This 6-foot-2 tennis goddess from Nyagan, Russia is one of the biggest stars in all of professional sports. Maria Sharapova has seen and done it all on the tennis court. The 29-year-old has already won over $36 million in prize money, the second most all-time behind only Serena Williams. Despite ranking behind Williams in prize money, Forbes named her the highest paid female athlete in the world from 2001-2012, when you factor her endorsement deals and other business endeavors. During that span, she was worth an estimated $285 million. Sharapova has been ranked number 1 in the world by the Women’s Tennis Association an impressive five times.
Maria Sharapova is beautiful, athletic, and extremely wealthy. On the surface, the tall blonde tennis star would seem to have it all. However, just like anyone else, she has also had her fair share of setbacks along the way. Even one of the most successful female athletes in the world has a few moments she would like for all us of to forget. This is what makes her human. With that in mind, let’s take a gander at 8 pictures Maria Sharapova wants you to see and 7 she would definitely prefer you didn’t.
15. Wants: Winning Career Grand Slam
One of Maria Sharapova’s biggest accomplishments is holding the career Grand Slam. This means the Russian star has won the four biggest (or major) tennis tournaments which include Wimbledon, the Australian Open, the French Open, and the US Open. When Sharapova accomplished this feat she became the only Russian female to win all four tournaments over the course of her career.
In 2012 Maria Sharapova won the French Open, the only one of the four major tournament championships that had previously eluded her. The photo shows Sharapova with her French Open trophy after defeating Sara Errani. She defeated Errani 6-3 and 6-2 during the 14th day of the prestigious tournament and was once again ranked number 1 in the world. Winning the career Grand Slam was definitely one of Sharapova’s finest moments.
14. Doesn’t: Dating Serena’s Ex-boyfriend
Apparently, Serena Williams and Maria Sharapova were both involved in a relationship with fellow tennis player Grigor Dimitrov. Prior to being romantically linked to Sharapova in 2013, Dimitrov had apparently dated her rival Williams for a period of time. Sharapova and Williams both took verbal jabs at each other in various media interviews regarding their relationships.
Serena Williams was even quoted in a Rolling Stone interview as saying “If she wants to be with a guy with a black heart, go for it.” Though Williams didn’t say her name directly, the comments were thought to be about Sharapova. Sharapova fired back with comments about Williams’ relationship as well. In truth, both parties may have come off as a bit catty and it wasn’t good luck for either of the tennis stars. Sharapova and Dimitrov would split up in 2015.
13. Wants: Modeling Projects
When you’re over 6 feet tall and look like Maria Sharapova, it would seem modeling offers are almost inevitable. Sharapova has posed for several major magazines since taking the tennis world by storm. She appeared in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue’s Valentine’s Day edition back in 2006. Moreover, the blonde bombshell has also been featured in Teen Vogue and the fitness magazine Shape.
Besides posing for several magazines, she has been frequently cited by publications such as Maxim and People as being one of the hottest athletes in the world, or one of the hottest women in the world, in general. And if you would like to see more of Sharapova and other tennis stars posing in swimsuits, then check out 15 Photos Of Tennis Stars In Swimsuits You NEED To See . You will be glad you did.
12. Doesn’t: Losing To Serena Williams
One of Maria Sharapova’s biggest rivals in the sport of tennis is Serena Williams. To be honest, it really hasn’t been a very competitive rivalry at all. They have gone head to head 21 times and Sharapova has emerged the victor on only two occasions. In fact, the last time the Russian defeated Williams in a singles match was back in 2004. Their most recent match-up was at the Australian Open in 2016. Williams won the contest 6-4 and 6-1.
Though the two have had some personal issues over the years, Sharapova gave Williams her due. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Sharapova had this to say about her rival; “I think Serena has done an incredible job on the court. Her tennis has spoken for itself in the last however many years she’s competed.” Despite the respect she may for Williams, you have to think Sharapova wishes there were fewer photos like this one out there.
11. Wants: Dating Mega Stars
Maria Sharapova has a dating resume almost as impressive as her accomplishments in professional tennis. The 6-foot-2 tennis star/model has been able to attract some high-profile celebrities. Sharapova has dated television producer Charlie Ebersol, the son of NBC television executive Dick Ebersol. She was also previously involved with Slovenian NBA player, Sasha Vujacic. The Russian went out with fellow tennis player Grigor Dimitrov as well.
In 2005, Maria Sharapova dated none other than Maroon 5 frontman Adam Levine. Apparently, the two met at Sharapova’s 18th birthday celebration. Levine is nearly 10 years her senior, which may have factored into why the relationship didn’t last very long. Sharapova has dated men that most women would kill to go out with. The Grand Slam champ looks to be a single at the moment, though there is likely plenty of interest out there.
10. Doesn’t: Doping Controversy
Maria Sharapova’s failed drug test at the 2016 Australian Open was without question one of the low points in the legendary tennis star’s career. She tested positive for a substance known as meldonium. The drug allegedly increases endurance and recovery time in athletes, though there is debate among scientists regarding the issue. The failed test resulted in a two-year suspension for Sharapova, which was eventually reduced to 15 months.
She released a statement which included the following; “For the past ten years I have been given a medicine called mildronate by my family doctor and a few days ago after I received the ITF letter I found out that it also has another name of meldonium which I did not know. It is very important for you to understand that for ten years this medicine was not on WADA’s banned list”.
9. Wants: Winning An Olympic Silver Medal
Regardless of what sport an athlete participates in, winning an Olympic medal is a major accomplishment. During the 2012 Olympic Games in London, England, Maria Sharapova won a silver medal in the women’s singles tournament. She participated in the games as a member of the Russian team.
Sharapova defeated fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko in the Olympic semifinals at London. In the gold medal round of the tournament, Sharapova was slated to face her rival Serena Williams. While Williams ultimately won the gold, Sharapova certainly made her country proud by bringing home a silver medal. Unfortunately, due to issues stemming from her failed drug test, she was unable to compete in the 2016 Olympic Games. That being said, her performance at the 2012 Olympics was one of the highlights of her career.
8. Doesn’t: Russian Fed Cup Team Controversy
Despite having spent most of her life in the United States, Maria Sharapova has maintained her status as a Russian citizen. This means that she is eligible to play as a member of Russian Fed Cup team. However, her participation as a member of the Russian team has been controversial in the past.
Sharapova’s father is known for being very outspoken on the sidelines during some of her matches. In fact, fellow Russian Anastasia Myskina was quoted as saying the following regarding Sharapova’s father; “He was just yelling and screaming instructions to her and I thought he just might jump right on the court at one point in the match.” Maria Sharapova has participated in the Fed Cup sparingly over the years, leading to speculation that she was only doing it to become eligible for the Olympics, where commitment to the Fed Cup is a requirement.
7. Wants: Sugarpova
In 2013 Maria Sharapova launched her own candy line known as Sugarpova. According to the company website, Sugarpova is a “premium candy line that reflects the fun, fashionable, sweet side of international tennis sensation Maria Sharapova. A longtime candy lover with a surprising sweet tooth, Maria has created her own candy business to offer an accessible bit of luxury interpreting classic candies in her own signature style.”
The brand features products like Flirty Sour, which are fruit-flavored lips and stars. They even added chocolate products in 2016. Moreover, a portion of the proceeds from sales goes to charity. There was even a rumor going around that she considered changing her last name to Sugarpova. Maria Sharapova would likely want her fans to also remember her as a successful businesswoman.
6. Doesn’t: Injuries
Professional tennis can be a tough sport, which often takes its toll on a competitor’s body. Maria Sharapova has dealt with her share of injuries throughout her illustrious career. She has had multiple shoulder injuries which have had an adverse effect on her game.
Sharapova’s first documented shoulder injury came in 2007, which caused her to miss most of the clay-court contests that year. She once again had an issue with the shoulder which caused her to withdraw from the 2008 Rogers Cup. It turned out that Sharapova had torn her rotator cuff and would be forced to miss the 2008 Olympic Games. She would go on to have surgery in order to address the issue. The Russian would also miss a portion of the 2013 season due to similar issues. Maria Sharapova would certainly like to forget about those pesky shoulder injuries.
5. Wants: Charity Work
Maria Sharapova’s charity work is something she would likely be very proud of. In fact, the Russian star even has her very own charity organization. The Maria Sharapova Foundation helps to create scholarships for children and is focused on helping young people achieve their goals. A portion of the money earned through her Sugarpova sales goes to the foundation.
Sharapova has also made several generous donations throughout the years. She donated $50,000 to help those affected by the Beslan school hostage crisis. Furthermore, the Olympic medalist also donated $210,000 to the Chernobyl recovery projects. In 2004 she participated in an exhibition match to help raise money for the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund. Maria Sharapova has an impressive resume when it comes to donations and charity work.
4. Doesn’t: Nike Suspending Endorsement Deal
Maria Sharapova has been an endorsement magnet since rising to prominence in the world of professional tennis. In fact, the amount of money she receives in commercial endorsements far exceeds her tournament winnings. She has been involved with endorsement deals with companies like Motorola, Gatorade, and even Nike.
When news broke regarding Sharapova’s failed drug test, some companies decided to try and distance themselves from the Russian star. Sportswear company Nike decided to suspend their relationship with Sharapova. Moreover, Porsche decided to delay promotional work they had planned on doing with her. However, some organizations like racquet company Head stood by the former Olympian. It would probably be fair to say that Sharapova would prefer to put her sponsorship woes behind her.
3. Wants: Her First Wimbledon Championship
Winning Wimbledon back in 2004 was the beginning of Maria Sharapova’s rise to prominence. The then-17-year-old Sharapova defeated tennis legend Lindsey Davenport in the semifinals of the tournament. She would the go on to face the 1st seed of the tournament, Serena Williams. In what was seen as a stunning upset, she defeated Williams 6-1 and 6-4. This made her the 3rd youngest woman to ever win the prestigious tournament.
While Williams often got the better of their rivalry, this would be Sharapova’s time to shine. Her victory sent shockwaves through the tennis world and sparked what was known as “Maria Mania.” This photo shows Sharapova after her victory, which is also one of the greatest moments of her career. This is without question an image she would love for tennis fans to remember.
2. Doesn’t: Loss To Michelle Larcher De Brito
When you are a high-profile professional athlete like Maria Sharapova, you don’t lose very often. However, even the best athletes suffer setbacks from time to time. This was certainly the case when Sharapova suffered arguably the worst loss of her career against Michelle Larcher de Brito.
At the time of their match at Wimbledon in 2013, Larcher de Brito was ranked number 131 in the world. Conversely, Sharapova was ranked number 3 at the time. To say this was a major upset would be a monumental understatement. Sharapova did complain about the court conditions, but admitted that “I just wasn’t there.” This was certainly a career highlight for Larcher de Brito, who has never been ranked higher than 76th in the world. However, you can be sure it is a match that Sharapova does not like to think about.
1. Wants: Looked Up To By Young Tennis Stars
When you have been as successful as Maria Sharapova has, it should come as no surprise that you will have your fair share of admirers. Moreover, it is also reasonable to assume the next generation of tennis stars will be looking to emulate your success. Canada’s tennis sweetheart Eugenie Bouchard is just one example of a player who admired Sharapova growing up. There is even a widely circulated photograph showing Bouchard as a child with a teenage Sharapova.
Prior to their match at the French Open in 2014, Bouchard denied the two were friends but stated at the press conference; ” Of course, as a child I looked up to her and I remember watching her in the finals of Wimbledon and, you know, thought what she was doing was so cool and I wanted to do the same thing.” Sharapova should take pride in having inspired a promising young star like Bouchard.
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