Maria Sharapova is a former professional tennis player. She has played as a Russian player with the Women’s Tennis Association. Notably, she is the only Russian woman tennis player to hold a career Grand Slam. Although she was born in Russia, she has lived in the United States as a permanent resident since 1994.
Maria took part in the WTA tour between 2001 and 2020. Likewise, she has also won a silver medal in women’s singles at the 2012 London Olympics. Moreover, she has stood first in the WTA rankings in singles on five different occasions. Besides, she has appeared in numerous modeling magazines and advertisements.
Many of the former players and pundits mark her as one of the best tennis players. Having a veteran twenty years of a glorious career as a senior player will undoubtedly earn you many accomplishments and titles. We have prepared a summary of the life journey of a wonderful player personality. So let’s dig into her personal and professional life.
|Full Name||Maria Yuryevna Sharapova|
|Birth Date||April 19, 1987|
|Birth Place||Nyagan, Russian SFSR, Soviet Union|
|Religion||Christianity (Eastern Orthodox)|
|Education||Keystone National High School, Pennsylvania|
|Father’s Name||Yuri Sharapov|
|Mother’s Name||Yelena Sharapov|
|Age||34 Years Old|
|Height||6 feet 2 inches (188 cm)|
|Weight||59 kg (130 lbs)|
|Shoe Size||11 (US)|
|Bra Cup Size||32B|
|Profession||Tennis Player (retired)|
|Playing style||Right Handed|
|Active years (Senior Career)||2001-2020 (professional player)|
|Association||Women’s Tennis Association|
|Marital Status||Unmarried (In a relationship)|
|Boyfriends||Adam Levine (2005)|
Charlie Ebersol (2008)
Sasha Vujacic (2009- 2012)
Grigor Dimitrov (2013 – 2015)
Alexander Gilkes (2018 – present)
|Favorite Food||Russian and Thai Cuisines|
|Net Worth||$195 million|
|Annual Earnings||$18 million|
|Social Media||Facebook, Twitter, Instagram|
|Merch||Funko POP, Poster & Jersey|
Maria Sharapova: Early Life, Family, and Education
Maria was born in Nyagan, a town in the Russian SFSR, Soviet Union. She is the daughter of Yuri Sharapov and Yelena Sharapov. Besides, she is the niece of Yevgeny Kafelnikov, who is a former Russian player. Also, the Russian model Alesya Kafelnikova is her cousin.
Yuri and Yelena used to live in the Gomel region of Byelorussian SSR. After the 1996 Chernobyl nuclear accident near Pripyat, there were many concerns about its regional effects. Consequently, the couple moved to Nyagan. Around a year later, Maria was born. Again, they moved to Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, with Sharapova in 1989.
Early attachment with tennis
Maria was introduced to tennis as early as she was four years old. She received her first tennis racquet then. Her father used to make her practice tennis with him. Later, she joined with the veteran Russian coach Yuri Yutkin to take tennis lessons.
At the early age of six, Maria went to a tennis clinic in Moscow. There she was recommended to attend professional training with Nick Bollettieri. He was a trainer at the IMG Academy in Florida, United States. Accordingly, she traveled to America with her father in 1994.
Her father suffered a lot from low income and poor English during the early days in the United States. Eventually, the IMG signed her in 1995. They agreed to pay the yearly tuition fee for Maria if she stayed at the Academy. She had her enrollment at the age of 9.
Maria Sharapova: Professional Career
As early as 13, Maria won the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships in the girls’ under-16 division. The recognition earned her the Rising Star Award in 2000. That was an exceptional award, which is only provided to promising players.
Maria debuted as a professional tennis player in 2001 on her birthday. Then, she joined the WTA tournament in 2002 at the Pacific Life Open. There was a threshold for playing in professional events. Thus, she sharpened her in the junior tournaments. Maria became the youngest female ever to reach the Australian Open’s final. Her age was 14 years and nine months at the time.
The International Tennis Federation ranked her sixth among the junior world singles players in 2002. Notably, she had a 47-9 win-loss ratio as a junior. Besides, she reached the finals of the 2002 Wimbledon Championships. Also, she lost in the third round of the 2002 French Open. Besides, she made it to the second round of the 2001 US Open.
Started winning titles
Maria was eligible to play full professional season from 2003. She defeated Jelena Dokic at Wimbledon. Her first WTA title was the Japan Open Tennis Championships. For the season, she received the WTA Newcomer of the Year recognition.
The Rise to Global Fame
Maria reached the third round of the Qatar Telecom German Open and the International BNL d’Italia, the Tier I events in the 2004 season. Also, she defeated the 2004 French Open finalist Elena Dementieva in the International BNL.
In the same year, she defeated Tatiana Golovin to win the DFS Classic, also known as Wimbledon warm-up. She the Grand Slam singles title by defeating the then-defending champion Serena Williams at Wimbledon.
She was the subject of discussion in various sports media as a serious challenger at Wimbledon. Accordingly, she was ranked in the top 10. “Maria Mania” won the Asian titles, the Hansol Korea Open Tennis Championships, and the Japan Open Tennis Championships.
The peak of the Game
Maria did not stop pushing herself in the next season too. She reached the no. three ranks in early 2005 after winning the Toray Pan Pacific Open and the Qatar Total Open. Also, she defended her DFS Classic title by defeating Jelena Jankovic in the final. However, she bowed out from her Wimbledon title defense. She lost to Venus Williams.
Notably, she was ranked world No. 1 for a week in August 2005 and six weeks from September 2005. However, she lost in the US Open and Pacific Life Open in semifinals in the same year.
First US Open title
Maria began the US Open campaign in 2006 as the third seed. There she defeated the second seed Justine Henin to bag her second Grand Slam singles title. Similarly, she won the Zurich Open and the Generali Ladies Linz Open titles in the same year. Sadly, she had to bow out from the Australian Open, the French Open, and the Wimbledon.
Again, she held the No. 1 rank for seven weeks in early 2007. However, shoulder injuries hit her. And she had to miss out most of the clay-court season. Also, she lost to Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals of the French Open and Wimbledon in the fourth round. On the positive side, she defended her Acura Classic title that year. But she could not defend her US Open title.
First Australian Open title
At the Australian Open in early 2008, Maria defeated Ana Ivanovic to win the Grand Slam. In the year, her 18-match winning streak ended with the semifinals defeat at the Pacific Life Open. Also, the no.1 rank came for her in May.
Injury and out of top 100
However, a shoulder injury forced her to withdraw from the competitions in August of the year. Because of missing matches due to injury, she was ranked at 126 in May 2009. After recovery, she won the 2009 Toray Pan Pacific Open title. Notably, she lost her opening match in the 2010 Australian Open.
In 2011, she split up with Michael Joyce, her coach since 2004. Later, she achieved No. 4 in the world ranking in August 2011. Again, she suffered an ankle injury during the 2011 Toray Pan Pacific Open. Subsequently, she withdrew from all the remaining matches of the season.
Career Grand Slam and Olympics
In 2012, Maria won the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix in Stuttgart, Germany, defeating Victoria Azarenka. Besides, she beat Li Na at the 2012 Italian Open to defend her title. Remarkably, she regained her No.1 title as she marched to the finals of the French Open. Maria won the final to add the fourth career Grand Slam title.
This last week has been a whirlwind of unforgettable memories. From the Opening Ceremony to leaving with this pretty piece of Silver. I will remember it forever!!
Russian Olympic Committee asked her to bear the flag at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. She reached the finals against Serena Williams. Unfortunately, Serena thrashed her. As a result, Maria had to end the campaign with a silver medal.
Suspension and Injuries
In 2014, Maria won the Stuttgart Open in April. Then she won the Madrid Open in May of 2014. Remarkably, she won the 2014 French Open defeating Simona Halep in the finals. However, Camila Giorgi defeated her in the third round of the Indian Wells Masters.
In 2014, she was defeated by Serena Williams in the Australian Open final. However, she had to miss out on most matches of 2016 due to injury. Also, she was suspended because of testing positive for meldonium.
The 2017 China Open was her only WTA title in two years since 2015. In the 2018 season, she made her comeback to the No. 29 ranks in world tennis. She lost to Naomi Osaka in the opening round of the Indian Wells Open.
And, in the first round of the Italian Open, she defeated Ashleigh Barty. Also, in the third round of the French Open, she won over Karolina Pliskova. Moreover, the opening round of the 2019 Shenzhen Open marked her 800th career singles match. However, a shoulder injury ruined her first half of 2019.
In 2020, she played an exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi. Donna Vekic defeated her in the first round of the 2020 Australian Open. It was the final match of the career. In February 2020, she announced she would be retiring from tennis.
Maria Sharapova: Achievements and Titles
Maria has won the Australian Open once, French Open twice, Wimbledon once, and the US Open. Besides, she won the 2004 WTA Tour Championship. The WTA Player of the Year 2004 has also won the ESPY Best Female Tennis Player award in 2005, 2007, 2008, and 2012. Besides, she was the ESPY’s Best International Female Athlete in 2007.
Furthermore, the Russian Federation has honored her with the Medal of the Order For Merit to the Fatherland 1st and 2nd class. Also, she has been the Russian Cup’s Female Tennis Player of the Year three times.
Maria Sharapova: Net Worth and Salary
It is estimated that Maria has earned more than $325 million during her career. Remarkably, she has always been among the highest-earning women athletes during her career. According to sources, she has received $38 million in prize money only. Only Serena William is above her in the list of highest-earning female players.
As of [2021 Update], Maria Sharapova has a net worth of around $195 million.
At the peak of her career, she made around $18 million per year. Also, a considerable sum of her earnings come outside of sports too. She has several endorsements and sponsorship deals with several brands.
In 2010, she signed an 8-year $70 million contract with Nike. Besides, she has appeared in the commercials of Land Rover, Canon. Also, she has endorsed Tag Heuer, Motorola, and Tiffany.
Maria Sharapova: Relationships
Being a brilliant player with a gorgeous look, Maria can attract any man. It was rumored that she dated Adam Levine, the vocalist of the band Maroon 5, around 2005. Then, she was in a relationship with Andy Roddick between 2005 and 2006. Besides, she dated Charlie Ebersol for a short time in 2008.
Considering serious relationships, she was engaged to Sasha Vujacic in 2011. The Slovenian professional basketball player was in a relationship with her since 2009. However, the couple separated by ending their engagement in 2012. Again, she had a relationship with Grigor Dimitrov between 2013 and 2015. Grigor is a Bulgarian tennis player.
After that, she started dating the British businessman Alexander Gilkes in 2018. Alexander is the owner of Paddle8, which is an online auction platform. They were first seen together in an art gallery in Beverly Hills in March 2018.
Maria Sharapova: Social Media Presence
Maria Sharapova is one of the renowned names in all of the sports world. Likewise, she has earned a lot of fan following in her social media accounts. The Russian uses Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram as her regular social media handles.
Facebook: 15,273,647 followers
Twitter: 8.6 million followers
Instagram: 4 million followers
You can check out some of the top Maria Sharapova quotes.
Commonly asked questions about Maria Sharapova.
Is Maria Sharapova a mother?
Maria has been in a relationship with many persons since the dawn of her career. Her ex-boyfriends include the singer Adam Levine to the businessman Alexander Gilkes. She is currently dating Alexander. However, she has not had kids with any of them. It means she has not been a mother yet.
Was Maria Sharapova ever married?
Maria Sharapova was engaged to Sasha Vujacic in 2011. Sasha is a Slovenian professional basketball player. They had been in a relationship since 2009. However, the couple could not get married as they separated in 2012. Likewise, their engagement ended then.
Has Maria Sharapova appeared in movies?
Maria Sharapova has appeared as herself in several movies. They include Chelsea (2016), the series Billions (2018, 2020), Ocean’s 8 (2018), The Morning Show (2019), and Shark Tank (2020). Besides, she has featured as herself in the 2017’s documentary about herself, Maria Sharapova: The Point.