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Attention Maria Sharapova fans - Photo gallery -- Enjoy!


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Originally posted by Mr. S

isnt she only 19 now or something? Anyone else admit to finding those pre-legel pictures hot still?

18, When I saw the TV commercial she did for that camera I thought she was much older than that..

She is going to be a beast when she gets a little older.

Date of Birth: April 19, 1987

Birthplace: Nyagan, Russia (Siberian Region)

Residence: Bradenton, Florida, USA

Nationality: Russian

Height: 6'3'' (1.85 m)

Weight: 112 lbs. (50.8 kg)

Plays: Right-handed

*Travels with father and works with coaches Michael Baroch and Robert Lansdorp

*Started hitting tennis balls at age four

*At six, participated in exhibition in Moscow that featured Martina Navratilova

*began training at Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, USA, at age nine (which required a two-year separation from mother due to visa restrictions and finances)

*Off-Court interests include fashion, singing, jazz dancing and movies (favorite is Pearl Harbor)

*Enjoys reading books in the Sherlock Holmes and Pippi Longstocking series

*Favors Russian music and food, Russian food (except for Italian bread)

*Says favorite dessert is 'anything.'

Maria Sharapova is a teenage tennis-phenomenon with the potential to be the best in the world. Her on-court presence is reminiscent of my all-time favorite player Monica Seles, with her powerful, early groundstrokes, her extreme on-court intensity, focus, determination and fearlessness, and yes - her grunting! Off court she is one of the most charming and charismatic lady.

At six feet tall, Maria has a huge serve. Her groundstrokes are powerful and heavy - similar to Lindsay Davenport's, but much more flairsome as her power comes from natural timing rather than muscle. She takes the ball on the rise, which means that her opponents are constantly off-balance. Her shot-production is excellent, her technique having been honed by such experts as Robert Lansdorp and Nick Bollettieri, and she has a relatively long take-back on the forehand. She hits many brilliant winners.

Tall players often don't have the best mobility, but this cannot be said of Maria. Movement has a lot to do with attitude, and Maria is a very hungry player at this stage in her career. She would run over broken glass to reach a shot, and this hunger is also reflected in her fist-pumping, thigh-slapping, grunting intensity. She genuinely craves success on a tennis-court (rather than fame or money), and she wants it now.

Maria plays without fear, and has a sixth sense for competition. She's not the type of person to choke when things start going wrong - she has shown impressive mental toughness and self-belief so far. Whether she will be able to maintain this fearlessness as her career progresses, when the pressure will be on and she'll have much more to lose, only time will tell.

Maria is also an intelligent tactician, able to adapt her game to different styles of opponent, and to work out a rally as it unfolds, regardless of what her game-plan going into the match might be. And she had this combination of power and brain-power when she was ten years old.

Her coach Robert Lansdorp said, in 2002, "This teenager is just raw talent. Maria is an amazing player. She has no fear. She goes for every shot; she almost plays from instinct. She came from a background of adversity, and that is what drives her."

Maria's interviews entertaining and refreshing, because she always asserts her own personality, and gives her own unique views rather than answering the usual questions with the same old clichés with which most players answer them. She mixes mature answers with lighthearted ones. Although English is not her mother-tongue, she is impressively fluent and articulate.

Maria has already won two WTA titles: the Tokyo Japan Open in October 2003, and Québec shortly afterwards. She has also won four ITF challengers in her early career, as well as enjoying considerable success in junior-tennis, as detailed below. Her highest ranking has been #31, in November 2003, although if the 2004 season is underway by the time you read this, it will probably already be considerably higher! She has already demonstrated an ability to compete with the top players, taking sets off Kim Clijsters and Justine Henin-Hardenne in 2003, both of whom were world number one at the times.

Maria is a phenomenal talent, and she's only going to get better an barring unforeseen misfortunes such as injuries, it looks like Maria has a brilliant career ahead of her.


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Most 18 year olds don't know what they are doing, anyways.

Do you dirty old men really want to put a chick through a training program to get up to speed? It's a lengthy, time consuming project. Trust me, I know.

ok, bad question:laugh:

I'd teach her a thing or two.

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