Its Thrilling Thursday and today we feature Maria Sharapova.  Maria is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player and three time Grand Slam singles champion. As of April 5, 2010, she is ranked World No. 14.

Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova Official Site

Maria Sharapova born April 19, 1987 is a former World No. 1 professional tennis player and three time Grand Slam singles champion. As of April 5, 2010, she is ranked World No. 14.

When Sharapova was six, she and her father moved from their life of poverty in Russia to the United States, to enroll her in the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. After rising rapidly through the junior and professional ranks in the years that followed, Sharapova won her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon in 2004 at the age of 17. In the two years that followed, Sharapova won eight titles on the WTA Tour and had two brief stints as the World No. 1. However, she lost all five Grand Slam semifinals she played during this period. She ultimately won her second Grand Slam title at the 2006 US Open.

Sharapova's public profile extends beyond tennis. She has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. Sharapova was the most searched-for athlete on Yahoo! in both 2005 and 2008.

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