Maria Sharapova 'heartbroken and deeply saddened', pledges donation to Ukraine

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Maria Sharapova 'heartbroken and deeply saddened', pledges donation to Ukraine

Former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova admits she is heartbroken and deeply saddened about the situation in Ukraine. Sharapova, a former five-time Grand Slam champion, pledged to make donation to Save the Children's crisis relief fund.

"With each day that goes by, I am more and more heartbroken and deeply saddened by the images and stories of families and children affected by this escalating crisis in Ukraine. I am donating to Save the Children’s crisis relief fund, an organization working tirelessly to provide food, water, and aid kits to support those in need.

Please join me in making a donation. I pray for PEACE and send my love and support to all those affected. Link in my bio to donate," Sharapova announced in an Instagram post.

Sharapova on her tennis beginnings

Sharapova enjoyed huge popularity during her tennis career and she's one of the most marketable players in tennis history.

Recently, Sharapova recalled her tennis beginnings and the sacrifices her family made in order for her to succeed in the game. “Both of my parents are actually from Belarus, and because of the Chernobyl explosion and my mother was pregnant with me at the time, they moved to Siberia, so I was born there.

At the age of two, we moved to Sochi, a much more comfortable city, and that’s where I started playing tennis," Sharapova said on the Never Stand Still podcast. “At the age of five, I went to this little clinic in Moscow that was held by Martina Navratilova and she told my father we need to get out of Russia.

These circumstances for an athlete are much better in the US, particularly in Florida, and my father never looked back. He talked to my mom. She took a huge chance, and my father and I went to Florida on a plane without her. “In hindsight, I think those are the years that shape your story. I was so lucky that I did fall in love with this sport with hitting forehands and backhands."

Maria Sharapova