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Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Maria Sharapova

Nickname(s) Masha
Country Flag of Russia Russia
Residence Bradenton, Florida, U.S.
Date of birth April 19, 1987 (1987-04-19) (age 21)
Place of birth Nyagan, Soviet Union
Height 1.88 m (6 ft 2 in)[1]
Weight 59.1 kg (130 lb/9.31 st)[1]
Turned pro April 19, 2001
Plays Right-handed; two-handed backhand
Career prize money US$12,122,252
Career record: 305-70
Career titles: 19
Highest ranking: 1 (August 22, 2005)
Grand Slam results
Australian Open W (2008)
French Open SF (2007)
Wimbledon W (2004)
US Open W (2006)
Major tournaments
WTA Championships W (2004)
Career record: 23-16
Career titles: 3
Highest ranking: 41 (June 14, 2004)

Infobox last updated on: June 9, 2008.

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова, ISO 9: Mariâ Ûr′evna Šarapova; born April 19, 1987) is a former World No. 1 Russian professional tennis player. As of September 8, 2008, she is ranked World No. 6 by the Women's Tennis Association.

Sharapova has won three Grand Slam singles titles. In 2004, at the age of 17, she won Wimbledon, defeating Serena Williams in the final.[2] She has since won the 2006 US Open, defeating Justine Henin in the final,[3] and the 2008 Australian Open, defeating Ana Ivanovic in the final.[4]

As of July 2008, she is the world's highest-paid female athlete.[5] She is currently coached by her father, Yuri Sharapov, and former player Michael Joyce.

Playing style

Sharapova is a power baseliner, with power, depth, and angles on her groundstrokes.[6] Instead of using a traditional volley or overhead smash, she often prefers to hit a powerful "swinging" volley when approaching the net or attacking lobs.[7] Sharapova is thought to have good speed around the court, especially considering her height.[6] At the beginning of the 2008 season, some observers noted that Sharapova had developed her game, showing improved movement and footwork and the addition of a drop shot and sliced backhand to her repertoire of shots.[8]

Sharapova playing at the Zurich Open in 2006
Sharapova playing at the Zurich Open in 2006

Sharapova's preferred surfaces are the fast-playing hard and grass because her game is not as well-suited to the slower-playing clay.[9] She lacks confidence in her ability to move and slide on this surface[9] and once described herself as like a "cow on ice" after a match on clay.[9] Her limitations on this surface are reflected in her career results, as she did not win a WTA tour title on clay until April 2008 (despite having won 18 titles on other surfaces) and because the French Open is the only Grand Slam singles title she has not yet won.

Sharapova's first and second serve are powerful.[6] She is often able to produce an ace or a service winner; otherwise, a powerful serve often results in a weak reply from her opponent, which allows her to take control of the rally immediately. A serious shoulder injury in early 2007, however, reduced the effectiveness of her serve for several months, as she routinely produced eight to ten double faults in many of her matches during this period.[10] She later changed her service motion to a more compacted backswing (as opposed to her traditional elongated backswing) in an attempt to put less stress on her shoulder,[11] but she nevertheless periodically experienced problems with her serve throughout the rest of the year, most notably producing 12 double faults in her third-round loss at the US Open.[12] Her serve appeared to be more effective at the 2008 Australian Open, as she produced just 17 double faults in seven matches while winning the tournament.[13] Her serving problems resurfaced, however, during the spring of 2008, as she produced 43 double faults in just four matches at the French Open[14] and eight double faults during her second round loss at Wimbledon.[15] Observers, including Tracy Austin, believe that when Sharapova experiences problems with her serve, she often loses confidence in the rest of her game, and as a result, produces more unforced errors and generally plays more tentatively.[16]

Sharapova is known for on-court "grunting,"[17] reaching 101 decibels (near the volume of a police siren) during a match at Wimbledon in 2005.[17]


Early life and career

Sharapova was born in 1987 to Yuri and Yelena, ethnic Russians, in the town of Nyagan in Siberia, Russia. Previously her parents had lived in Gomel, Belarus, but were compelled to move after the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986.[18]

When Sharapova was two, the family moved to Sochi. There, Sharapova‘s father befriended Aleksandre Kafelnikov, whose son Yevgeny would go on to become a Grand Slam champion. Aleksandre gave Sharapova her first tennis racquet at the age of four[19] and subsequently, she and her father began regular practices in the local park.[19] At the age of six, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow run by Martina Navratilova, who noted Sharapova was talented but required professional training, recommending the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.[19] Sharapova and her father, neither of whom could speak English, moved to Florida in 1994. Because of visa restrictions, Sharapova‘s mother could not originally move with them, though she eventually joined them two years later.[18] Sharapova‘s father was forced to take a variety of low-paid jobs in order to fund her lessons, including washing plates, and, until the age of 12, she was transported to the academy each day on the handlebars of her father‘s bicycle, as they could not afford any other method of transport.[19] Sharapova developed rapidly at the academy and began playing junior tournaments.

Sharapova turned professional in 2001, although she played just one tournament, on the ITF Circuit, that year. She became the youngest girl to reach the final at the junior Australian Open in 2002, and repeated this feat at Wimbledon later in the same year. She also won three titles on the ITF Circuit and played her first matches on the main WTA Tour, including winning a match at the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California.


Sharapova started playing tour events full-time in 2003. She won three qualifying matches at both the Australian Open and the French Open in order to reach the main draw, although she subsequently lost in the first round in both events.[20] At the DFS Classic grass-court event in Birmingham, she reached the semifinals at a main tour event for the first time,[21] defeating top seed and World No. 15 Elena Dementieva en route for her first win over a Top 20 player.[22] She was consequently awarded a wildcard into the main draw at Wimbledon, defeating the 11th seed and the 21st seed en route to the fourth round, where she lost to compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova.[20]

After losing in the second round of the US Open,[20] Sharapova won her first title at the Tier III Japan Open Tennis Championships in Tokyo in October,[20] and then won another Tier III tournament four weeks later at the Bell Challenge in Quebec City.[20] She finished the year at World No. 32 and was named the WTA Newcomer of the Year.


Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004
Sharapova at Wimbledon in 2004

Sharapova started the year by reaching the third round of the Australian Open, where she lost to seventh-seeded Anastasia Myskina 6–4, 1–6, 6–2.[23] In each of her next six tournaments, Sharapova lost before the quarterfinals, except at the Regions Morgan Keegan Championships and the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, where she reached the semifinals.[23] Her results meant that she rose into the Top 20 on the rankings.[23]

Sharapova reached the quarterfinals for the first time at a Grand Slam at the French Open, losing to Paola Suárez 6–1, 6–3.[23] She then won the third title of her career in Birmingham on grass, defeating Tatiana Golovin to win the title.[23]

The 17-year-old Sharapova went into Wimbledon as the thirteenth seed.[23] She reached her second consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, where she defeated Ai Sugiyama 5–7, 7–5, 6–1,[23] before upsetting the fifth seed and former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals 2–6, 7–6, 6–1, having been behind by a set and a break before a rain delay.[23] Her opponent in the final was two-time defending champion Serena Williams, with Williams an overwhelming favorite because of her experience and higher seeding. However, Sharapova caused a major upset by defeating Williams 6–1, 6–4, to become the third-youngest Wimbledon women's champion (after Lottie Dod and Martina Hingis), the first Russian to win the tournament and the lowest seed to win the women's event at the time.[23] The win also meant that Sharapova earned a top ten ranking for the first time.[23]

Sharapova failed to reach the semifinals of her three warm-up events for the US Open.[23] At the US Open itself, she lost in the third round to two-time Grand Slam champion Mary Pierce 4–6, 6–2, 6–3.[23] However, Sharapova rebounded later in the year to win her third and fourth titles of the year in two consecutive weeks – first at the Hansol Korea Open Tennis Championships in Seoul,[23] before defending her title in Tokyo[23] – before reaching her first Tier I final at the Zurich Open, losing to Alicia Molik.[23] Sharapova ended the year by winning the WTA Tour Championships, defeating an injured Serena Williams 4–6, 6–2, 6–4 in the final, after being down 4–0 in the final set.[23]

Sharapova finished 2004 ranked World No. 4 and was the second-ranked Russian (behind Myskina). She won five titles during the year, trailing only Davenport's seven, and she topped the prize winnings list for the year.[23]


Sharapova at Indian Wells in 2005
Sharapova at Indian Wells in 2005

Sharapova started the year by reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, where she held match points but was ultimately defeated by eventual champion Serena Williams 2–6, 7–5, 8–6.[24] In February, Sharapova won her first Tier I title at the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, defeating top-ranked Lindsay Davenport in the final,[24] and went on to win the Qatar Total Open in Doha three weeks later, defeating Alicia Molik in the final.[24] On the rankings, she began to catch up with Davenport,[25] but she lost 6–0, 6–0 to the American in the semifinals of Indian Wells.[24] She then reached the final at the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami, losing to Kim Clijsters.[24]

The best result of Sharapova's clay season was a run to the semifinals at the Internazionali BNL d'Italia in Rome, losing to Patty Schnyder.[24] At the French Open, Sharapova lost in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, falling to Justine Henin, the eventual champion.[24] Moving on to grass, Sharapova successfully defended her Birmingham title, defeating Jelena Jankovic in the final to extend her winning streak on grass to 17 matches.[24] Attempting to defend her Wimbledon title, she reached the semifinals without losing a set, but then lost to Venus Williams, the eventual champion, 7–6(2), 6–1.[24]

Davenport, who remained the World No. 1, injured her back in the Wimbledon final, preventing her from defending the ranking points she obtained during the U.S. hard-court season of 2004. Although Sharapova also played very few tournaments in this time due to injury, she had fewer points to defend than Davenport, and therefore rose to the World No. 1 ranking on August 22, becoming the first Russian woman to hold the position.[22] Her reign lasted only one week, however, as Davenport re-ascended to the top ranking after winning the Pilot Pen Tennis title in New Haven.[22]

At the US Open, Sharapova was the top seed but lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Clijsters, meaning she had lost to the eventual champion in all four Grand Slam events of 2005.[24] Nevertheless, the points she accumulated at the US Open meant that she once again leapfrogged Davenport to take the World No. 1 ranking on September 12, retaining it for six weeks before relinquishing it again to the American following the Zurich Open.[22] To conclude the year, Sharapova failed to defend her title at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Amelie Mauresmo,[24] having defeated Davenport earlier in the tournament.[24]

Sharapova finished the year ranked World No. 4 again but as the top-ranked Russian for the first time. She won three titles during the year, reached at least the quarterfinals in all 15 events she entered and was the only player to reach three Grand Slam semifinals.[22]


Sharapova winning 2006 US Open
Sharapova winning 2006 US Open

At the Australian Open, Sharapova lost in the semifinals to Justine Henin 4–6, 6–1, 6–4, the only match of the year that Sharapova lost after winning the first set.[26] Sharapova lost to Henin again in the final of the Dubai Tennis Championships,[26] but she then claimed her first title of 2006, and eleventh of her career, in Indian Wells by defeating Elena Dementieva in the final.[26] She also reached the final in Miami, although she was defeated there by Svetlana Kuznetsova.[26]

Sharapova participated at the French Open without having played any of the clay court tune-ups because of injury.[26] After saving three match points in the first round against Mashona Washington, Sharapova was eliminated in the fourth round by Dinara Safina 7–5, 2–6, 7–5, after Sharapova led 5–1 in the third set before losing 18 of the match's last 21 points.[26]

An attempt to add a third successive Birmingham title to her collection failed for Sharapova as she lost in the semifinals to American Jamea Jackson.[26] At Wimbledon, Sharapova was defeated in the semifinals for the second consecutive year, losing to eventual champion and World No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo, her fifth consecutive defeat in a Grand Slam semifinal.[26]

Sharapova claimed her second title of 2006 at the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego, defeating top-seeded Kim Clijsters for the first time in the final.[26] As the third seed at the US Open, Sharapova reached the quarterfinals without losing a set, before defeating Tatiana Golovin 7–6, 7–6.[26] She then defeated Mauresmo in a semifinal 6–0, 4–6, 6–0,[26] and in her second Grand Slam final, she prevailed over second-ranked Henin 6–4, 6–4 to win her second Grand Slam singles title, having defeated the top two and having dropped just one set en route.[26]

In the last quarter of the year, Sharapova won the Zurich Open (defeating Daniela Hantuchová in the final)[26] and Generali Ladies Linz (defeating Nadia Petrova in the final)[26] in consecutive weeks. At the WTA Tour Championships, she won all three of her round-robin matches in straight sets to extend her winning streak to 19 matches, but then lost to eventual champion Henin.[26] Had she won the tournament, she would have finished the year as World No. 1.[27]

Sharapova finished the year as World No. 2 and, for the second year, as the top Russian player. During the year, she won five titles (second only to Henin's six), including three Tier I titles, more than any other player.[22]


Sharapova at the 2007 Australian Open
Sharapova at the 2007 Australian Open

Sharapova was the top seed at the Australian Open, due to top-ranked Justine Henin's withdrawal. Having come within two points from defeat in the first round against 62nd-ranked Camille Pin,[28] Sharapova later defeated fourth-seeded Kim Clijsters in the semifinals[28] to reach her first Australian Open final and gain the opportunity to win the only Grand Slam singles title that a Russian woman had not yet won. However, Serena Williams, ranked 81st, overpowered Sharapova 6–1, 6–2 in the final.[28] Reaching the final allowed Sharapova to recapture the World No. 1 ranking, which she held for seven weeks until a fourth-round loss at Indian Wells.[22] Sharapova would go on to be defeated again by Williams in the fourth round of Miami (6–1, 6–1).[28]

A shoulder injury forced Sharapova to miss most of the clay court season for the second consecutive year, and she played just one low-level tournament on clay in the lead-up to the French Open.[28] However, she reached the semifinals there for the first time in her career (saving a match point against Patty Schnyder in the fourth round[28]), but then fell to Ana Ivanovic 6–2, 6–1.[28] She reached only her second final of the year on grass in Birmingham, losing to Jelena Jankovic,[28] before losing in the fourth round of Wimbledon to eventual champion Venus Williams 6–1, 6–3.[28]

Sharapova won her first title of the year in San Diego, defeating Schnyder in the final.[28] This was the main reason for her clinching the US Open Series for the first time.[22] Seeded second at the US Open, Sharapova won her first two matches for the loss of just two games[28] but then lost her third round match to 18-year-old Pole Agnieszka Radwańska in three sets, having committed 12 double faults and 49 unforced errors.[12] It was Sharapova's earliest exit at a Grand Slam singles tournament since she lost in the same round at the tournament in 2004. [22]

Sharapova did not play again for six weeks after the US Open.[28] On her return at the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, she lost her opening match to Victoria Azarenka.[28] Shortly afterwards, she fell out of the top five on the rankings for the first time in three years,[22] and she was awarded qualification to the WTA Tour Championships only because Venus Williams withdrew from the tournament.[22] There, she won all three of her round-robin matches, including a 6–1, 6–2 win over Ivanovic,[28] before defeating Anna Chakvetadze in the semifinals.[28] In the final, Sharapova lost to World No. 1 Henin 5–7, 7–5, 6–3 in a match that lasted 3 hours and 24 minutes, the 12th longest tour match during the open era.[29]

Sharapova ended the year ranked World No. 5, the fourth consecutive year that she finished in the top five. However, for the first time since 2004, she did not finish the year as the top ranked Russian (the honor instead being held by Svetlana Kuznetsova). Sharapova also won just one title (at San Diego), the first time she had failed to win at least two titles since 2002 (when she played just three WTA matches).[22]


Sharapova playing at the Pacific Life Open in 2008
Sharapova playing at the Pacific Life Open in 2008

As the fifth seed at the Australian Open,[30] Sharapova defeated former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the second round[30] and World No. 1 Justine Henin in the quarterfinals 6–4, 6–0,[30] ending the latter‘s 32-match winning streak.[31] Sharapova then reached her second consecutive Australian Open final when she defeated Jelena Jankovic 6–3, 6–1 in the semifinals,[30] before defeating Ana Ivanovic 7–5, 6–3 in the final,[30] thus winning her third Grand Slam title and doing so without losing a set.[30]

After the Australian Open, Sharapova extended her winning streak to 18 matches before finally losing.[30] This run included participating for the first time in Fed Cup, winning both her singles rubbers against Israel,[30] and winning the Tier I tournament in Doha, defeating Vera Zvonareva in the final.[30] In the semifinals of Indian Wells, Sharapova lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova, her first loss of the year.[30]

Sharapova won her first title on clay at the Bausch & Lomb Championships in Amelia Island, Florida, defeating Dominika Cibulkova in the final.[30] Her 3 hour, 27 minute third round victory over Anabel Medina Garrigues was her longest ever match.[32] In May, Sharapova regained the World No. 1 ranking due to Henin’s retirement and subsequent removal from the rankings, and was consequently the top-seeded player at the French Open.[30] After coming within two points of defeat in the first round against Evgeniya Rodina,[33] Sharapova ultimately lost to eventual runner-up Dinara Safina in the fourth round 6–7(6), 7–6(5), 6–2, after Sharapova held a match point in the second set.[34] Sharapova lost the World No. 1 ranking as a result of this.[30]

At Wimbledon, Sharapova was seeded third but lost in the second round to compatriot and World No. 159 Alla Kudryavtseva.[30] This was her earliest loss ever at Wimbledon.[35] After winning her first match at her next tournament, the Rogers Cup in Montreal,[30] Sharapova pulled out due to a shoulder injury.[36] Shortly afterwards, a magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed Sharapova had been suffering from a torn rotator cuff since April, and consequently, Sharapova announced she was to take a break of two to three months, ruling her out of both the Beijing Olympics and the US Open.[37]

Fed Cup participation

Sharapova playing for the Russian Fed Cup team against Israel in 2008
Sharapova playing for the Russian Fed Cup team against Israel in 2008

Sharapova's representation of Russia in the Fed Cup has been controversial. At the end of 2004, compatriot Anastasia Myskina stated she would stop playing for Russia if Sharapova joined.[38] Nevertheless, at the end of 2005, Sharapova stated she was now keen to make her Fed Cup debut[39] and was set to play against Belgium in April 2006, but withdrew.[40]

Sharapova later withdrew from ties against Spain in April 2007[41] and against the United States in July 2007[42] because of injuries. The latter withdrawal led to Russia's captain saying she would be "ineligible for selection" for the Fed Cup final in September.[43] However, Sharapova attended the final, cheering from the sidelines and acting as a "hitting partner" in practices, resulting in some of her Russian teammates implying that she was attending only to enable her to play at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (rules state that players must have "shown commitment" to Fed Cup in order to play). Svetlana Kuznetsova said, "She said she wanted to be our practise partner but if you can't play how then can you practise?"[44]

Sharapova finally made her Fed Cup debut in February 2008, in Russia's quarterfinal tie against Israel. Sharapova won both her singles rubbers, against Tzipora Obziler and Shahar Peer, helping Russia to a 4-1 victory.

Record against other top players

As of May 19, 2008, Sharapova's win-loss record against certain players who have been ranked World No. 5 or higher is as follows:[45]

  • Elena Dementieva 8-2
  • Daniela Hantuchová 7-1
  • Anna Chakvetadze 6-0
  • Lindsay Davenport 5-1
  • Nadia Petrova 5-1
  • Jelena Jankovic 4-1
  • Svetlana Kuznetsova 4-4
  • Mary Pierce 3-1
  • Ana Ivanovic 3-2
  • Venus Williams 3-2
  • Dinara Safina 3-3
  • Kim Clijsters 3-4
  • Justine Henin 3-6
  • Martina Hingis 2-1
  • Anastasia Myskina 2-3
  • Serena Williams 2-5
  • Jelena Dokic 1-0
  • Amelie Mauresmo 1-3
  • Jennifer Capriati 0-1
  • Monica Seles 0-1


Sharapova has lived in the United States since moving there at the age of seven but retains her Russian citizenship to this day.[46] She has a home in Manhattan Beach, California[47] and in early 2008, purchased a penthouse apartment in Netanya, Israel.[48]

Sharapova lists fashion, movies, music and reading the Sherlock Holmes and Pippi Longstocking series as among her off-court interests,[22] while she has also talked in the past about how she takes hip-hop dance classes.[49]

On February 14, 2007, Sharapova was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and donated US$100,000 to UNDP Chernobyl-recovery projects. She stated at the time that she was planning to travel back to the area after Wimbledon in 2008,[50] though it is unknown whether this happened.

Sharapova has often implied that she desires an early retirement. Following the retirement of 25-year-old Justine Henin, Sharapova said, "If I was 25 and I'd won so many Grand Slams, I'd quit too."[51]

At the 2004 US Open, Sharapova, along with several other Russian women tennis players, wore a black ribbon in observance of the tragedy after the Beslan school hostage crisis, which took place only several days before.[52] In 2005, she donated around US$50,000 to those affected by the crisis.[22]

In July 2008, Sharapova sent a message on DVD to the memorial service of Emily Bailes, who had performed the coin toss ahead of the 2004 Wimbledon final that Sharapova had gone on to win.[53]


  • Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year


  • WTA Player of the Year
  • WTA Most Improved Player of the Year
  • ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
  • Named the country's best female player for the year by Russia's tennis federation
  • Master of Sports of Russia
  • Prix de Citron Roland Garros
  • Named the country's best female player for the year by Russia's tennis federation
  • Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year
  • ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
  • ESPY Best International Female Athlete
  • ESPN Hottest Female Athlete
  • Named the January 2008 female Athlete of the Month by the United States Sports Academy for her performance at the Australian Open
  • ESPY Best Female Tennis Player


Arguably, the combination of her tennis success and physical beauty have enabled her to secure commercial endorsements that greatly exceed in value her tournament winnings.[54] [55] In April 2005, People Magazine named her one of the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world. In 2006, Maxim magazine ranked Sharapova the hottest athlete in the world for the fourth consecutive year. She posed in a six-page bikini photoshoot spread in the 2006 Valentine's Day issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, alongside 25 scantily-clad supermodels. In a poll run by Britain's FHM magazine, she was voted the seventh most eligible bachelorette,[56] based on both "wealth and looks."

Sharapova used the Prince Tour Diablo for part of 2003 and then used several different Prince racquets until the US Open. She gave the racquet she used in the 2004 Wimbledon final to Regis Philbin when taping Live with Regis and Kelly. Sharapova began using the Prince Shark OS at that tournament and had a major part in the production of the Shark racquet. She then switched to the Prince O3 White racquet in January 2006. Due to Sharapova's various shoulder injuries, she made the switch to the Prince O3 Speedport Black Longbody in July 2008.

In June 2007, Forbes magazine listed her as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of over US$23 million.[57] (CBS, the American television network, reported in August 2006 that the figure is over US$26 million.[citation needed]) The majority is made from endorsements and sponsorships. In a later interview, she said, "You know, one of the greatest things about being an athlete and, you know, making money is realizing that you can help, you know, help the world, and especially children, who I absolutely love working with."[58]

In 2005 during a photo shoot for Canon, a lewd photo was taken of Sharapova without her knowledge by Japanese advertising agency Dentsu. The company currently has a lawsuit related to this incident.[59]

Video games

Sharapova has been depicted in many tennis-related video games, along with such players as Daniela Hantuchová, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams, and Anna Kournikova. Some of the titles are Top Spin (Play Station 2 version), Top Spin 2, Smash Court Tennis 3 and Virtua Tennis 3. She has also just appeared in the roster of the newest edition of the tennis-related video games, Top Spin 3, which was released on June 20, 2008.


Sharapova at the 2007 Australian Open
Sharapova at the 2007 Australian Open
  • When asked at the press conference after the 2006 US Open final about her father's illegal signaling and feeding her during the match: "I believe, at the end of the day, personally, my life is not about a banana".[60]
  • When questioned about her on-court grunting at the 2006 Australian Open: "I know this is your job. But take your notepads, take your pencils down, take your grunt-o-meters down, the fashion police, put it all away and just watch the match."[61]
  • Reporter (after Sharapova won her second round at the 2007 French Open): "So, how do you feel when you get back on court after not hitting balls, do you actually feel stronger and faster as a result"?
Sharapova: "No, I feel terrible. I feel like a cow on ice. Especially on clay".[1]
  • "I’ve been playing against older and stronger competition my whole life. It has made me a better tennis player and able to play against this kind of level despite their strength and experience".[62]
  • "When I was working my way to the top of tennis, I didn't say I was number two, I said I wanted to be number one".[63]
  • "A great tennis career is something that a 15-year-old normally doesn’t have. I hope my example helps other teens believe they can accomplish things they never thought possible".[64]
  • Upon hearing that Sports Illustrated had named her in 2006 as the world's best-paid female athlete, Sharapova said, apparently only a little tongue-in-cheek, "It's never enough. Bring on the money. There's no limit to how much you can make."[65]
  • Writing in her blog, following a third-round exit at the 2007 U.S. Open: "I know it's as tough for my fans to handle my losses as it is for me. But let me point something out. I didn't leave my mom at the age of seven for nothing. I didn't spend six hours a day practising in the Florida sun at the age of nine for nothing.... I didn't sleep in little cots for three years, eating oatmeal out of a packet while playing in the middle of nowhere for nothing. All this has helped me build character and there's no better asset than being able to stand up for yourself."[19]

Grand Slam singles finals

Wins (3)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
2004 Wimbledon Flag of the United States Serena Williams 6–1, 6–4
2006 US Open Flag of Belgium Justine Henin 6–4, 6–4
2008 Australian Open Flag of Serbia Ana Ivanovic 7–5, 6–3

Runner-up (1)

Year Championship Opponent in Final Score in Final
2007 Australian Open Flag of the United States Serena Williams 6–1, 6–2

WTA Tour Championships singles finals

Win (1)

Year Venue Opponent in Final Score in Final
2004 Los Angeles Flag of the United States Serena Williams 4–6, 6–2, 6–4

Runner-up (1)

Year Venue Opponent in Final Score in Final
2007 Madrid Flag of Belgium Justine Henin 5–7, 7–5, 6–3

WTA Tour titles (22)

Singles (19)

Grand Slam (3)
WTA Championships (1)
Tier I (6)
Tier II (3)
Tier III (5)
Tier IV (1)
Titles by Surface
Hard (14)
Grass (3)
Clay (1)
Carpet (1)
No. ↓ Date ↓ Tournament ↓ Surface ↓ Opponent in the final ↓ Score ↓
1. September 29, 2003 Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo Hard Flag of Hungary Aniko Kapros 2–6, 6–2, 7–6(5)
2. October 27, 2003 Bell Challenge, Quebec City, Canada Hard (i) Flag of Venezuela Milagros Sequera 6–2 retired
3. June 7, 2004 DFS Classic, Birmingham, United Kingdom Grass Flag of France Tatiana Golovin 4–6, 6–2, 6–1
4. June 21, 2004 Wimbledon, London Grass Flag of the United States Serena Williams 6–1, 6–4
5. September 27, 2004 Hansol Korea Open Tennis Championships, Seoul Hard Flag of Poland Marta Domachowska 6–1, 6–1
6. October 4, 2004 Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo Hard Flag of the United States Mashona Washington 6–0, 6–1
7. November 8, 2004 WTA Championships, Los Angeles Hard (i) Flag of the United States Serena Williams 4–6, 6–2, 6–4
8. February 6, 2005 Toray Pan Pacific Open, Tokyo Carpet (i) Flag of the United States Lindsay Davenport 6–1, 3–6, 7–6(5)
9. February 21, 2005 Qatar Total Open, Doha Hard Flag of Australia Alicia Molik 4–6, 6–1, 6–4
10. June 6, 2005 DFS Classic, Birmingham, United Kingdom Grass Flag of Serbia and Montenegro Jelena Jankovic 6–2, 4–6, 6–1
11. March 18, 2006 Pacific Life Open, Indian Wells, California, U.S. Hard Flag of Russia Elena Dementieva 6–1, 6–2
12. August 6, 2006 Acura Classic, San Diego, California, U.S. Hard Flag of Belgium Kim Clijsters 7–5, 7–5
13. September 9, 2006 US Open, New York City Hard Flag of Belgium Justine Henin 6–4, 6–4
14. October 22, 2006 Zürich Open, Zürich, Switzerland Hard (i) Flag of Slovakia Daniela Hantuchová 6–1, 4–6, 6–3
15. October 29, 2006 Generali Ladies Linz, Linz, Austria Hard (i) Flag of Russia Nadia Petrova 7–5, 6–2
16. August 5, 2007 Acura Classic, San Diego, California, U.S. Hard Flag of Switzerland Patty Schnyder 6–2, 3–6, 6–0
17. January 26, 2008 Australian Open, Melbourne Hard Flag of Serbia Ana Ivanovic 7–5, 6–3
18. February 24, 2008 Qatar Total Open, Doha Hard Flag of Russia Vera Zvonareva 6–1, 2–6, 6–0
19. April 13, 2008 Bausch & Lomb Championships, Amelia Island, Florida, U.S. Clay Flag of Slovakia Dominika Cibulková 7–6(7), 6–3

Doubles (3)

No. Date Tournament Surface Partnering Opponents in the final Score
1. September 29, 2003 Japan Open Tennis Championships, Tokyo Hard Flag of Thailand Tamarine Tanasugarn Flag of the United States Ansley Cargill
Flag of the United States Ashley Harkleroad
7–6(1), 6–0
2. October 20, 2003 Fortis Championships, Luxembourg, Luxembourg Hard Flag of Thailand Tamarine Tanasugarn Flag of Ukraine Elena Tatarkova
Flag of Germany Marlene Weingartner
6–1, 6–4
3. June 7, 2004 DFS Classic, Birmingham, United Kingdom Grass Flag of Russia Maria Kirilenko Flag of Australia Lisa McShea
Flag of Venezuela Milagros Sequera
6–2, 6–1

WTA Tour runner-ups (8)

Singles (7)

Grand Slam (1)
WTA Championships (1)
Tier I (3)
Tier II (1)
Tier III (1)
Tier IV & V (0)
No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. October 24, 2004 Zürich Open, Zürich, Switzerland Hard Flag of Australia Alicia Molik 4–6, 6–2, 6–3
2. March 3, 2005 Sony Ericsson Open, Key Biscayne, Florida, U.S. Hard Flag of Belgium Kim Clijsters 6–3, 7–5
3. February 26, 2006 Dubai Tennis Championships, United Arab Emirates Hard Flag of Belgium Justine Henin 7–5, 6–2
4. March 2, 2006 Sony Ericsson Open, Key Biscayne, Florida, U.S. Hard Flag of Russia Svetlana Kuznetsova 6–4, 6–3
5. January 29, 2007 Australian Open, Melbourne Hard Flag of the United States Serena Williams 6–1, 6–2
6. June 18, 2007 DFS Classic, Birmingham, United Kingdom Grass Flag of Serbia Jelena Jankovic 4–6, 6–3, 7–5
7. November 11, 2007 WTA Tour Championships, Madrid, Spain Hard Flag of Belgium Justine Henin 5–7, 7–5, 6–3

Doubles (1)

No. Date Tournament Surface Partnering Opponents in the final Score
1. February 16, 2004 Cellular South Cup, Memphis, Tennessee, U.S. Hard Flag of Russia Vera Zvonareva Flag of Sweden Åsa Svensson
Flag of the United States Meilen Tu
6–4, 7–6(0)

ITF titles (4)

Singles (4)

No. Date Tournament Surface Opponent in the final Score
1. April 21, 2002 Gunma, Japan Clay Flag of Japan Aiko Nakamura 6–4, 6–1
2. August 4, 2002 Vancouver, Canada Hard Flag of the United States Laura Granville 0–6, 6–3, 6–1
3. September 15, 2002 Peachtree City, U.S. Hard Flag of the United States Kelly McCain 6–0, 6–1
4. May 11, 2003 Sea Island, U.S. Clay Flag of Australia Christina Wheeler 6–4, 6–3

Singles performance timeline

To help interpret the performance table, the legend below explains what each abbreviation and color coded box represents in the performance timeline.

Terms to know
SR the ratio of the number of singles tournaments
won to the number of those tournaments played
W-L player's Win-Loss record
Performance Table Legend
NH tournament not held in that calendar year (usually Olympics) A did not participate in the tournament
LQ lost in qualifying draw #R lost in the early rounds of the tournament
(RR = Round Robin)
QF advanced to but not past the quarterfinals SF advanced to but not past the semifinals
F advanced to the finals, tournament runner-up W won the tournament

To prevent confusion and double counting, information in this table is updated only once a tournament when the player's participation in the tournament has concluded. This table is current through the US Open in New York City, which ended on September 7, 2008.

Tournament 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 Career
Win %
Grand Slam Tournaments
Australian Open A A 1R1 3R SF SF F W 1 / 6 28–5 85%
French Open A A 1R1 QF QF 4R SF 4R 0 / 6 22–6 79%
Wimbledon A A 4R W SF SF 4R 2R 1 / 6 24–5 83%
US Open A A 2R 3R SF W 3R A 1 / 5 17–4 81%
SR 0 / 0 0 / 0 0 / 4 1 / 4 0 / 4 1 / 4 0 / 4 1 / 3 3 / 23 N/A N/A
Win-Loss 0–0 0–0 10–4 15–3 19–4 20–3 16–4 11–2 N/A 91–20 82%
Olympic Games
Summer Olympics Not Held A Not Held A 0 / 0 0–0 0%
Current WTA Tier I Tournaments
Doha Not Tier I W 1 / 1 5–0 100%
Indian Wells A 2R 1R 4R SF W 4R SF 1 / 7 19–6 76%
Miami A A 1R 4R F F 4R A 0 / 5 14–5 74%
Charleston A A 1R2 A A A A QF 0 / 2 4–2 67%
Berlin A A A 3R QF A A A 0 / 2 4–2 67%
Rome A A A 3R SF A A SF 0 / 3 8–2 80%
Montréal / Toronto A A 1R 3R A A A 3R 0 / 3 2–2 50%
Tokyo A A A 2R W SF SF
1 / 4 9–3 75%
Moscow A A A A QF QF 2R
0 / 3 2–2 50%
Year-End Championship
WTA Tour Championships A A A W SF SF F
1 / 4 13–5 72%
Former WTA Tier I Tournaments
Zurich A A A F A W A Not
Tier I
1 / 2 7–1 88%
San Diego Not Tier I QF A W W Not
2 / 3 12–1 92%
Career Statistics
Tournaments played 1 8 16 20 15 15 13 9 N/A 97 N/A
Finals reached 0 5 3 6 4 7 4 3 N/A 32 N/A
Tournaments Won 0 3 3 5 3 5 1 3 N/A 23 N/A
Hardcourt Win-Loss 0–0 23–5 20–9 34–11 29–7 45–5 24–5 19–1 N/A 194–43 82%
Clay Win-Loss 0–1 5–0 9–2 8–3 9–3 3–1 7–2 12–2 N/A 53–14 79%
Grass Win-Loss 0–0 0–0 9–2 12–0 10–1 8–2 7–2 1–1 N/A 47–8 85%
Carpet Win-Loss 0–0 0–0 0–0 1–1 5–1 3–1 2–2 0–0 N/A 11–5 69%
Overall Win-Loss 0–1 28–5 38–13 55–15 53–12 59–9 40–11 32–4 N/A 305–70 81%
Win % 0% 85% 75% 79% 82% 87% 78% 89% N/A N/A N/A
Year End Ranking None 186 32 4 4 2 5

1 Sharapova won three qualifying matches to reach the main draw.

2 Sharapova won two qualifying matches to reach the main draw.

WTA Tour career earnings

Year Majors WTA wins Total wins Earnings (US$) Money list rank
2003 0 2 2 222,005 51
2004 1 4 5 2,506,263 1
2005 0 3 3 1,921,283 5
2006 1 4 5 3,799,501 2
2007 0 1 1 1,758,550 7
2008* 1 2 3 1,890,850 2
Career* 3 16 19 12,122,252 12
* As of June 23, 2008.

Notable matches

2004 Wimbledon final: defeated heavily-favored two-time defending champion Serena Williams 6–1, 6–4 to become the third youngest woman to win the title at the All England Club;[66] seeded 13th,[67] she was the lowest seed (at the time) to win it at the time.

2004 WTA Tour Championships final: defeated Serena Williams 4–6, 6–2, 6–4. Sharapova came back from a 4-0 deficit in the third set and won her first WTA Championships trophy.

2005 Australian Open semifinal: defeated by eventual champion Serena Williams 2–6, 7–5, 8–6. Sharapova led 6–2, 5–4 before Williams rallied to win the second set. In the third set, Sharapova again carved out a lead and even held three match points, but Williams battled back once again to win the match.

2005 US Open semifinal: defeated by eventual champion Kim Clijsters 6–2, 6–7(4), 6–3. Sharapova was down 5–2 in the second set and one game away from defeat but fought back to claim the set. Sharapova wound up saving five match points; however, Clijsters won the match on her sixth match point.

2006 Sony Ericsson Open (Key Biscayne, Florida) semifinal: defeated Tatiana Golovin 6–3, 6–7(5), 4–3 retired. Sharapova had match points at 6–3, 5–1 but could not convert. The third set was close until Golovin was forced to retire after dramatically twisting her ankle. Some criticized Sharapova for turning her back on Golovin,[68] but a television replay showed Sharapova turning her back before the fall. Sharapova later explained that she thought Golovin had simply cramped.[69] When the Frenchwoman retired and was leaving the court, Sharapova gave her a round of applause along with the crowd to show her appreciation.

2006 US Open semifinal: defeated Amelie Mauresmo, the World No. 1, 6–0, 4–6, 6–0. This was the first time in the open era that a female had lost two 6–0 sets in a US Open semifinal. This was also her first progression to a Grand Slam final in over two years, the last being at the 2004 Wimbledon Championships.[70]

2006 US Open final: defeated Justine Henin 6–4, 6–4 to win her second Grand Slam title. Sharapova beat Henin for only the second time in her career.[71]

2007 French Open fourth round: defeated Patty Schnyder 3–6, 6–4, 9–7. Sharapova came into the tournament with an injury and overcame two match points against her during this match.

2007 WTA Tour Championships final: defeated by Henin 5–7, 7–5, 6–3. World No. 1 Henin was the pre-match favorite, but Sharapova took the first set on her eighth set point and at one stage in the second set, was a mere five points from victory. The match lasted 3 hours, 24 minutes, making it the twelfth longest women's tour match during the open era.[72] This was one of the best women's matches of 2007.[73]

2008 Australian Open quarterfinal: defeated Henin 6–4, 6–0. Henin was the World No. 1, but Sharapova won her third victory in nine meetings with Henin. The win snapped Henin's 32-match winning streak and marked the first time Henin had suffered a "bagel" set since 2002. It also marked the first time since 2005 that Henin had lost in a Grand Slam tournament before the semifinals.

2008 Australian Open final: defeated Ana Ivanovic to claim her third Grand Slam singles title. This gave her a 3–1 win-loss record in Grand Slam finals.

2008 French Open fourth round: defeated by Dinara Safina 6–7(6), 7–6(5), 6–2. Sharapova lost two match points while leading 5–3 in the second set. She was only two points away from victory on numerous other occasions, one of which was Sharapova's lead at 5–2 in the second set tiebraker before losing five consecutive points and the set.

2008 Wimbledon second round: defeated by Alla Kudryavtseva 6–2, 6–4. This was her earliest loss at a Grand Slam singles tournament since the 2003 US Open and her earliest loss ever at Wimbledon. She won only 27% of the points that began on her second serve, committed 8 double faults, and had only 13 winners versus 22 unforced errors.[74]