|Maria Sharapova saw the daylight on April 19th, 1987 in Nyagan, a town in the Siberian region of Russia. In 1989 her family moves to the Black Sea
when she is just 4, which introduces many changes into her life. There she meets the father of the tennis champion Evgenny Kafelnikov, who provides her with her first tennis racket. Since this moment on she rushes into the tennis world, turning this sport into her greatest passion.
Two years later Maria meets another champion - Martina Navratilova, who is amazed that a 6-year-old girl is so talented. Then the tennis legend tries to convince the father of the young prospective star to enroll Maria in the world-famous Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.
Upon getting the same advice from the chief trainer of the national team, her father Yuri embarks on a trip to America, without knowing a word in English
and with less than $1,000 in his pocket. Then Maria is of the tender age of 7.
Fortunately, the IMG sports company decides to sponsor Maria with $35,000 a year, which is enough for her stay at the Bollettieri Academy. With no knowledge
of English, she is very shy and unsociable.
When turning 9, Maria is sent to a regular school, where she has to live with two older than her girls. Her mother, however, stays in Russia at that time, because she is refused to get a visa.
It is no sooner than two years later that Maria's mother reaches Florida. So, in this important period of her life Maria is deprived of the cares of her mother. She has to meet the challenges of life in the company of her father only.
These challenges lead to the official start of her tennis career in 2001. The same year she wins 25 matches and loses 3 only. Maria sweeps away three tittles in Sacramento, Hilton Head and Pilsen in the Czech Republic.
The following season Sharapova marks even greater results - 26 victories and 3 losses and again three 3 titles: Vancouver, Peachtree and Gunma in Japan.
The same year she plays matches in a professional tournament.
The talented young tennis star wins a match and loses two, one of which is against Monica Seles. Then she occupies the 186the position in the WTA charts.
In 2003 Sharapova is already a participant in the great league. She joins the WTA Tour. The same season Maria has 34 victories and 11 insignificant losses.
She also wins two professional titles: Quebec City and the Japan Open. Along with Tamarine Tanasugarn, Maria wins two double titles: Luxembourg and the Japan Open.
In 2004 Maria beats Serena Williams, thus astonishing the public.
This remarkable victory makes her the first Russian to win a Wimbledon singles title and the third-youngest women's champion in history.
Maria loses her final match in Miami. She loses with 3-6 5-7 by Kim Clijsters of Belgium in a match that lasts 1:30 minutes. It was interrupted by two breaks only on account of the rain. This is the second failure in a final in her short career in WTA and the third one for 2005.
Maria was nominated for Laureus world sportswoman of the year. Among other nominees are Kelly Holmes (UK) - athletics, Yelena Isinbayeva (Russia) -
athletics, Corolina Kluft (Sweden) - athletics, Annika Sorenstam (Sweden) - golf and Leontien Zijlaard-Van Moorsel (Netherlands) - cycling
Tennis star Maria Sharapova said she has refused to play in Russia’s combined team at the Federation Cup tournament in Brindisi because the matches would too much of a burden for her. 06.04.2005