US resident since 1993, Maria Sharapova is in the professional circuit since 2001. Current number 6 in the world rankings, the WTA has ranked as number 1 in the world on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks.
She has become number 1 for the first time August 22, 2005, at age 18, and the last time for four weeks from 11 June to 8 July 2012. In her career, she won 35 tournaments in singular, including all Grand Slam tournaments (twice in Paris), the WTA Finals in 2004 and 12 “Premier” tournaments (second tennis player ever to have won more after Serena Williams). She is the third player in activity for number of titles won in singles, behind Serena and Venus Williams. In 2012 she was awarded the silver medal in singles at the Olympics in London. She won in her career even three doubles titles. Despite numerous injuries, Maria Sharapova is one of the players most long-lived of the women’s circuit. She has, in fact, won at least one tournament in singles for thirteen consecutive years (one year less than Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova and Chris Evert). Winning at Roland Garros in 2012, became the sixth woman in the Open Era (tenth overall) to complete in career the Grand Slam (the first Russian to do it.)
The Russian tennis player excels in the women’s circuit for the aggressiveness of their style of play, but also for mental strength and competitive spirit. Many commentators and former players have noticed this, and John McEnroe has called one of “More competitive sport women than ever”. She is the highest-paid female athlete in the world with an annual gain of 29.5 million dollars. She is also the second player ever (behind Serena Williams) who earned more dollars from the prize pool of the tournaments in which she participated: 36.5 million.