Maria Yuryevna Sharapova
Having escaped the toxic...
effects of the Chernobyl disaster in their homeland, Maria Sharapova and family settled in Sochi, Russia. A distinct tennis talent from age 4, she garnished attention from elite coaches in Russia. To further her tennis career, Maria and her father moved to the United States with only $700 and without speaking any english. Before receiving a scholarship to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, Maria was coached by her father on public courts.
Her life was soon to drastically change from her me on the public courts, as she played her first professional tournament at age 14. From there, she became the youngest player ever to reach the finals of the juniors Australian open. Her first Grand Slam title came just three years later, defeating Serena Williams at Wimbledon. She reached her first number one ranking in 2005, holding onto the title for six weeks before injury knocked her down.
Maria competed in and won a silver medal in her first Olympic games in 2012. Continuing to dominate into tournament finals, Maria won her fifth Grand Slam in 2014 at the French Open. Maria’s lack of knowledge of a newly banned substance sidelined her from the sport for two years starting in 2016. In her time away, Maria continued to be supported by many of her loyal endorsers and focused on training and work with her foundation. Upon her return to the sport, Maria was able to quickly break into the WTA top 30 within her first year back.
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