01 Jan 1970
Sharapova started playing at age 4. Two years later she took part in Moscow exhibition that featured Martina Navratilova. She began training at Bollettieri Academy at age 9 (required two‐year separation from mother due to visa restrictions and finances). She began competing in the WTA tour in 2001.
In 2003 she won her first two titles won first two WTA titles in Tokyo [Japan Open] (d. Kapros in final) and Québec City (won when Sequera ret. w/ankle injury in final), and reached the fourth round at Wimbledon.
In 2004, Sharapova won the third title in Birmingham, defeating Golovin in the third-youngest final in Open Era behind 1991 San Diego, 1980 Tampa. She made history at Wimbledon, where she reached the first semifinal and final at Grand Slam level, beating Serena Williams to become the third-youngest woman to win the Wimbledon title, behind only Lottie Dod and Martina Hingis, and the second Russian woman after Anastasia Myskina to clinch a Grand Slam singles title. She won four further titles in Seoul (d. Domachowska in final), Tokyo [Japan Open] (d. Washington in final) and at the WTA Finals (d. S.Williams 46 62 64 in final; trailed 4-0 third set) finishing the season for the first time as a top 5.
In 2005 won three WTA titles at Tokyo [Pan Pacific] (d. Davenport in final), Doha (d. Molik in final) and Birmingham (d. Jankovic in final); runner-up once, at Miami (l. to Clijsters in final). Sharapova became the first Russian woman to hold the world No. 1 ranking on August 22. Her reign lasted only one week but
she once again leapfrogged Davenport to take the top spot on September 12, retaining for six weeks.
In 2006, she became the last teenager to win a Grand Slam title, aged 19 years, 132 days at the 2006 US Open (d. Henin in F), and won four other WTA titles came at Indian Wells (d. Dementieva in final), San Diego (d. Clijsters in final), Zürich (d. Hantuchova in final) and Linz (d. Petrova in final). She finished the season with 19 consecutive wins before losing in the WTA Finals semifinal and ended ranked No.2
In 2007, after being two points away from defeat in the first round against Camille Pin, she went on to reach the first Australian Open final, but was routed by Serena Williams. However, she recaptured the world No. 1 ranking, holding it for seven weeks. She won a single title that year in San Diego (d. Schnyder in final).
In 2008 she won the third Grand Slam title at Australian Open, having not dropped a set. She defeated former world No. 1 Lindsay Davenport in the second round, ended Henin’s 32-match winning streak in the quarterfinals, Janković in the semifinals and Ivanovic in the final. She went 27-2 before Roland Garros, winning two more WTA titles in Doha (d. Zvonareva in final) and Amelia Island (d. Cibulkova in final). She returned to No.1 on May 19, the week after Henin retired and took name off rankings and held it for three weeks. Her only pre-QF losses came in last three events of shortened season, at Roland Garros, Wimbledon and Montréal (withdrew prior to 3r w/right shoulder injury). In October, after a failed attempt to rehabilitate the right shoulder, she had surgery to repair the tear.
In 2009 she came back after a nine-month right shoulder injury lay-off, dipping out of Top 100 for the first time since 2003, but going 31-9 between May and end of year. The best results in 10 events played upon return were the WTA title in Tokyo [Pan Pacific] (as Jankovic ret. w/right wrist injury in final), and a runner-up finish in Toronto (l. to Dementieva in final).
In 2010, struggling to find form, she won two WTA titles in Memphis (d. Arvidsson in final) and Strasbourg (d. Barrois in final) and was runner-up three times, in Birmingham (l. to Li in final), Stanford (l. to Azarenka in final) and Cincinnati (l. to Clijsters 26 76(4) 62 after wasting 3 match points).
In 2011, she She defeated top seed Caroline Wozniacki in the semifinals and sixth seed Samantha Stosur in the final to celebrate in Rome her biggest clay-court victory to date. At Roland Garros, she reached her first Grand Slam semifinal since her comeback. She beat Jankovic in Cincinnati in the longest WTA final of the season and ended the year as No. 4 in the world, her first top-10 finish since 2008 and first top-5 finish since 2007.
In 2012 she lost just once before the quarterfinals, at Wimbledon. She won three titles in Stuttgart (d. Azarenka in final), Rome (d. Li in final), where she confirmed the title for the fourth time in her career and made history at Roland Garros. She became the sixth player in Open Era to complete career Grand Slam (after Court, Evert, Navratilova, Graf and S.Williams) and the 10th all-time (also Connolly, Hart, Fry and King). She was chosen as the first female flagbearer in Russian history at the 2012 Olympics where she lost to Serena Williams in the final.
In 2013 won two WTA titles at Indian Wells (d. Wozniacki in final) and Stuttgart (d. Li in final). Next year she ended as No.2, her best year-end ranking, with four further titles in Stuttgart (d. Ivanovic in final), Madrid (d. Halep in final), Roland Garros, her fifth Grand Slam title (d. Halep in final) and Beijing (d. Kvitova in final)
In 2015 she won two WTA titles in Brisbane (d. Ivanovic in F) and Rome (d. Suárez Navarro in F). She won at least one title each year between 2003 and 2015, the longest streak ever. As defending champion, fell in R16 at 2015 Roland Garros (l. eventual runner‐up Safarova); advanced to semifinal at Wimbledon
(l. S.Williams). She appeared at season‐ending WTA Finals for eighth time, posting a perfect 3‐0 record in RR stage (l. Kvitova in SF).
At 2016 Australian Open, she lost in the quarterfinals to Serena Williams for the 18th time in row. At that tournament she was tested positive for meldonium and suspended until April 2017. She came back in Stuttgart and beat Vinci in the first round. It was her first victory since defeating Bencic in R16 at Melbourne, in her first match on clay since R16 loss to Safarova at 2015 Roland Garros. She lived a seesaw season after the semifinal in Stuttgart. In his first Grand Slam appearance of comeback, she upset No.2 Halep in the first round to claim her first win over a Top 10 opponent since d. No.6 Kvitova in 2015 Fed Cup final, and reached the fourth round falling to Sevastova.
ARTICLE ABOUT MARIA SHARAPOVA