• Maria Sharapova was born on April 19,
1987 in Nyagan. Her parents, Yuri and
Elena, are from Gomel, Belarus.
• When Sharapova was two, the family
moved to Sochi. She took her first tennis
lessons with veteran Russian coach Yuri
Yutkin, who was instantly impressed when
he saw her play, noting her "exceptional
• ." With money tight, Yuri borrowed the summer
that would enable him and his daughter, neither
of whom could speak English, to travel to the
United States, which they finally did in 1994.
• Following her Wimbledon win, attention and
interest in Sharapova in the media greatly
increased, a rise in popularity dubbed "Maria
• She won three of six matches in her preparations for the
US Open. Playing her first singles tournament in nearly
ten months, Sharapova made the quarterfinals of the
clay-court Warsaw Open in May, losing to finalist Alona
Sharapova then played at Wimbledon as the 24th seed.
She was upset in the second round by Gisela Dulko in
three sets. Sharapova enjoyed considerable success in
the summer months, reaching the quarterfinals at the
Bank of the West Classic, the semifinals at the LA
Women's Tennis Championships, and finishing runnerup at the Rogers Cup to Elena Dementieva.