Thursday, June 14, 2007
Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова) (born April 19, 1987) is a Russian professional tennis player. At the end of 2006, she was the world's highest-paid female athlete.
Sharapova has won two Grand Slam singles titles. She is the reigning 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.
Sharapova's parents moved from Homyel, Belarus, to Siberia, Russia, in 1986, after the Chernobyl nuclear accident. She was born the following year in Nyagan, Russia.
Sharapova's father, Yuri Sharapov, brought Maria to the United States to attend the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida when she was 7 years old. Her mother, Yelena, who could not come with them because of visa restrictions, followed a few years later. Sharapova has lived in the United States since then but retains her Russian citizenship.
In 2002, Sharapova bought a beach home in Manhattan Beach, California, a suburb of Los Angeles, but lives most of the year near the IMG training facility in Bradenton.
Sharapova is good friends with fellow Russian tennis player Maria Kirilenko.
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