Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (born April 19, 1987) is a Russian professional tennis player and a former World No. 1. A US resident since 1994, Sharapova has won 24 WTA singles titles, including three Grand Slam singles titles at the 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open. She has also won the year-end invitational WTA Tour Championships in 2004.
Sharapova's public profile extends beyond tennis, as she has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She has been featured in many advertisements including those for Nike, Prince and Canon and is the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan. Sharapova was the most searched-for athlete on Yahoo! in both 2005 and 2008. Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme.
In June 2011, she was named one of the "30 Legends of Women's Tennis: Past, Present and Future" by Time.
Sharapova signed a sponsorship deal in January 2007 with Gatorade and Tropicana.
In June 2007, Forbes magazine listed her as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of over US $26 million, the majority of which was from endorsements and sponsorships. In a later interview, she said, "You know, one of the greatest things about being an athlete and, you know, making money is realizing that you can help, you know, help the world, and especially children, who I absolutely love working with."
In 2007, Sharapova was featured in a number of Canon USA's commercials for the PowerShot.
Sharapova has also been depicted in many tennis-related video games, along with such players as Daniela Hantuchová, Lindsay Davenport, Venus Williams and Anna Kournikova. Some of the titles include the Top Spin series, Virtua Tennis series, and Grand Slam Tennis.
Upon hearing that Sports Illustrated had named her in 2006 as the world's best-paid female athlete, Sharapova said, apparently only a little tongue-in-cheek, "It's never enough. Bring on the money. There's no limit to how much you can make."
In January 2010, it was announced that Sharapova had renewed her contract with Nike, signing an 8 year deal for $70 million. This is the most lucrative deal ever for a sportswoman, dwarfing the previous record, which was Venus Williams' $43 million deal with Reebok.