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Sunday, July 31, 2005

Kremlin Cup Debut

World number two Maria Sharapova will make her long-awaited Kremlin Cup debut this year.

Maria Sharapova

"We have received a firm commitment from her to attend and will be happy to see Maria in Moscow," Alexander Kaznelson (the tournament director) told Reuters. Maria has never played in her native country since turning professional four years ago. Wimbledon champion Venus Williams, France's world number three Amelie Mauresmo and several other top Russian players are also scheduled to compete in the WTA Tier I event. The $1.3 million tournament will be held from October 10 to 16 in Moscow's Olympic Stadium.

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After publishing the Celebrity 100 for the last seven years, Forbes Russia is making a list of the 50 most moneyed Russian celebrities for its July 28 issue, the daily newspaper Vedomosti reported, with Maria Sharapova topping the list.

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova, who won last year`s Wimbledon tournament, leads the way with an $ million annual income.

Maria Sharapova will return to Tokyo next January to defend the $1.3 million Pan Pacific Open tennis tournament.

Maria Sharapova

“To all Japanese fans, many thanks for your great support in the Pan Pacific Open 2005. I’m looking forward to coming back to the Pan Pacific Open 2006 as a defending champion,” said Maria in a written message to the organisers.

Tokyo is a good hunting ground for Maria Sharapova, who captured her first WTA singles and doubles titles at the Japan Open in October 2003 and defended it last year. She went on to win the “Tier I” event here one of the 10 biggest tournaments other than the four Grand Slams and the season-ending championship by beating American world number one Lindsay Davenport in the final. Tournament director Toshio Noji said: “Previously in this tournament, the champion eventually became the world number one at the end of each year. Hopefully, Maria will come back to Tokyo as the new world number one.”

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