The WTA classified Maria Sharapova as the World’s number one singles on five different occasions, for a total of 21 weeks, becoming the first Russian-born tennis player in history to reach that milestone. She became number one for the first time at 18 on 22 August 2005 and for the last time in July 2012.
She has received the ESPY Award for best tennis player five times (2005, 2007, 2008, 2012 and 2014). The Russian has won five Grand Slam tournaments (including two in Paris) and is one of the ten female players in history to have completed the Career Grand Slam (together with Maureen Connolly, Doris Hart, Shirley Fry, Margaret Smith Court, Billie Jean King, Chris Evert, Martina Navrátilová, Steffi Graf and Serena Williams), a milestone reached on June 9, 2012 with the victory of her first Roland Garros.
In her career, she has won a total of 36 singles tournaments, including the WTA Finals in 2004 and 12 Premier category tournaments. According to Forbes, she has been named highest-paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned US$285 million (including prize money) since she turned pro in 2001.
In 2018, she launched a new programme to mentor women entrepreneurs. During a recent Live chat, World number 1 Novak Djokovic admitted being a great fan of this aspect of her personality. “I was always amazed with the level of intensity that you bring out in the court.
Not just on the court, but also off the court. We’ve known each other now for a while, I mean 15 years and I know I don’t wanna say the “Real Maria” but I know the Other Maria that most of the people don’t see on the court or off the court within the premises of tennis facilities.
Once you step on to the tennis club, it’s game face on, that’s it” – the 17-time Grand Slam champion explained.