Top 10 Maria Sharapova Life Facts

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6. Moving to the US

In 1994, Maria’s father took her to US for tennis lessons after the advice of Martina Navrátilová. To fund the classes of Sharapova, Youri had to borrow funds and take up low paid jobs in Florida like dishwashing. The hurdle of not knowing proper English, living alone and her mother not accompanying due to visa restrictions did not prove effective in Sharapovas’s career. Later, she was old enough to fund her lessons and in 1995, she got associated with IMG who paid her annual tuition fees of $35,000.

 

7. Tennis Lessons

After practicing with her father, Sharapova took her first tennis lessons with veteran Russian coach Yuri Yutkin. He was extremely impressed by her hand-eye coordination and the way she used to play. In 1993 Maria attended a tennis exhibition tournament in Moscow which was run by Martina Navratilova. During the tounamnet, when Martina saw her talent and potential, she recommended Maria professional training at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida, from where players such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Anna Kournikova have already been trained earlier. She felt it would be the best place and opportunity for the little girl to enhance her skills.

 

8. Started playing tennis at the age of four

When Sharapova used to live in Russia, her father became friends with Aleksandr Kafelnikov, whose son was Yevgeny. Aleksandr’s son at that time was the first Russian to become world’s no. 1 tennis player and had already one two Grand Slam singles titles. The father of one of Russia’s most successful male players presented Maria a cut down tennis racquet by him. She was only four years of age at that time. Thereafter, she started practicing tennis regularly with her father in a local park. Even though, Maria’s family was not wealthy enough to bear all her tennis expenses, they never stepped back and always helped her in every frontier. She never faced any resistance from her family and was never pressurized to focus more on studies and less on sports.

 

9. Most searched athlete on yahoo in 2004-05

Even though Maria did not do really great in tennis in 2011, failing to win a major, she made it to the Wimbledon final and the French Open semifinals. Her popularity did not get affected by her downfall at all. Maria was the most searched for athlete this year, according to Bing.com.

 

10. Family and Childhood

Maria Sharapova was born in Nyagan, Siberia, Russia on April 19, 1987. She is the only child of Youri Sharapova and Yelena Sharapova. Her parents who earlier lived in Gomel, Belarus, left the city in 1986 because of the regional effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident. They then moved to Nyagan where Maria was born. In 1989, when Sharapova was two, the family again shifted to Sochi, also known as a resort city as well as the home of famous Russian tennis player, felling Nyagan was still prone to disasters. There she met Aleksandr Kafelnikov, her father’s friend, who presented her with a tennis racquet. As her interest in tennis flourished, she started practicing tennis by playing with the ball against the side wall of her house. Seeing her enthusiasm, her father admitted her to a tennis academy at the age of six.

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