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Maria Sharapova        

Retired Tennis Player Ranked World No. 1 at Age 18 & Olympic Silver Medalist; Model & Highest-Paid Female Athlete in the World

Maria Sharapova is a retired Russian professional tennis player. She was ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam. She is also an Olympic medalist, having won silver in women's singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Sharapova became the world No. 1 for the first time in 2005, at the age of 18, becoming the first Russian female tennis player to top the singles rankings. Her 36 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles—two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open—rank third among active players, behind Serena and Venus Williams. She won the year-ending WTA Finals in her debut in 2004. She has also won three doubles titles.

She first began playing tennis at the tender age of four and quickly began showing early promise, so much so that when Maria was nine she and her father moved to Florida in order for her to attend the prodigious Nick Bollettieri tennis academy. Whilst at the time this must have been a stressful change for the young Sharapova, having to move away from her native Russia at such a young age, it had a positive result as the skills she learned at the Bollettieri academy meant she was able to turn professional in 2001 aged only 14.

Since then Sharapova has never looked back. Just two years later she won her first victory on the WTA (Women's Tennis Association) tour at the Japan Open. As her name started to become well-known on the tour because of her ability, so it did off the court also as Maria began doing modeling shoots and product endorsements. In 2005, Forbes magazine declared Sharapova the highest paid female athlete in the world, earning a staggering $18 million in prize money, sponsorship and product endorsements such as Canon Cameras.

In 2018, she launched a new program to mentor women entrepreneurs. In 2020, she retired from tennis at age 32.


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Maria Sharapova is only the latest high profile athlete to come up against allegations of doping. Mike Pesca of has a few lesser known examples.
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