Today is the day Maria turns 23 so I'm going to wish her Happy Birthday and do a tribute picking out all the best things and key information on Maria
Thanks so much for over 7 years of the absolute best Maria HAPPY 23RD BIRTHDAY MARIA
Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (born April 19, 1987) is a former World No. 1 Russian professional tennis player and three time Grand Slam singles champion. As of April 5, 2010, she is ranked World No. 14.
Sharapova has won three Grand Slam singles titles. In 2004, she beat Serena Williams to take the Wimbledon title at the age of 17. Two years later, she defeated Justine Henin in the final of the 2006 U.S. Open. At the 2008 Australian Open, she beat Ana Ivanović in the final. Sharapova has been ranked in the top 10 since winning Wimbledon, the longest of any current female tennis player.Career2001-2003
See previous year as this post exceeds 30,000 characters(max)2004
Sharapova started the year by reaching the third round of the Australian Open, where she lost to seventh-seeded Anastasia Myskina 64, 16, 62. The week after the Australian Open, Sharapova lost in the second round of the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo to Daniela Hantuchova. She then returned to the United States for three hard court tournaments, reaching the semifinals in Memphis, the fourth round at the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, and the fourth round of the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.
During the spring clay court season leading up to the French Open, Sharapova lost in the third round at both Berlin and Rome, which were both Tier I events. At the French Open, Sharapova reached the quarterfinals of a Grand Slam singles tournament for the first time in her career, losing to Paola Suαrez 61, 63.
The tour then switched to grass courts in the lead up to Wimbledon. In Birmingham, Sharapova defeated Tatiana Golovin to win the title.
The 17-year-old Sharapova went into Wimbledon as the thirteenth seed. She reached her second consecutive Grand Slam quarterfinal, where she defeated Ai Sugiyama 57, 75, 61, and then upset fifth-seeded and former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the semifinals 26, 76, 61. She then faced two-time defending champion Serena Williams in the final, with Williams the heavy favorite. Sharapova, however, caused one of the biggest upsets in Wimbledon history by beating Williams 61, 64, to become the third-youngest Wimbledon women's champion (after Lottie Dod and Martina Hingis) and second-youngest in the open era. She was the first Russian to win the tournament and was, at the time, the lowest seed to win the women's event. (Venus Williams was seeded lower when she won the tournament subsequently in 2005 and 2007.)
During the North American summer hard court season leading up to the U.S. Open, Sharapova played three tournaments. She lost to Myskina in the quarterfinals of the Tier I tournament in San Diego. She lost to Vera Zvonareva in the third round of the Tier I tournament in Montreal. And she lost in the second round of the tournament in New Haven.
At the U.S. Open, Sharapova lost to French player and two-time Grand Slam champion Mary Pierce in the third round 46, 62, 63. During the tournament, Sharapova and several other Russian women tennis players wore a black ribbon in observance of the tragedy after the Beslan school hostage crisis, which took place only a few days before.
Sharapova then played three tournaments in Asia. She lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova in the semifinals of the China Open in Beijing. During the next two weeks, Sharapova won the Tier IV tournament in Seoul, South Korea and successfully defended her Tokyo title.
Before returning to the United States, Sharapova reached her first Tier I final in Zurich, losing to Alicia Molik. At the Tier II tournament in Philadelphia, Sharapova reached the semifinals before defaulting her match to Amelie Mauresmo. Sharapova then ended the year by winning the WTA Tour Championships. She defeated an injured Serena Williams in the final after being down 40 in the final set. After losing to Sharapova in a semifinal of this event, Myskina said: "He [Sharapova's father] 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."
Sharapova finished 2004 ranked World No. 4 and was the second-ranked Russian (behind Myskina). She won five titles during the year, trailing only Davenport's seven and equaling Justine Henin's total. Sharapova also topped the prize winnings list for the year.2005
Maria Sharapova at Indian Wells in 2005.Sharapova started the year by reaching the semifinals of the Australian Open, where she lost to eventual champion Serena Williams 26, 75, 86, despite holding three match points.
In February, Sharapova won her first Tier I event in Tokyo. Three weeks later, she won the tournament in Doha. To complete the spring hard court season, Sharapova reached the semifinals of the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California and the final of the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida.
Sharapova participated in two of the clay court tune-ups for the French Open. She lost in the quarterfinals of the Qatar Telecom German Open in Berlin to Justine Henin and the semifinals of the Italian Open in Rome to Patty Schnyder. At the French Open, Sharapova lost in the quarterfinals for the second consecutive year, falling to Henin, the eventual champion.
On grass, Sharapova successfully defended her Birmingham title, defeating Jelena Janković in the final to extend her winning streak on grass to 19 matches. She then was unsuccessful in defending her Wimbledon title. She reached the semifinals without losing a set, where she lost to Venus Williams, the eventual champion.
Lindsay Davenport injured her back in the Wimbledon final, preventing her from defending the ranking points she obtained during the U.S. hard-court season of 2004. Sharapova had fewer points to defend and therefore rose to the World No. 1 ranking on August 22, 2005. She was the first Russian woman to hold the position. Her reign lasted only one week, however, as Davenport re-ascended to the top ranking after winning the title in New Haven.
At the U.S. Open, Sharapova lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Kim Clijsters. Sharapova lost to the eventual champion in all four Grand Slam events of 2005. Nevertheless, the points she accumulated at the U.S. Open meant that she once again leapfrogged Davenport to take the World No. 1 ranking on September 12, 2005. She kept that ranking for six weeks before relinquishing it again to Davenport following the Zurich Open.
Sharapova failed to defend her title at the season-ending WTA Tour Championships, losing in the semifinals to eventual champion Amιlie Mauresmo.
Sharapova finished the year ranked World No. 4 again and as the top-ranked Russian for the first time. She won three titles during the year and was the only player in 2005 to reach three Grand Slam semifinals.2006
Maria Sharapova at the Zurich Open 2006At the Australian Open, Sharapova lost in the semifinals to Justine Henin 46, 61, 64, the only match of the year that Sharapova lost after winning the first set.
Sharapova claimed her first title of 2006 and eleventh of her career at the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California. She defeated fourth-seeded Elena Dementieva in the final 61, 62.
Sharapova then lost in the final of the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open to Svetlana Kuznetsova.
Sharapova participated at the French Open without having played any of the clay court tune-ups because of injury. After saving three match points in the first round against Mashona Washington, Sharapova was eliminated in the fourth round by Dinara Safina 75, 26, 75, after Sharapova led 51 in the third set. Sharapova lost 18 of the match's last 21 points.
Sharapova then started the grass court season but failed to add a third successive Birmingham title to her collection, losing in the semifinals to American Jamea Jackson. At Wimbledon, Sharapova was defeated in the semifinals for the second consecutive year, losing to eventual winner and World No. 1 Amιlie Mauresmo 63, 36, 62.
Sharapova claimed her second title of 2006 at the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego, defeating top-seeded Kim Clijsters 75, 75. This was Sharapova's first victory over Clijsters in five meetings. She then played in Los Angeles, losing to Dementieva in the semifinals. This was Sharapova's only summer hardcourt loss of the year.
Sharapova was the third-seed at the U.S. Open. She defeated Tatiana Golovin 76, 76 in the quarterfinals before defeating Mauresmo in a semifinal 60, 46, 60. Sharapova then prevailed over second-ranked Henin in the final 64, 64 to win her second Grand Slam singles title, having dropped just one set en route and joining the list of eight players who had beaten the top two players in the world to win a Grand Slam singles title.
Sharapova then won two tournaments in consecutive weeks. At the Tier I Zurich Open, Sharapova defeated Daniela Hantuchovα in the final. At the Generali Ladies Linz, Sharapova beat fellow Russian and defending champion Nadia Petrova to take her fifth title of 2006 and the 15th title of her career.
Until her loss in the semifinals of the WTA Tour Championships to Henin, Sharapova had won 19 consecutive matches. She finished the year at World No. 2 and, for the second year, as the top Russian player. During the year, she compiled a 59-9 record and won five titles (second only to Henin's six), including three Tier I titles, more than any other player.2007
Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open in 2007.Sharapova reached the final of the JB Group Classic, an exhibition tournament in Hong Kong, where she was defeated by Kim Clijsters 63, 76(8).
Sharapova was the top seed at the Australian Open because of World No. 1 Justine Henin's withdrawal. Sharapova defeated the 62nd-ranked Camille Pin in the first round 63, 46, 97 on her fourth match point in air temperatures that exceeded 40 °C (104 °F) and on-court temperatures that exceeded 50 °C (122 °F). In the semifinals, Sharapova defeated fourth-seeded Clijsters to reach her first Australian Open final and gain the opportunity to win the only Grand Slam singles title that a Russian woman had not yet won. However, Serena Williams, ranked World No. 81, overpowered Sharapova 61, 62 in the final. Reaching the final allowed Sharapova to recapture the World No. 1 ranking.
Partly due to hamstring and shoulder injuries that reduced the effectiveness of her serve, Sharapova did not win any of her next three tournaments. At the Tier I Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Sharapova retired from her semifinal match with Ana Ivanović. At the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, Sharapova lost to Vera Zvonareva in the fourth round 46, 75, 61 after Sharapova lead 54 in the second set. This loss resulted in her losing the World No. 1 ranking. In the fourth round of the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, Sharapova lost to Serena Williams for the second consecutive time 61, 61. In the third round of that tournament, Sharapova had beaten Venus Williams 26, 62, 75.
Injuries forced Sharapova to miss most the clay court season for the second consecutive year. Her only tune-up for the French Open was the Istanbul Cup, where she lost to Frenchwoman Aravane Rezaο in the semifinals 62, 64. She then reached the semifinals of the French Open for the first time in her career (saving a match point against Patty Schnyder in the fourth round), but fell to Ivanović 62, 61.
On grass at the DFS Classic in Birmingham, United Kingdom, Sharapova lost in the final to second seeded Jelena Janković 46, 63, 75. At Wimbledon, Sharapova lost to Venus Williams in the fourth round 61, 63.
Sharapova's first summer hardcourt tournament was the Tier I Acura Classic in San Diego, California, where she was the defending champion. She progressed to the final relatively easily, showing few of the serving problems that had dogged her all year. In the final, she defeated eleventh-seeded Schnyder 62, 36, 60, claiming her first title of the year, fifth Tier I title of her career, and the 16th singles title of her career.
At the East West Bank Classic in Los Angeles, a shin injury caused Sharapova to withdraw from her semifinal match with fellow Russian Nadia Petrova shortly before the match started. Nevertheless, she clinched the US Open Series for the first time.
Seeded second at the 2007 U.S. Open, Sharapova won her first two matches with the loss of only two games but then lost her third round match to 18-year-old Pole Agnieszka Radwańska 64, 16, 62, partly due to poor serving and a host of unforced errors. It was Sharapova's earliest exit at a Grand Slam singles tournament since she lost in the same round at the 2004 U.S. Open.
Sharapova did not play again until the Tier I Kremlin Cup in Moscow in October, where she lost to Victoria Azarenka of Belarus in the second round, 76(9), 62 (after a first-round bye). The recurring shoulder problem then forced Sharapova to withdraw from events in Zurich and Linz, at both of which she was the defending champion.
Sharapova qualified for the WTA Tour Championships only because Venus Williams withdrew from the tournament. Playing only her second match in two months, Sharapova beat World No. 9 Daniela Hantuchovα 64, 75 in her first round-robin match, before coming from a set down to defeat World No. 2 Svetlana Kuznetsova 57, 62, 62 to ensure a place in the semifinals. In her final round robin match, Sharapova defeated Ivanović 61, 62 in just over an hour. As the winner of the Red Group, Sharapova then played the runner-up of the Yellow Group, Anna Chakvetadze, in the semifinals. Sharapova won that match 62, 62. In the final, Sharapova lost to World No. 1 Henin 57, 75, 63 in a match that lasted 3 hours and 24 minutes. This was the 12th longest tour match during the open era.
Sharapova ended the year as World No. 5 on the official WTA tour rankings, the fourth consecutive year that she finished in the top five. However, for the first time since 2004, she did not finish the year as the top ranked Russian. Kuznetsova, who finished World No. 2, held that honor. Sharapova also won just one title (at San Diego), the first time she had failed to win at least two titles since 2002 (when she played just three WTA matches).2008
Sharapova completed an abbreviated 2008 season winning three titles, maintaining an undefeated record in tournament finals and a win-loss record of 324.
Before Maria breezed through the Australian Open and won the title, her only warmup event was the Hong Kong event where she has reached the final many times but again came up short against six times grand slam champ Venus Williams in the final losing in straight sets 64 63.
Sharapova was the fifth-seeded player at the Australian Open. She defeated former World No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the second round and World No. 1 Justine Henin in the quarterfinals 64, 60, ending the latter's 32-match winning streak. Sharapova then reached her second consecutive Australian Open final when she defeated an injured Jelena Janković in the semifinals. Dropping only 10 service points during the final, Sharapova defeated Ana Ivanović and won this tournament without losing a set.
After the Australian Open, Sharapova extended her winning streak to 18 matches before finally losing. She participated for the first time in Fed Cup against Israel and won the Tier I Qatar Total Open in Doha. In the semifinals of the Tier I Pacific Life Open in Indian Wells, California, Sharapova lost to Svetlana Kuznetsova, which was her first loss of the year. Sharapova then withdrew from the Tier I Sony Ericsson Open in Key Biscayne, Florida, citing a shoulder injury.
She was the top-seeded player at the Tier II clay court tournament in Amelia Island, Florida. Her 3 hour, 26 minute third round victory was her longest ever match. The next day, she needed an additional 2 hours, 36 minutes to win her quarterfinal match. Sharapova then received a walkover to the final after Davenport withdrew from the tournament. In her first career clay court final, Sharapova defeated Dominika Cibulkovα.
The following week at the Tier I Family Circle Cup in Charleston, South Carolina, Sharapova lost to Serena Williams in the quarterfinals 75, 46, 61. Sharapova had a set point at 5-4 in the first set and claimed the second set but then won only nine points in the final set. This was Sharapova's fourth consecutive loss to Williams. Sharapova was the second-seeded player at the Tier I Internazionali BNL d'Italia, formerly known as the Italian Open, in Rome. She defeated Patty Schnyder in the quarterfinals but then did not play her semifinal against Janković because of a calf injury. Sharapova nevertheless regained the World No. 1 ranking because of Henin's sudden retirement from professional tennis and request to the Women's Tennis Association that her own ranking be removed immediately.
Sharapova was the top-seeded player at the French Open and defeated compatriot Evgeniya Rodina in the first round 61, 36, 86 after being two points from becoming the first female top seeded player in the open era to lose in the first round of this tournament. Sharapova ultimately lost to 13th-seeded and eventual runner-up Dinara Safina in a 2 hour, 52 minute fourth round match 67(6), 76(5), 62. Sharapova saved two set points in the first set tiebreaker before winning the last four points to take the set and then had a match point at 53 in the second set and led 52 in the second set tiebreaker before losing the last five points of the set. Safina won the last four games and ten of the last twelve points of the match. Sharapova lost the match despite hitting 65 winners and only 39 unforced errors. She relinquished the World No. 1 ranking as a result of this loss.
Sharapova withdrew from the grass court tournament in Birmingham, United Kingdom because of a shoulder injury sustained during the French Open. At Wimbledon, Sharapova was seeded third but lost in the second round to compatriot and World No. 159 Alla Kudryavtseva 62, 64. This was her earliest loss ever at Wimbledon.
At the Tier I Rogers Cup in Montreal, Sharapova had the chance to regain the World No. 1 ranking. In a second round match that lasted 2 hours, 55 minutes, she defeated Marta Domachowska of Poland 75, 57, 62. Sharapova committed 17 double faults during the match and twice needed treatment for her right shoulder. She then withdrew from the tournament to prevent the injury from becoming worse. Shortly afterwards, a magnetic resonance imaging scan revealed that Sharapova had been suffering from a torn rotator cuff since April. This injury prevented Sharapova from playing again in 2008, missing both the Beijing Olympics and the US Open. On September 26, she announced on her website that she will be taking the rest of the year off, thus missing the year-ending Sony Ericsson Championships. Sharapova finished 2008 ranked World No. 9.2009
Sharapova did not attempt to defend her Australian Open title as she continued to recover from surgery. She returned to the sport in March, in the doubles tournament at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, but she and partner Elena Vesnina lost in the first round. After this, Sharapova withdrew from further singles tournaments. As Sharapova's hiatus continuted, her standing in the world rankings was severely affected. She dropped out of the top 100 for the first time in six years in May, the nadir being World No. 126.
Sharapova played her first singles tournament in nearly ten months in May, at the clay-court Warsaw Open. There, she won her first two matches but lost in the quarterfinals to Alona Bondarenko. The following week, Sharapova played at the French Open, where she won all of her first four matches in three sets, including a win over 11th seed Nadia Petrova where she fought back from a 42 deficit and a break point down in the third set to win in the second round. In the quarterfinals, Sharapova lost to Dominika Cibulkovα.
Sharapova reached the semifinals of the Wimbledon tune-up in Birmingham, losing to Li Na for the first time and then lost surprisingly in the second round of Wimbledon to Gisela Dulko. This is the second straight second round loss at Wimbledon.
Sharapova then traveled to North America for the 2009 US Open Series. She reached the quarterfinals in Bank of the West Classic in Stanford, losing to eventual finalist Venus Williams. At the LA Women's Tennis Championships in Los Angeles, Sharapova defeated Victoria Azarenka and Alona Bondarenko to reach the semi-finals where she lost to the eventual champion Flavia Pennetta. Sharapova then reached her first final since April 2008, at the Rogers Cup in Toronto, beating Vera Zvonareva and Agnieszka Radwanska en route. She lost in the final to Elena Dementieva. At the U.S. Open, Sharapova suffered a shock loss to 17-year-old Melanie Oudin in the third round, 36, 64, 75, where she served a record 21 double faults and sprayed 60 unforced errors.
At the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo, Sharapova made her second final of the year after having disposed of Samantha Stosur and Agnieszka Radwanska in previous rounds. Sharapova then claimed her first title of the year after her opponent Jelena Jankovic retired while 52 down in the final. As a result of this tournament, Sharapova re-entered the top 15 in the world rankings, at No. 15.
Her last tournament of the year was the China Open in Beijing which is a Premier Mandatory event. By reaching the semifinals in Tokyo, she earned a bye into the second round, thus becoming the first unseeded player to ever receive a first round bye in the WTA. In the second round, Sharapova rallied from 52 and a double break down in the third set to defeat the ninth seeded Victoria Azarenka 63, 67(5), 75 in a match that took over 3 hours to complete. In her final match of 2009, she lost to Shuai Peng in the third round, 62, 64. This is just the third tournament of the year that she failed to reach at least the quarterfinals, the other being Wimbledon and US Open. With no points to defend from last year, Sharapova moved up one spot to No. 14 in the World Rankings; a consequence of her third round showing.
Sharapova finished the year with a 319 record, winning one singles title, in Tokyo. Due to her injuries, she finished the year outside the WTA Top 10 for the first time since 2003, but had recovered her ranking from World No. 126 to World No. 14.2010
Sharapova began her 2010 season with two exhibition matches, with Venus Williams in Hua Hin, Thailand. She defeated Williams 63, 64 in the singles, however lost in the mixed doubles, partnering Paradorn Srichaphan, 86.
Sharapova continued her preparation for the Australian Open at the January 69 Hong Kong Tennis Classic, where she competed as the captain of Team Russia, against Team Americas (Captained by Venus Williams), Team Europe (Captained by Caroline Wozniacki) and Team Asia-Pacific (Captained by Zheng Jie). Sharapova defeated Zheng Jie and Caroline Wozniacki en route to helping Team Russia become the Gold Group champions.
Sharapova was seeded 14th at the 2010 Australian Open, where she was upset in her opening match by her friend and former doubles partner, World No. 58 Maria Kirilenko 76(4), 36, 64. This was the first time since the 2003 French Open that Sharapova lost in the first round of a major.
In February, Sharapova competed in the Cellular South Cup in Memphis, USA where she was the top seed. She reached the final without dropping a set, where she crushed 2006 champion Sofia Arvidsson 62, 61 to win her 21st career WTA title and her first title of the year. With this win, Sharapova moved up to World No. 13, her highest ranking since January 2009.
At the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, Sharapova was seeded 10th. After receiving a bye in the 1st round, Sharapova came from 64, 53 down to defeat Vera Dushevina in the 2nd round, 46, 75, 62. However, she lost in the next round to Zheng Jie, 63, 26, 63, in a match where she was hampered with an arm injury. She withdrew from the 2010 Sony Ericsson Open with a bone bruise in her right elbow, but still rose to World No. 12.
Sharapova announced that she will not play in the 2010 Family Circle Cup.Awards 2003
Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year 2004
WTA Player of the Year
WTA Most Improved Player of the Year 2005
ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
Named the country's best female player for the year by Russia's tennis federation
Master of Sports of Russia
Prix de Citron Roland Garros 2006
Named the country's best female player for the year by Russia's tennis federation
Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year 2007
ESPY Best Female Tennis Player
ESPY Best International Female Athlete
ESPN Hottest Female Athlete 2008
Named the January 2008 female Athlete of the Month by the United States Sports Academy for her performance at the Australian Open Grand Slam singles finalsWins (3)
2004 Wimbledon Serena Williams 61, 64
2006 U.S. Open Justine Henin 64, 64
2008 Australian Open Ana Ivanović 75, 63 Runner-up (1)
2007 Australian Open Serena Williams 61, 62 WTA Tour Championships singles finalsWin (1)
2004 Los Angeles Serena Williams 46, 62, 64 Runner-up (1)
2007 Madrid Justine Henin 57, 75, 63 Singles titles bt event (21)
Grand Slam (3)
WTA Championships (1)
Tier I (7)
Tier II (4)
Tier III (5)
Tier IV (1) Titles by Surface
Maria wining her first Grand Slam in 2004 at Wimbledon
2 years later Maria collects her 2nd Grand Slam title
In 2008 Maria collects her 3rd Grand Slam title in Melbourne to move within 1 of the Career Grand Slam