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Sunday, December 19, 2004

Sharapova emerges as teenage tycoon

Maria Sharapova loves to shop, gossip with girlfriends, write and pore over photos in glossy fashion magazines. But that’s where similarities with other 17-year-olds end. She emerged this year as one of the world’s best tennis players, winning Wimbledon and carefully cultivating a lucrative endorsement portfolio whose worth puts a typical teenager’s allowance to shame.

Maria Sharapova

"One day I can be with my friend talking about the girliest, weird things and the next day I’m in a meeting talking about a deal or sponsorship or doing a photo shoot that are run by all adults that want my opinion," she told The Associated Press recently. "I make the transition quite well. I always thought I’m more mature than other kids my age, but that’s because of the sport I play and the business I’m in. If you’re not mature, I don’t know how you can accomplish what you do."

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