Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Biography of Maria Sharapova.:

Maria Sharapova Biography

Name :Maria Sharapova

Birthdate : April 19, 1987

Birthplace : Nyagan, Russia (Siberian Region)

Height : 6' (1.83 m)

Weight : 130 lbs. (59 kg)

Nationality : Russia

Plays : Right-handed

Career Prize Money : $23,800

Best Known As : 17-year-old singles champion of Wimbledon 2004

Maria Sharapova is the most dazzling tennis player who has ever stepped on tennis court.Maria was born April 19, 1987 in Nyagan, a town in western Siberia, where her parents, Yuri and Yelena, had fled from Belarus a year earlier to avoid radiation from Chernobyl. Still too close to the disaster site, her family left their home as refugees again when she was two-years-old. The Sharapovs settled for a while in the Black Sea town of Sochi, known then as a resort village and home of Russian tennis light, Yevgeny Kafelnikov. Yuri had been an engineer in Nyagan. But as the family bounced from on home to the next, he did anything he could just to keep them together

An only child, Maria was encouraged by her parents to try everything, from dancing and music to athletics. She discovered tennis after her fourth birthday, when a family friend - Kafelnikov’s father gave her one of his son’s old Dunlop tennis racquets. The die was cast. Maria hardly ever let that cut-down, cracked, destrung racquet out of her hand from the moment she picked it up. Every day she hit balls against the side of the house.

By the time Maria was six, local tennis coaches encouraged Yuri to take her to Moscow to be considered for the Russian Tennis Federation. There, she wowed RTF head coach Yuri Udkin, who felt she was the best tennis player he had ever seen.

But things were not so simple in Russia, where the old order was changing. The Russian government had increased its tennis development program after the sport had gained Olympic status in the early 1980s. But even though ample funding was available, Maria’s parents followed the advice of Martina Navratilova, who believed that the U.S. would be the best place for the youngster to receive her training. The Sharapovs had met Navratilova during an exhibition in Moscow. The tennis legend was happy to offer her assistance.

Maria emigrated to Bradenton, Florida with her father, but Yelena was forced to stay behind when she could not get a visa. Once there, father and daughter tried to get her accepted at the world-famous Bollettieri Sports Academy. They also learned to speak English, Maria picking up much of the language in a month's time.

Maria and her dad made the trip from Russia to Florida with a scant $1,000 in their bankroll, scraped together from their life savings and gifts from grandparents and friends. Yuri also added to the small nest egg by laboring in the mines of Siberia. Unsure even where Bradenton was, they eventually arrived in the Sunshine State amid catcalls from parents complaining Maria was an outsider, too young and not talented enough. Bolletieri, however, sensed something special in her. Maria began her education at his “dream factory”—the same tennis school that had produced the likes of Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, Mary Pierce and Jim Courier.

At first, Yuri had to pay for seven-year-old Maria to play at Bollettieri’s. To foot the bill, he worked at all manner of jobs, including maintaining the greens at a local golf course. The two grew even closer during this period. Maria tried to focus on tennis, while Yuri concentrated on their survival. She began entering 12-and-under tournaments, and acquitted herself quite well, ascending to #15 in her age group.


Rocker Dish said...

it seems these days that women tennis is all about maria sharapova....nice biography.

rockerdish said...

hey this one's a nice post....maria sharapova is ruling tennis today!!!this is a great biography of a great sportswomen.