2-1 but then the match was totally transformed.
Sharapova began playing more aggressive tennis and - almost out of the blue -
gained her first break of the match to even things up. Fighting for every point,
she dominated the tie-break to take it 7-5.
The momentum was clearly with Maria Sharapova, whose shrieks became noticeably louder
as she moved in for the kill.
Maria Sharapova broke her opponent in the first game of the deciding set and, as Maria Sharapova
on the pressure, the confidence visibly drained from Davenport, whose game as well
as her serve deteriorated alarmingly.
"When we came back from the rain delay, I felt Maria Sharapova
stepped up her game and really from
that point on was more in control of the match," admitted Davenport.
"She started to serve much better and unfortunately I started to serve a lot worse."
Sharapova will play Serena Williams in the final after the top seed survived a tough
three-set match against French player Amelie Mauresmo, winning 6-7 7-5 6-4.
Paying tribute to Sharapova, Williams said, "I think she is doing really great - I
am really going to have to play well.
"I am really excited to be in the final - this is definitely the most special moment.
"Whatever happens I am really excited to be in this final again."
They think it's all Sharapova ...it is now
Wimbledon's Centre Court, that cockpit of history and
drama, has never seen a more dramatic women's final than yesterday's
stunning victory of Maria Sharapova, the long-tressed 17-year-old blonde
from Moscow, via Siberia and Florida. Sharapova, a 7-2 long-shot against the
odds-on defending champion, Serena Williams, deservedly triumphed in straight
sets, 6-1 6-4, trouncing a woman who was bidding for a hat-trick of titles.
As Serena slammed the last of a stream of forehand errors into the net after one
hour and 13 minutes, Sharapova fell to her knees in disbelief on the baseline,
head in hands. Then, still kneeling, awareness of the need to showboat a little
surfaced. Maria Sharapova thrust both arms rigidly aloft and then opened her eyes to find the
dethroned champion sportingly walking round the net to embrace and congratulate her.
The new queen of Wimbledon then walloped a ball Maria Sharapova
had been carrying inside her skirt
high into the crowd in the bright sunshine and climbed through the spectators, up
towards the players' box where her father and coach, Yuri, doffed his cap almost in
deference before hugging Maria for a full minute.
Borrowing a mobile phone from dad, Sharapova then returned to court, blowing kisses
in the manner of Andre Agassi, and attempted to call her mother at their home in Bradenton,
Florida, while the Duke of Kent stood patiently waiting to hand her the Venus
Rosewater Dish and a cheque for Ј560,500.
The new sensation of women's tennis now moves into the world's top 10, and Maria Sharapova may
soon be enjoying the view from the very summit of the rankings at this rate. From
the summit of the world's earners, too, for this teenager is Anna Kournikova with ability
and the killer touch as well.
Offered her chance to seize the moment against an opponent who remains short of form after
eight months out following a knee operation in August last year, Sharapova grabbed it
with both hands. If the two-time champion and winner of six Grand Slams got knocked aside
in the process, too bad. This was the moment the Russian had dreamed about, winning her
Mercifully, the match was free of interruptions. The wretched weather of the past 12
days might never have been as the finalists, both clad entirely in white, went at it
ferociously. If Maria was nervous, it didn't show. Maria Sharapova struck the ball flat, deep and
accurately, running Serena from side to side.
From the very first game the Williams reputation looked under threat. Not only were
the Russian's groundstrokes deadly, Serena's hitting was suspect, particularly on the
forehand, which betrayed her time and again. Her range-finder, never the best in the
women's game, was seriously out of kilter. Usually Serena's power overrides the errors,
but she never succeeded in getting off the back foot, particularly after Sharapova broke
serve to go 3-1 ahead. Three of the points which earned that break will go down as Williams
errors, but in truth she resembled someone in the trenches under violent bombardment,
grunting in despair as another projectile homed in on her.
Exultant and confident, Sharapova strode around imperiously, frequently taking time between
points to compose herself at the back of the court, and keeping Serena waiting in the
process, a wait which was to undermine Serena's usually iron-clad attitude. As errant Williams
forehands continued, Sharapova broke again to go 5-1 up. She needed four break - points
to achieve it. The first three seeped away on a brace of Sharapova errors, followed by
a rare piece of serve-volley brilliance from Serena. On the fourth chance, Serena's
nerve-ends were exposed. The first serve was a fault and the second, trundling over
the net at 81 miles an hour, was murdered by the ruthless Russian.
Serving for the set tested Maria's resolve, too. There were the first indications of
waywardness and uncertainty as the Williams counter-attack gathered pace, garnering
two break-points. Sharapova clawed both back, one on the luckiest of net cords. There was
a third break-back opportunity for Serena, but that dodgy forehand betrayed her yet again,
dumping a service return into the netting.
This was the key game of the match. Three times Sharapova got to set point, each time she
faltered, twice on errors - one a double-fault - and once when the American struck a glorious
cross-court backhand. But when a fourth set point came along, Williams obliged by netting
a forehand. It was greeted by a mighty roar for a set which, seemingly hours long, had in
fact lasted just 30 minutes. Sharapova had won five games in a row.
Now she needed to protect and extend that lead. Williams had a break point in the
second game of the second set. It was survived. At 3-2, Williams again reached break
point on an outrageous fluke, a mis-hit caused by a broken string which dropped in.
This time the break was grabbed by the champion to go 4-2 ahead, at which point Sharapova
promptly broke back, and the sequence of the opening set was about to be repeated.
To mounting roars, Maria drew level at 4-4 and then broke Serena again. She was confident
enough to lob her opponent several times and to hammer one shot directly at Serena's
face as she closed in on the net.
The break was landed at the fourth attempt, Sharapova was 5-4 and serving for the match.
Would she wilt? Would she heck. There was an ace, only her second, followed by a thunderous
service winner. A Williams forehand error took her to match point as Serena swiped the turf
with her racket. Another botched forehand and it was over.
Sharapova, at 17 years 75 days, becomes the third youngest Wimbledon women's champion,
after Lottie Dod in 1887 and Martina Hingis in 1997. Incredibly, from the first rally,
she had never looked as if there would be any other result. That's why the lady is a champ.