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20 Ridiculous Truths About Maria Sharapova

1. A United States resident since 1994, Sharapova has competed on the WTA tour since 2001.

2. She has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks.

3. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam.

4. Sharapova became the world No. 1 for the first time on August 22, 2005, at the age of 18, and last held the ranking for the fifth time for four weeks from June 11, 2012, to July 8, 2012. Her 35 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.

5. Despite an injury-prone career, Sharapova has achieved a rare level of longevity in the women’s game.

6. She has won at least one singles title a year from 2003 until 2015, a streak only bested by Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, and Chris Evert.

7. Several tennis pundits and former players have called Sharapova one of tennis’s best competitors, with John McEnroe calling her one of the best the sport has ever seen.

8. Sharapova has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue.

9. She appeared in many advertisements, including those for Nike, Prince, and Canon, being the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan.

10. Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme.

11. Concerned about the regional effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, they left their homeland shortly before Sharapova was born.

12. Aleksandr gave Sharapova her first tennis racquet in 1991 when she was four, whereupon she began practicing regularly with her father at a local park.

13. Before she entered the IMG business, she trained with Rick Macci, in the Rick Macci Tennis Academy.

14. She then was offered a deal from IMG which forced her to change academies.

15. Originally, she did train with Rick Macci, but after the deal with IMG, she could not see Rick Macci anymore.

16. In 1995, she was signed by IMG, who agreed to pay the annual tuition fee of $35,000 for Sharapova to stay at the Academy, allowing her to finally enroll at the age of 9.

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