Maria Sharapova became the first Russian to win a Wimbledon singles title and the third-youngest women's champion in history. She is also the second Russian woman to win a Grand Slam title ever, and the second in a month, following Anastasia Myskina's win at the French Open.
She won her third career title and first of the year at the DFS Classic in Birmingham, England. That was Sharapova's first career grass court title. She also won the doubles title there alongside Maria Kirilenko.
She was the youngest titlist on the WTA Tour 2003 and was awarded the "Newcomer of the Year" prize by the WTA Tour.
Tennis star Maria Sharapova has a lot going for her. At only 18 years of age she has become the world's highest paid female athlete. Born in Nyagan, Russia, (in the Siberian region) on April 19, 1987, she began playing tennis at a very young age. By the time she was nine she had moved to Bradenton, Florida, (where she currently resides) to train at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy. Aside from helping to hone Sharapova's skills, Bollettieri is also responsible for the success of many other tennis stars, such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Venus and Serena Williams.
Maria Sharapova began climbing the ranks in the World Tennis Association (WTA), earning her first tournament title in Japan in 2003. Her crowning moment came in 2004, when she won Wimbledon at a mere 17 year of age, solidifying a consistent spot in the top five. Off the court she is known for her looks. She often takes modeling jobs and works on her endorsements, the likes of which include Motorola, Canon and Honda Japan. The attractive six-foot-tall blond often draws comparisons to fellow Russian tennis-pro-turned-model Anna Kournikova, but her skills on the court are what set the two apart.
In just the past two years she has become the poster child for women's tennis. Billboards promoting the sport feature giant images of Sharapova as "Maria Mania" sweeps the globe. She has become the top-draw in the sport, ushering in a new era of rising stars and helping to broaden the field after years of Williams sisters' dominance. 2005 finds Sharapova on pace to take in over $20 million, most of which will come from her endorsements--the most recent a three-year $6 million deal with Colgate-Palmolive. But it is tennis where her focus lies. She carries with her a streak of 22 straight wins on grass heading into Wimbledon 2005. Defending her Wimbledon title in 2005, Sharapova reached the semifinals without losing a set but then fell to a rejuvenated Venus Williams (7-6, 6-1). At the 2006 Australian Open, Sharapova lost in the semifinals to Justine Henin 4-6, 6-1, 6-4. Sharapova entered the 2006 U.S. Open seeded third after Clijsters dropped out of the tournament with a wrist injury. Favored to reach the final, she defeated Mauresmo, the top-ranked player in the world, in a semifinal 6-0, 4-6, 6-0. Sharapova then prevailed over Henin in the final 6-4, 6-4 to win her second Grand Slam title.
Honda - In 2004.Sharapova signed a one-year deal with automobile manufacturer only in Japan.
Land Rover - In 2006, Sharapova signed a three-year deal to endorse their vehicles.
Motorola - a fee, plus a mobile phone and all her mobile phone bills paid, plus a share of the income of downloads from HelloMoto/Maria.
Gatorade - energy drink.
Tropicana - orange juice.
TAG Heuer - In 2004. she signed a deal with Swiss sports watch TAG Heuer to become their latest "sport and glamour" ambassador.
Nike Inc. - Sharapova has been known to wear somewhat eccentric or revealing outfits from Nike on court, best exemplified by a Breakfast at Tiffany's-inspired dress at the 2006 U.S. Open. She also has been featured in several Nike marketing campaigns.
Canon Inc. - Sharapova promotes both their office and camera products.