1. Her lucrative endorsement career started VERY early
Sharapova signed her first endorsement deal with Nike when she was 11 years old. She has since become the highest paid female athlete in the the world, and the 18th highest paid athlete overall. Her earnings in the last 10 years are estimated to be over $250 million! Roughly eighty-percent of her income is made off the court from deals with the likes of Porsche, Tiffany & Co, and her own candy brand, Sugarpova.
2. Rags to riches
Maria’s parents fled their home near Chernobyl after the disaster in 1986. When Maria and her father emigrated to the United States in 1994, they had $700 borrowed dollars and could not speak English. Her father worked odd jobs and coached Maria himself until she earned a full scholarship to the Bollettieri Tennis Academy. The rest is history…
3. She was influenced by tennis greats from a very young age
Her father is friends with Yevgeny Kafelnikov, one of Russia’s most successful male tennis players. He gave Maria her first racket when she was four years old. Martina Navratilova also saw Sharapova hitting at a junior clinic in Moscow, and told Maria’s father that she was “gifted.”
4. She grunts (screeches) REALLY loudly
When she hits the ball, she screeches louder than anyone on tour. You probably knew this. What you may not know is that her screeches can reach 105 decibels. That is louder than a motorcycle or snowmobile, and nearly as loud as a rock concert. Fortunately, the screeches only last a second. Unfortunately, they are repeated nearly once every second. As talented as she is, she is often better watched on mute.
5. She is very personable, funny, and the camera loves her
Ok… you knew all of this, but check out this video of some of her funnier moments! The ones with Djokovic are especially great.