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Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Maria wins delayed match
Maria Sharapova stormed past Spain's Nuria Llagostera Vives in straight sets 6-2 6-3 to progress to the quarter-finals of the French Open at Roland Garros.

Maria Sharapova

Maria had few problems winning the match, which had started on Sunday but was interrupted by the rain when she was leading 6-3 3-3. Winner of Wimbledon in 2004, Maria Sharapova is not well known for her record on clay but she insists she is gradually mastering the red surface ahead of her last eight encounter with Henin-Hardenne. "I don't think I need to prove anything to anyone about my level on clay but I am certainly getting better and better," said Maria. "If people underestimate me on clay then they'll be surprised." Regarding her quarter-final clash, she added: "Hopefully I will just go out and be even tougher and play better than I have in my last two matches, that will be the only way to go."

ROLAND GARROS: Maria Sharapova Interview - Saturday, May 28, 2005

/ Q. You won very easily today, but are you happy with the way you played?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I am. I thought I got to a really good start, and I was in control from the first game. I felt like it was a pretty tough first game, but after that I was pretty much in control.

Maria Sharapova

Q. How do you feel the field is opening up for you now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think as the rounds go on, it's going to be a lot tougher than it is right now. So I know that as the matches go on, I have to raise my level another notch. But I guess when you play a tougher opponent, that naturally comes and you naturally raise your level higher.

Q. Talk about the second week mentality at Grand Slams and how you approach them.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just everything's tougher ? the matches are going to be tougher, you're going to feel physically more tired. But, you know, the tougher it gets, the more prepared you have to be. So mentally and physically, it's more draining. It's tougher, of course. But that's what it's all about, and that's how the best, you know, are the best.

Q. Are you naturally fired up? Do you have to try to keep yourself a little more composed so your game goes the way you want it to?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I can be pretty down on myself sometimes. I think that's one thing that I don't want to be doing, because there's really no point. I just try to tell myself, "Keep calm even though things are not going your way." You just have to mentally be ready and be prepared to fight it out and do whatever you can.

Q. After Venus' defeat last night, do you think women's tennis has seen the best of the Williams sisters right now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: That's so hard to tell. I don't know. I really don't.

Q. Do you look beyond the French to Wimbledon at all?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No. I just take it one tournament at a time.

Q. So you're into the last 16. It's a little inappropriate to ask why clay is your most difficult surface, but perhaps you can talk a little bit about that.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, why, because the ball doesn't fly as fast on this surface. A lot of balls are brought back, and I just feel that ?? I mean, I'm a lot better than last year, but I still don't think I'm patient and I still need to be more patient. I need to realize that I can't go for winners that quickly. Some balls are not so comfortable to go for. I feel like sometimes I hit too much of a flat shot when I need to, you know, just bring it back, because really my opponent is in the same situation where not every ball is going to be a winner.

Q. Do you enjoy playing on the clay?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I do enjoy it. I've said this before, I think it teaches a lot about the game and it shows my weaknesses. These are the things that, you know, I'll look back on a tape and I'll see the things that I need to work on. Last year, that's exactly what happened. You know, I felt like I was playing really good tennis, but in the quarterfinals I just ?? you know, I felt like the conditions were really heavy. But I was really slow and I wasn't moving well and I was tired. Yes, it was my first time in a quarterfinal, but that really showed me what I need to work on, that experience, that mentality toughened me up for the Wimbledon.

Q. Just going back to events of yesterday evening, did you watch Venus' match against Sesil?

Q. Were you surprised to hear the result when you were told it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think Sesil can be very dangerous at times. You know, when I played her in the first round of the Australian, I knew it was not going to be an easy match. She qualified and she can, you know - - I think she still has a lot of things to improve in her game, but, I mean, she's already got big weapons and she has big ground strokes. She can work a lot on her serve. But, you know, at 15 years old, when you have weapons already, of course, you know, it's not gonna be an easy match.

Q. Early in the week we were a bit surprised when Roger Federer told us he doesn't think it's a very good idea for the US Open to have replay, as you probably know they were planning to do so - still planning to do so. One of the reasons, he thought it was a knee? jerk reaction to the Serena Williams? Capriati match from last year, which he said at that time in the third set really didn't have anything to do with the outcome, so why are we having replay. What are your views on replay?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think it can definitely help the game because as you see on the clay courts, when an opponent doesn't agree with the shot, the umpire can just go and check the mark and there you go, there's the proof. So if it's accurate enough and if it is, then that is why we are going to use it; if it's not accurate, there's no reason to use it. But if it's accurate, I don't see a reason why. It's just a person's not going to go into a press conference and say, The umpire cheated me on that. You're not gonna have an excuse anymore. I think that's great because the game deserves to be fair.

Q. Has your life changed more or less than you thought it would have done since you won Wimbledon?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Definitely changed more. That's a fact.

Q. More than you thought it would?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, definitely. Well, I never thought about it. I never thought of winning Wimbledon at such a young age. Of course, when you don't know what to expect, everything takes you by surprise, especially the win.

Q. Following on from that, have you had to grow up extraordinarily fast carrying that Wimbledon championship, being more easily recognized, dealing with fame?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Of course. But I think naturally I've been able to handle that. I think from a very young age, even though I didn't win Wimbledon when I was 15, a lot of people were expecting a lot from me. A lot of people thought that I was gonna do great ? maybe not at such a young age, but they always thought I would. I've always been pretty mature with things. I realized that tennis is my No. 1 priority. I realize that I also have, you know, a lot of different opportunities in my life as well, but I know the balance between those things. And I've just - - you know, I have an amazing group around me that has taught me also to be mature and, you know, has guided me through life, especially my parents. So that's very important.

Q. I saw you were wrapped with tape from yesterday. How is that?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I sprained my ankle in my previous match at the beginning of the match. It was all right. But yesterday it was really sore. So it's still sore. I felt it was okay with the tape today, but it's something that I have to tape every match now I think.

Q. What's the hardest part for you of fame to deal with?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Uhm... just walking around with a few more bodyguards than before. I usually don't like to walk around with people that have to protect me, but now it's just become normal and something that I've had to deal with. I've always - - you know, I've always been a pretty independent person, and, you know, when you have too many people around you, I wasn't really comfortable with it at first. Then, you know, it's just natural. I don't like it when the bodyguards have to push people away from me to walk. I just ?? you know, at the beginning I felt like I was just too much of a prima donna. You just have to realize that it's just part of the game, it's for your own protection.

Q. You're considerably world No. 1. What's more important to you: Being world No. 1 or having $10 million in the bank?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think when you become No. 1, you'll get a lot more than $10 million in the bank. So that's not a problem for me right now (laughing).

Sunday, May 29, 2005

Maria beats fellow Russian at French Open

Maria Sharapova strode into the fourth round of the French Open with the minimum of fuss, sweeping aside fellow Russian Anna Chakvetadze 6-1 6-4.

Maria Sharapova

The second seed needed just 74 minutes on the Suzanne Lenglen court before she could head for the shade with another scorching day in the French capital on the cards. The Wimbledon champion, a quarter-finalist here last year, will meet Nuria Llagostera Vives.

Canon Combines Style and Substance with Two Sports-Powered Ad Campaigns

Tennis court and gridiron action drive two new advertising campaigns from Canon, U.S.A., Inc. launching this week - one featuring the commercial debut of international tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and the other capturing a dad's maybe-not-so-impossible dream of pro football glory for his son - to support the company's PowerShot and EOS Digital Rebel XT digital cameras.

Maria Sharapova

Canon is expanding its marketing focus to target women by leveraging its existing relationships in both tennis and football. The campaigns highlight Canon's relationships with women in sports, including its sponsorship of Maria Sharapova. In addition, by leveraging its long-time sponsorship with the NFL, Canon reaffirms its commitment to women by bringing together icons in sports while appealing to the emotional and competitive spirit often found in today's women.

Together, these dynamic campaigns help convey Canon's unique combination of style and substance, power and precision, appealing to women while holding the attention of men," said Rick Booth, Director Marketing Services, Consumer Imaging Group, Canon U.S.A., Inc. "With Maria Sharapova showing her skills on the court, and a mom snapping pro-quality photos of her pint-sized football player on the field, we're tapping the energy of sports to show consumers that Canon digital cameras make it easy to capture everything that's exciting about life."

The new PowerShot TV spot, titled "Practice," features Wimbledon champion and budding pop icon Sharapova taking on a ball-serving machine, revealing that she has created an unexpected picture making moment. Sharapova makes a powerful statement with her forehand and backhand, spelling out the words, "MARIA WAS HERE." The 30-second ad also introduces a new tagline to support the brand: "Make Every Shot a PowerShot." "Practice" was created by DCA Advertising in New York.
"Maria Sharapova is a presence both on and off the court," said Doug Fidoten, Executive Vice President, Group Account Director of DCA. "She represents power, performance and style. The same qualities found in the PowerShot line of digital cameras."

( more )

ROLAND GARROS: Maria Sharapova Interview - Thursday, May 26, 2005

/ Q. You must be pleased with the game today and I guess also so far with Paris this year.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, it was great. You know, early on, third game, I sort of twisted my ankle. My next game I felt it a little bit. So I was a little distracted from it. But it got better after that game. I just tried to find a way. I mean, she had nothing to lose, and she was just going for her shots. Some balls were just too good. But I finally started feeling a good rhythm out there, began playing better.

Maria Sharapova

Q. It gets harder and harder. The predictions are for hotter weather. You must feel right at home, living in Florida? You like hot weather?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I enjoy the weather. I think it's a lot better than when it's cloudy and a little rain like it was in the previous rounds. So this weather is definitely better for all the players, I think.

Q. The three surfaces ? clay, grass, hard ? how would you rate those in your preference of favoritism?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Grass is probably my favorite. Hard is up there, as well. It depends on what kind of hard. There are different sorts of hard. You have indoor hard, which is more of a carpet. That can be fast, but also slow. But clay is more of a challenge for me, for sure.

Q. You have so many endorsements. Of all your photo shoots, which has been the most fun? Which have you enjoyed the most?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: The most fun has been the one for my perfume. I shot it in New York about a month ago with Patrick Demarchelier, one of the most famous photographers. That was really fun. I think that whole process of making my perfume has been the most exciting just because it's totally mine and it's inspired by me, and my name is on the box. You know, the whole thing is me. So when people buy it, they know it's just totally inspired by me, whereas with other companies, you know, it's their product and I'm endorsing it. I think that was the most fun shoot I've done in a while.

Q. So once your perfume comes out, will people perform better on your video game if they're actually wearing your perfume?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, they'll get more energy from smelling it (laughter).
Q. What was the photographer's name?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Patrick Demarchelier.

Maria Sharapova Tennis

Maria Sharapova

Dhruva Interactive
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The only game featuring the hottest star in tennis - Wimbledon champion
Maria Sharapova. Maria has risen to become a style icon and a grand slam winner in the space of a year. Maria Sharapova Tennis lets you experience all the hard-hitting action of life on the women’s tour. The game play features cool action twitch-gaming tennis, where you can battle it out as Maria.

Friday, May 27, 2005

ROLAND GARROS: Maria Sharapova Interview - Tuesday, May 24, 2005

Q. This was a tough match at the beginning of a very long tournament. Do you enjoy tough matches at the beginning? Is it a special game for you or does it have a special meaning playing a fellow Russian girl, one of the many Russian girls which are so dominant now?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, when I came off the court, you know, I really thought these are the sort of matches I play for because, you know, I would have loved to win 1:0. That would have been great. But, you know, when you come off the court and you feel like you were losing the whole match, and all of a sudden you pulled it out, you know, it's those moments that you feel you've trained for and you work hard for. Just lucky to get through. Of course, you know, playing other Russians is never easy. She's your compatriot. When you go on court, you just try to forget about my opponent, where she's from or who she is.

Ave Maria

Q. With the way the draw is this year, are you confident you can get past the quarters as last year and maybe even win it this year?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I always just play it one match at a time. I don't worry about how I did last year or what I have to do this year. I just worry about my next opponent.

Q. She was 3:1 up in the third with one point for 4:1. What did you think at that time? She kept running and running and running.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: No, it was definitely tough. I mean, you know, when you're down a break in the third, you're just begging for mercy (laughter). But I just tried to fight it out and tried to find a way, just an opening. As the third set went on, I thought the conditions were a little lighter and the ball flew faster. I was able to hit shots that she wasn't able to run down. In the first and second set, I felt like she was running down every single ball. No matter how good my ball was, it was coming back. In the third, I felt like everything seemed lighter and I could hit the ball and I got a good advantage from it.

Q. What does your father mean to you? Did he give you advice to win?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, my father is first and foremost my father. About advice, of course, he tells me what I need to do during the match or whatever. But, obviously, both my parents have sacrificed a lot for my career, my life. A lot of these great and bad moments, you know, we share together. Especially the good ones, they mean a lot to my family.

Q. There are certain players which play much better in hotter temperatures. How happy are you so far with the clay court season? In Berlin the weather was not very good. Andre likes hot weather.
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Well, of course, I prefer when the weather is sunny and nice, nice to play in. But when the conditions are heavy and the ball doesn't go through the air as much, I think my opponents have a bigger advantage of getting the balls back, you know, bringing them back and having the points go longer and longer. That's one of the things that I need to work on. I can be impatient and I have to hit ball after ball after ball. No matter how long it takes, I have to know that I can hit an extra ball than my opponent.

Q. With all that said, there have been players who haven't radically changed their styles for the clay, like Monica, for example, would pretty much hit out and did win this tournament. Do you think you need to play more defensively or do you think you could pretty much play your style, be more accurate and a little more offensive?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: To tell you the truth, I can't really change my game when I go on any surface. I can adjust, you know, to do little different things, but I'm not going to change my game and all of a sudden become a typical clay court player that's going to get everything back. It's not in the nature of my game. There is no point in doing it.

I mean, of course, I realize that I have a game that's pretty powerful and pretty big. So on the clay, I don't get as much advantage as I would on faster surfaces. But I also, you know, know that as the years have been progressing, I feel that I can withstand longer matches and I can play longer points and come back and play a better point rather than last year where I felt like I was going to die.

Q. Given that Linetskaya is probably better than her ranking, she's 18, fast, has weapons, just talk about the quality of your own game and whether or not you thought, even though you were pushed, you did play a good match?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I don't think I played a good first set. I was letting her play her game. There's nothing on my balls. One, the conditions were heavy, yes. Another one, I didn't realize and I didn't change anything. When my balls were landing on the service line, I didn't improve anything. In the second set, I think I had a little more pace on my shots and whenever you feel like you're hitting a heavier ball and deeper ball, you get more confidence and you feel like you can hit it over and over again.

Overall, I mean, I'm happy to get through the match, but I don't think - - I mean, it definitely wasn't the best match I played. When you don't play well and you get through these matches, that also means a lot.

Q. 2005 is very different in women's tennis than 2004 because the two strong Belgian girls returned strong. Do you enjoy that this year will be much more competitive?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Of course. That's what the sport is all about. That's why I play it, is because of the competition. I love competing against top players, win or lose. I learn from my losses. And wins, you know, they're great because you know whoever you're playing is the top. That's why, you know, the championships meant so much to me because, first of all, you're playing against the best eight that are in the year, they've done amazingly, done the best in the year and you're able to beat them. Of course, it's going to be more difficult already in the quarterfinal you're going to play against a very tough opponent, but it's normal. That's the way the game goes. I mean, nothing's going to be easy.

Q. Strong finish for you. Two double-faults from deuce didn't help very much.

Q. What happens? Does your toss get low? Are you tired at that point? Going for too much on the second serve?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Yeah, I just didn't have the timing on my serve today. I've been serving pretty good in practice. You know, whether the heavier balls today, I think in my practices the balls have been flying a little more. Today maybe in the first set I felt like I needed to go for more. Then the third set when I wanted to go for more, it was either going long or my toss was somewhere else. You know, it's just one of those days where you just go up to the line and you feel that you're not serving your best.

Q. Obviously you've had some fabulous wins in your career. You mentioned you learn from your losses. If there were one or two losses that you learned the most from, what would that be and what did you learn?

MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think one of them was against Serena in Australia because it's a big disappointment to lose a match where you're one point away from being in the final of a Grand Slam. It's very disappointing. I think I just realized that, you know, it's a bad loss, but I was mentally really tough. The next week I came out and beat Lindsay in the final of Tokyo. I feel like I put that behind me really quick. In the past I've had matches where, you know, I lose them and I think about them too much. I think what I did wrong and what I need to improve. I think as fast as you correct your mistakes and forget about the match, you know, it helps you. I think in Australia, you know, it helped me a lot. I realize I'm not going to be able to win every single match, but I also can come back strong after losing such a tough match.

Q. Do you see Australia as more of a matter of your focus going off a bit or Serena stepping up?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I felt like I was just in control of the whole match and all of a sudden it just slipped away. I mean, it was too long ago. Really, there's no point in going back and talking about it.

Q. Overall how happy are you with your form at the moment? Do you think there's anything you should be improving on or could improve on?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Oh, the serve for sure. I think tomorrow I'll be working on the serve a lot more, you know. Playing for two and a half hours, I was getting a better rhythm as the match went on. You know, there's not too much you can do with one day off in between your next second round. It's not like you're going to go and work six hours a day on something. First round is never easy. You just have to try to improve things in the second.

Q. Top seed here. Lindsay hasn't really done that well in recent years on clay. Not a lot of talk about her. How dangerous do you see her? Do you see her as a threat to win the tournament?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: I think Lindsay can always be a threat. I mean, who needs to run around the court if you can hit aces all the time and hit big returns? If she's on, she's on. It's basically unstoppable just because of her power and the accuracy of her shots.

Q. You talked about being No. 1 at one of your goals. She said recently she's not concerned about No. 1; she's sort of detached from it. If she was concerned about it, she would have come over and played the European clay court season. Do you find that attitude strange or what do you think about it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Just great, don't play and I'll become No. 1. Thanks, Lindsay (laughter). She's had an amazing career, so I think at this point she's just enjoying herself. I mean, she's been No. 1 before and she's won Grand Slams. I think, I mean, just tell her in the next press conference to step back and give me the place (laughter). No.

Q. Andre has been one of your heroes, correct, someone you looked up to?

Q. He was a legend around Bollettieri. He's going through some tough physical times. A little bit of perspective on whether or not
MARIA SHARAPOVA: Did he lose today?

Q. He did. He got hurt and lost the last two sets. Could barely walk through it. Do you think athletes in general can stay around too long? As good as he's been, do you think there's a proper time for people to walk away from the sport?
MARIA SHARAPOVA: It really depends on the individual. It's so hard to say. It depends on your physical condition. That has a lot to do with it. And also your desire to be out there and still compete and enjoy it at the same time, and wanting to improve every single day. But when you wake up and you feel like you just don't want to do it - - I mean, there's a difference between waking up and saying, "I'm really tired, I don't feel like going and playing today." There's another difference where you just wake up and you feel like you've had enough. You've had a long career, you've had a great career.

At this point I can't really say that about myself (laughter). It's not that long. But it's hard. It really depends on the individual.

Maria advances at French Open

Maria Sharapova shook off a slow start to beat French wildcard Aravane Rezai 6-3 6-2 on Thursday in the second round of the French Open.

Maria Sharapova

The Russian second seed trailed 3-1 in the first set but then wowed the centre court crowd with some spectacular winners to oust the home favourite. The Wimbledon champion will next face compatriot Anna Chakvetadze.

Wednesday, May 25, 2005

Maria not desperate for TV fame

Maria Sharapova may be just 18 years old , but the blonde Russian pin-up is already dreaming of a life on the silver screen once her playing days are over. However, despite being linked with an appearance on the hit American show ‘Desperate Housewives’, Maria Sharapova insists that there are more Grand Slams to be won before she switches careers.

Maria Sharapova

That ambition starts here on Monday when the second seed kicks off her campaign to add the French Open to the Wimbledon crown she spectacularly claimed last summer. "First of all, I'm not desperate and I'm not a wife so I don't know where that's going to take me," said the Russian. "There's not a lot of time to do acting roles but there are a lot of shows wanting me to have a few moments on them. At this moment there is nothing on the line, so I am not going to be in anything soon. "When I get back to the US after Wimbledon there are a few options of maybe doing something." Her target for the next two weeks is to get through the testing conditions of Roland Garros on a clay surface which she admits is not her favourite although she surprised even herself in 2004 by making the quarter-finals. "In the last two tournaments, I felt better and better with my game on clay. I have played a lot more on clay this year than last and I can last longer, tougher matches which is very important. "I enjoy playing on clay because it teaches me a lot about my game and what I need to improve than on any other surface. It shows my weaknesses and it makes me realise the things I have to work on." Almost twelve months on from her memorable Wimbledon triumph, Maria Sharapova knows expectations on her are high and the limelight is at its brightest. "I didn't have any great expectations when I arrived here last year but I had a pretty good draw and it let me get into the matches as I went on and on. Then I had a good win over Vera Zvonareva and that gave me confidence," she said. "This year is different. I am a lot more experienced, physically I feel a lot stronger and able to last on the court for a long time. I feel like I can last two weeks which I didn't think last year."

Maria Supports Moscow Olymic Bid

Maria Sharapova, one of the world's top female tennis players, has reaffirmed her support for Moscow's bid to host the 2012 Games.

Maria Sharapova

Just days before the French Open kicks-off in Paris, Maria Sharapova said: "I'm really excited about competing at Roland Garros next week – it's a great tournament – and I'm also very excited about the possibility of Moscow hosting the 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games." Maria Sharapova became an international ambassador for the Moscow 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games bid in January this year. Along with other sports stars who are official Moscow 2012 ambassadors – including gymnast Svetlana Khorkina and boxing champion Kostya Tszyu – she will be crossing her fingers on 6 July when the members of the International Olympic Committee vote to choose the Host City for the 2012 Games at the 117th IOC Session in Singapore.

Saturday, May 21, 2005

Maria Sharapova's new Perfume

Maria Sharapova is launching her own perfume. The 18 year Wimbledon champion will launch the as yet unnamed fragrance with Palmolive.

Maria Sharapova

She told” I can’t say too much as it is top secret,” adding that” it’s very light and floral and the bottle will be bright pink so you can find it easily.” Maria was in Paris speaking about the launch and revealed that she is also interested in having her own fashion range. She said” I have a Mannequin at home which I work on with a friend. I don’t want it to be anything to do with tennis though, if I have my own line I’d want it to be strictly off court clothing.” She has recently signed a deal with Colgate – Palmolive to be their new face which includes promoting a range of deodorants.

Thursday, May 19, 2005

Maria lands modelling job

Maria Sharapova has been named as the new face of Colgate-Palmolive deodorants. The 18-year-old tennis superstar has signed a three-year deal worth at least $2million annually.

Maria Sharapova

Maria, currently ranked at No2 in the world, said: "I'm very excited to be part of the Colgate-Palmolive family. "These products are such a part of both my personal and professional life - there's such a natural connection for me. I'm looking forward to working with them for years to come."

Saturday, May 14, 2005

Maria cruises into Roma semi-finals

Maria easily advanced to the Italian Open semifinals with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over countrywoman Elena Bovina on Friday. Maria failed to reach the semis in six previous clay-court tournaments. "I'm really excited," Maria Sharapova said. "I'm playing better and better as the tournament goes on, although I know it's going to be a lot tougher in my next round."

Maria Sharapova

"I think having a year to work -- I worked really hard physically -- is paying off," she said. "I feel a lot stronger on the clay, like I can play more matches in a row, and still feel good physically." She next faces eighth-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland, who cruised past Evgenia Linetskaya 6-1, 6-0. Мария Шарапова

Maria Sharapova advances

Top seed Maria Sharapova beat France's Mary Pierce in an absorbing third round match to reach the quarter-finals of the Rome Masters yesterday. The reigning Wimbledon champion won a thrilling contest 7-6, 6-4 to reach the last eight and keep alive her dream of becoming world No. 1 for the very first time.

Maria Sharapova

Мария Шарапова

Wednesday, May 11, 2005

Maria makes winning start in Rome

Top seed Maria Sharapova began her bid to claim the world number one spot with a 6-4, 6-2 win over Anabel Medina Garrigues at the Telecom Italia Masters Roma Tuesday.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova, the Wimbledon champion, capitalized on her big forehand and attacking game against her 42nd-ranked opponent. She connected with a forehand volley winner on her first match point. Both players struggled to hold serve, with Maria making seven breaks to Medina Garrigues' four.

''I don't think I played great tennis. I was making too many errors at the beginning of the match,'' Maria said. ''As the match went on, I was feeling a little bit better with my strokes.'' ''It's the first match,'' she added. ''It's never going to be easy to play a Spaniard that runs and gets everything back. So it's good to get the first one out of the way and move on.'' Maria had a chance to take over the top ranking at last week's German Open but lost to eventual champion Justine Henin-Hardenne of Belgium in the quarter-finals.

In six career clay-court tournaments, Maria Sharapova has reached only two quarter-finals - in Berlin last week and at last year's French Open. If she reaches No. 1 in the coming weeks, Maria Sharapova - who turned 18 last month - would become the fourth-youngest woman to do so since computer rankings came into use in 1975. Martina Hingis of Switzerland and Americans Monica Seles and Tracy Austin were 17 when they first became the top player while Steffi Graf of Germany was 18 years and two months. Мария Шарапова

Russians dominate WTA top 10

Russian players continue to dominate the women's top 10 in the latest rankings issued by the WTA tour on Monday. WTA Tour top 10 as of May 9 (previous ranking in parenthesis):

1. (1) Lindsay Davenport, United States, 5,169 points;
2. (2) Maria Sharapova, Russia, 4,900;

Maria Sharapova

3. (3) Amelie Mauresmo, France, 4,509;
4. (4) Serena Williams, United States, 4,174;
5. (5) Elena Dementieva, Russia, 3,807;
6. (6) Anastasia Myskina, Russia, 3,371;
7. (7) Svetlana Kuznetsova, Russia, 3,283;
8. (8) Alicia Molik, Australia, 2,258.75;
9. (12) Nadia Petrova, Russia, 2,258;
10. (10) Vera Zvonareva, Russia, 2,102. Мария Шарапова

Tuesday, May 10, 2005

Top Spin Coming To PS2

2K has announced that the popular tennis franchise Top Sping will be coming to the PlayStation 2. The game for the PlayStation 2 will include 16 players like Anna Kournikova, Maria Sharapova,

Maria Sharapova

Roger Federer, Venus Williams and more. You'll be given the opportunity to work your way up from unranked amateur to the top player in the world with endorsements. The game will also include Online Play, Steve ZoBell of Indie Built said, "The release of Top Spin on the PlayStation 2 gives a broader audience access to a great game, with some fantastic additions. We're very excited to bring this critically acclaimed and extremely popular Tennis Game to PlayStation 2 owners." Top Spin is scheduled to release for the PlayStation 2 this summer. Мария Шарапова

Russians prepare Moscow clay for visit of U.S.

Russia have chosen a Moscow clay court on which to hunt a first FedCup victory over the United States. The champions will face the U.S. at Moscow's Olympic Stadium over July 9-10 where they will play for a place in the final of the women's international team event. While neither nation's squad has been finalized, world number one Lindsay Davenport along with Venus and Serena Williams have all committed to the U.S. FedCup cause for 2005 and can be expected to line up in the Russian capital. Meanwhile the Russian champions, who have lost all four previous FedCup matches against the U.S., are hopeful Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova will make herself available for selection.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova opted not to play in Russia's FedCup tie against Italy last month citing a too-full tournament schedule, but has said there is a possibility she could play other ties. Russian FedCup captain Shamil Tarpishchev is in negotiations with the player's father Yuri and is hopeful of being able to name her in his squad. "No question, Sharapova has been our best and most consistent player so far this year and if she commits herself to playing for Russia, we definitely have a great chance of defending our Fed Cup title," Tarpishchev said of the world number two recently. On paper Russia would have the strongest squad with possibly three grand slam champions in Anastasia Myskina, Sharapova and U.S. Open winner Svetlana Kuznetsova and twice runner-up Elena Dementieva joining forces. But internal squabbles could yet scupper their campaign. Myskina led Russia to their first Fed Cup title last November but it was overshadowed by squabbles after she lashed out at Sharapova and her father, accusing them of being disrespectful to her. Myskina said she would stop playing for Russia if the Wimbledon champion was invited to join the team next year. The two players have since publicly patched up their differences, however. Whether Tarpishchev can mold his most gifted players into a cohesive team to defend their title remains to be seen. Мария Шарапова

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Maria Beats Groenefeld at German Open

Maria moved closer to the world's top ranking Wednesday, beating Anna-Lena Groenefeld 6-2, 6-2 at the German Open.

Maria Sharapova

Maria needs to win this tournament to take over No. 1 from Lindsay Davenport. "You never know what to expect when you play your first match on clay, but it was a good solid performance," Maria Sharapova said. "It would be amazing to be No. 1, but I'm not going to put any pressure on myself." Мария Шарапова

Colgate-Palmolive signs Sharapova as brand ambassador in US

Maria Sharapova has been roped in by Colgate-Palmolive for their deodorant and body spray brands in the US. Maria will appear in all ads for the company's deodorant and body spray.

Maria Sharapova

Maria already appears in ads for Palmolive deodorant that are aired across Europe currently. In the US, she will represent the Lady Speed Stick brand. According to a media report, the deal will run through three years and is worth at least $2 million annually. A media report said that Colgate-Palmolive felt that the 18-year-old's beauty, grace and active lifestyle made her a perfect ambassador for Palmolive's brand values of protection, reliability and confidence.

Maria was quoted as saying, "These products are such a part of both my personal and professional life -- there's such a natural connection for me. I'm looking forward to working with them for years to come."

Ranked as the number two tennis player in the world, Maria, also represents brands such as Tag Heuer, Motorola, Nike and has also clinched a deal with Parlux Fragrances to make her own fragrance. In the latest Nike campaign, she features along with fellow Wimbledon champion Roger Federer and the marathon runner Paula Radcliffe. Мария Шарапова

Maria could soon reach No. 1

Maria Sharapova could soon reach No. 1 at 18. If she wins this week's German Open, Sharapova will move up one spot and overtake Lindsay Davenport to become the first Russian atop the WTA Tour computer rankings since they began in 1975. "If it works out, it works out," Maria said Monday. "If not, I have a lot of years ahead of me."

Maria Sharapova

She is ranked a career-high No. 2, followed by Amelie Mauresmo, Serena Williams and Elena Dementieva. Martina Hingis was the tour's youngest No. 1, getting there in March 1997 at age 16. None of Maria's nine titles has come on clay, but she hopes to use this tournament on that slow surface as a springboard to contending at the French Open, which starts May 23. She reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros last year -- her best showing at any Grand Slam tournament to that point in her nascent career.

That gave me a lot of confidence," she said. "But it may have been different if I had more experience on clay." Maria is also ranked on a different sort of list: People magazine selected her as one of the world's 50 most beautiful people. "I have always followed the voting. It's nice to be one of the most beautiful people," she said. "But when you step on the court, you either notice the people looking at you or you don't. I don't." She said it has been a dizzying climb since winning Wimbledon 11 months ago. "Everything's happened so fast," she said. "There's not a lot of time to look back and be excited."

Seeded second in Berlin behind defending champion Mauresmo, Maria Sharapova was given a first-round bye. Her opening match will be Wednesday against Germany's Anna-Lena Groenefeld. Мария Шарапова


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