Maria Yuryevna Sharapova was born in Nyagan, Siberia, Russia in April 19, 1987. She is an only child of Yuri and Yelena. She began to show interest in tennis at an early age of 4. In 1995, while Maria was only 7, she was brought by her father to the United Stated to train at the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida. Although the school spotted her talent instantly, she was made to wait for another 2 years to be admitted because she was too young then. When she was admitted by the school, she was granted by the academy a yearly $46,000 worth of scholarship.
At 13, Sharapova won her first championship at the junior level. A year later, in 2001, she turned professional. In 2004, the 6’2 beauty won her first Wimbledon title, outshining Serena Williams during the match to the surprise of many. Sharapova is the third youngest to have won the event at only 17 and the only Russian to have won the title since 1974.
It was payback time for Sharapova in 2005, when Serena Williams beat her at the semifinals in the Australian Open. Although she lost her title this year, she nevertheless was the only player to reach 3 Grand Slam semifinals in 2005.
In 2006, she climbed to rank No. 2 in the rankings next to Justine Henin, winning 5 titles. She won 19 consecutive matches, compiling a record of 59-9 until she lost to Justine Henin during the semifinals of the WTA Tour Championships.
2007 was a bad year for Sharapova because of her severe shoulder injury. The injury developed after previously serving with extended backswings to create powerful serves. However, due to her injury, her service was not as impressive as it used to, causing her to fall to World No. 4 in the ranking.