Maria Sharapova has come a long way since turning professional on her 14th birthday in April 2001, having played the game since she was four years old.
Sharapova style —
Sharapova's fame has brought endrosements that saw Forbes magazine rate her as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of over $18 million. She has her own clothing line and is also working on a candy line called Sugarpova.
Paris pain —
The one thing separating Sharapova from a career grand slam is the French Open title. She has twice made the semifinals, most recently in 2011, when she was beaten by eventual winner Li Na of China.
At home in Rome —
Despite never having won at Roland Garros, Sharapova is in good form in 2012, losing just once on clay this season. Most recently, she successfully defended her Italian Open title to offer hope she can finally win the French Open and complete a career slam.
Early years —
Sharapova was spotted at an early age by former great Martina Navratilova and after moving to the United States she was enrolled into the famous Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida at the age of nine.
Wimbledon breakthrough —
The Russian became the third youngest female to win Wimbledon in 2004 aged just 17. She beat Serena Williams in the final to spark huge interest the papers labelled "Maria Mania."
Flushed with success —
Sharapova's second major success came at the U.S. Open in 2006 when she beat Justine Henin at Flushing Meadows. By this stage she had already become the first Russian woman ever to hold the world No. 1 ranking.
A major hat-trick —
The 25-year-old made it a hat-trick of grand slam victories at the 2008 Australian Open and in some style. She didn't drop a set in the entire tournament on her way to defeating Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in the final.