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Maria Sharapova – the latest tennis beauty wins men’s hearts all over the world

Just in case you’re getting sick of Anna we now have a new tennis beauty, Maria.   Maria Sharapova, to be exact.  Maria is very young – born on April 19, 1987 – but is already on her way to become a sports legend.  She currently lives in Bradenton, Florida, USA but was born in Russia’s Siberian region and started playing tennis at the age of four. 

Known for her model-like looks, she first participated in tennis exhibition in Moscow at the tender age of six, where she also met Martina Navratilova.   Her talent was recognized early and she emigrated to the States with her father in order to further pursue her career in tennis (and perhaps to secure future perfume deals and such)

Sharapova began training at Nick Bollettieri’s Tennis Academy in Bradenton, Florida, at age of nine.  Because of visa restrictions and family finances she had to be separated from her mother for two years during that time. 

As talented as she is, Maria Sharapova has been getting lots of attention for her beauty – there are pictures, wallpapers and galleries all over the net devoted to her – as much as she’s been praised for her excellent playing technique.   

Maria Sharapova is now a Wimbledon champion and she has just developed further her winning history by winning over Daniela Hantuchova in the second round of the Zurich Challenge.   Sharapova had been quoted saying that she is never too satisfied with her game but feels very much in control, especially when it comes to her excellent serve. 

Coming to Zurich off the back of her tennis victories in Seoul and Tokyo, Sharapova was in the excellent shape, as good as she was during her Wimbledon triumph.  (There was a short interruption in her winning streak, between winning the Grand Slam event in July and arriving in Seoul at the start of the fall, when she was unable to win two matches in the row but now it seems she is totally back into her form.) 

Tennis aside, it is interesting to note that there seems to be a sort of a cult-like following of female tennis players ever since Anna Kournikova showed up on courts with her blonde pony tail and a skirt that was shorter than her official stay as the queen of the courts. 

And, really, who doesn’t know who Venus or Serena Williams are and who doesn’t remember Navratilova?  Nowdays the skirts are getting shorter, the hair-dos are getting sexier, the grunts on the courts are no longer perceived as signs of enormous effort but are considered by many male audience as almost sexual, a part of the spectacle. 

I remember sitting with a bunch of male friends, watching one of Sharapova’s  early performances, trying to concentrate on the game.  I am interested in tennis.  And my male friends claimed to be interested in it as well but after a number of : ”Wow, look at those nips!” or: ”She’s not wearing a bra!” I had to point out that this lovely person they were commenting on was – in some cases – more than twice their junior.  After I said that, one of my male friends looked at me and said I was jealous being an old cow and that. 

Okay, you dirty pig. 

Farm animals aside, Maria Sharapova from her spectacular beginnings seemed to get more attention for the see-through top she was wearing and a napkin of a skirt when she first beat a serious rival, Conchita Martinez Granados in Australian Open, last year.  I was slightly annoyed by the press coverage that kept indicating that if the win was a fluke she always has a modeling career to fall back on.    

But she is genuinely a good tennis player and I only hope that she won’t become an accessory to a semi-famous Latin singer the way the last court princess, Anna Kournikova, has become instead of focusing on the game that really counted.