Make your own free website on Tripod.com

30tennis-sharapova-open550.jpg

Maria Sharapova

Home | WTA News | Jankovic | Kurnikova | Ivanovic | Maria Sharapova | Sharapova Video | Sharapova Interview | French Open | Venus Williams | Italian Open | Serena Williams | German Open | Kim's Diary | Kim Clijsters | Justine Henin | Martina Hingis | Amerie Mauresmo | Daniela Hantuchova | Patty Schnyder | Other Players | Istanbul Cup | Standings | Headlines | Wimbledon

Sexy Sharapova in boob shock

 

 
Maria Sharapova
 
Tennis star ... but Maria's eyes
weren't on the ball last night


 
TENNIS lovely MARIA SHARAPOVA copped an eyeful at a pre-Wimbledon tennis bash in London on Thursday night.

The modestly endowed world No2 blushed after being approached by an extremely busty party guest.

A fellow reveller said: "A lady with the most gigantic breasts walked into the party and Maria couldn’t keep her eyes off them.

"She must of had a five inch cleavage on display which didn’t seem very appropriate for a posh Wimbledon party.

"Maria was giggling with her friends and dared one of them to try and get a picture on her phone.

"She looked as if she was really letting her hair done before Wimbledon begins.

"She also kept on saying that she couldn't believe anyone would wear such revealing outfit."

The annual Sony Ericsson WTA Tour event – held at the Kensington Roof Gardens – attracted many big names including party host RICHARD BRANSON, VENUS and SERENA WILLIAMS, MARTINA HINGIS, DUNCAN JAMES and MEG MATTHEWS.

Sharapova all fired up for Wimbledon

London - Maria Sharapova insists her bid for a second Wimbledon title will not be affected by a shoulder injury that has forced her to take a precautionary week off in the build-up to this year's championship.

Sharapova, the 2004 champion, is easing her way back to full fitness after sustaining the right shoulder problem in late April.

She opted not to play the WTA tournament at Eastbourne this week in case she aggravated the injury, but the Russian, seeded second at Wimbledon, is confident she can compete for Amelie Mauresmo's crown.

She said: "I have been playing matches for the last four weeks which is great because I was out for so long with a pretty serious injury.

"I am just happy and blessed to be back on the court. It will be under observation for the next few weeks but that is part of a tennis player's life."

Sharapova showed no signs of being hampered by the problem as she reached the final in Birmingham last week and she can't wait to return to the All England club.

"I had a great week in Birmingham played lots of matches and that was really good for me," she reported.

"This is one of the funnest seasons for me. It is lovely to be back at Wimbledon because it brings back a lot of amazing memories. It is always good to be here."

Sharapova wins at DFS Classic

AP Photo

BIRMINGHAM, England (AP) -- Maria Sharapova and Jelena Jankovic advanced to the third round at the DFS Classic on Wednesday.

Sharapova, who is trying to win her third straight title at the Wimbledon warm-up tournament, struggled early but beat American qualifier Lilia Osterloh 6-4, 6-0. Jankovic defeated Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria 6-4, 6-1.

Sharapova and Jankovic lost in the semifinals at the French Open last week.

"(Grass) is so different from clay and makes you use different muscles, which can be difficult at first. But I always enjoy playing on this surface," Sharapova said. "And that performance was OK."

Sharapova faced two break points in her opening service game, but recovered and eased through the second set. The second-ranked Russian will next face Tamira Paszek of Austria, who beat 13th-seeded Meilen Tu of the United States 3-6, 6-3, 6-4.

Sharapova secures place in semis

Maria Sharapova

Maria Sharapova secured her place in the last four of the French Open with a 6-3 6-4 win over Anna Chakvetadze.

The second seed's semi-final opponent will be Ana Ivanovic, who beat third seed Svetlana Kuznetsova 6-0 3-6 6-1 to reach her first Grand Slam semi-final.

Jelena Jankovic joined fellow Serb Ivanovic in the last four with a 6-4 7-5 win over Nicole Vaidisova.

Jankovic's next opponent is top seed Justine Henin, who beat American Serena Williams 6-4 6-3.

Sharapova's win means both the top two seeds are through to the semi-finals.

The Russian, seeded two, has been struggling with a shoulder injury but she was pleased with her form after beating Chakvetadze in 78 minutes.

"I was moving really well and I tried to defend," said the 20-year-old.

"That was the key. I was just retrieving well. I'm happy to be in the semi-final for the first time."

Of her next match against Ivanovic, Sharapova added: "She hits the ball pretty flat and big. It will definitely be a very tough match."

 

 

 

Lucky escape for Sharapova

  • Williams and Henin showdown
  • Federer equals sets record
  • Paris - Maria Sharapova saved two match points on Sunday and advanced to the quarter-finals at the French Open by beating Patty Schnyder of Switzerland 3-6 6-4 9-7.

    Schnyder served for the match three times, at 5-4 6-5 and 7-6 in the third set.

    She was one point away from ending the match in the 10th game and again in the 14th - and she also was two points away from victory on 11 occasions.

    When Sharapova pulled it out on her first match point, as Schnyder sailed a forehand wide to get broken again, the Russian covered her face with both hands and looked on the verge of tears. As both players met at the net, there was a mix of boos and applause.

    The second-seeded Russian will next face No 9 Anna Chakvetadze, who beat No 25 Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic 6-4 0-6 6-2.

    Sharapova pumped her fist and screamed encouragement to herself throughout the third set at Roland Garros.

    In the 15th game, Sharapova won a disputed point when serving at 30-love. Schnyder watched the serve land in the box, but complained she wasn't ready.

    The chair umpire ruled the point would count, giving Sharapova her only ace of the match.

    Serena Williams and Justine Henin also won, setting up a quarter-final showdown. Williams beat Dinara Safina of Russia 6-2 6-3, while two-time defending champion Henin beat No 20 Sybille Bammer 6-2 6-4.

    French Open: Sharapova triu
    mphs over fear and pain

    PARIS: On her way to this French Open, Maria Sharapova had to make an important decision: face her fear of needles and receive a painful shot in her injured, inflamed shoulder or take time off and skip one of the biggest tournaments of the year.

    There was never any doubt what she would choose, Sharapova said. One cortisone shot and nearly two months later, she walked onto the red clay courts at Roland Garros, sore shoulder and all, and played her first-round match.

    In her second tournament since returning from her injury, Sharapova beat Émilie Loit, 6-3, 7-6 (7-4).

    "As long as the doctors give me an OK, as long as I can play through the little aches and pains that I get from time, then I'm OK, I'm willing to do it," she said. "I take the good with the bad."

    On another rainy day at Roland Garros, Sharapova, the second seed, was one of nine Russian women to win their matches Wednesday. With success like that, the American men playing at the French Open should have asked them for their secrets.

    Never before have American men fared this miserably on the red clay. All nine of them in the draw lost in the first round.

    Eight were beaten on Tuesday, including No. 3 Andy Roddick and No. 8 James Blake. On Wednesday, Robby Ginepri was their final hope. He could not redeem them, losing to Diego Hartfield of Argentina, 6-4, 1-6, 5-7, 6-4, 6-2.

    This is the first time in the Open era, which began in 1968, that all the American men entered in a major tournament lost in the first round. And, yet again, the men seem perplexed on clay.

    "I don't know if it's because they are not willing to grind for the points," said Meilen Tu, one of the five American women still in the singles draw. "I don't know if they're trying to finish the points too quickly."

    "You've got to be ready to hit one more ball," she said.

    Ginepri suggested that the Americans host a camp before next year's clay-court season, where they would be tutored by one of the better clay-court players. Of course, they would have to search overseas for that man.

    On the women's side, four Americans, including Venus Williams, showed that at least a few could decipher Roland Garros's rich, red clay.

    Williams made it to the third round in a tight match against her fellow American Ashley Harkleroad, 6-1, 7-6 (10-8), though not without a struggle. She took control of the match early and was leading, 6-1, 5-1, when the mistakes flooded in. Suddenly, the score was 5-5, with the schoolchildren filling the stands wildly cheering every point.

    "I really just got overconfident," Williams said. "I was just feeling like I couldn't lose, and then it was even. So it was definitely a mistake that I've made before, not often."

    Williams fended off five set points to finally win. In the meantime, one of her serves was clocked at 206 kilometers per hour, or 128 mph, setting the record for the fastest women's serve in a Grand Slam event.

    Still, the day belonged to the Russian women, although the No. 1 seeds Roger Federer and Justin Henin advanced to capture some of the attention.

    No. 3 Svetlana Kuznetsova, No. 9 Anna Chakvetadze and No. 10 Dinara Safina won their matches. But Anastasia Myskina, the player who, in 2004, started the wave of Russian women's success, only got a quick taste of Roland Garros before being sent home.

    When Myskina won the French Open in 2004, she became the first Russian woman to win a Grand Slam singles title. Since then, the Russians have won three more titles and continue to flood the top 10.

    Myskina returned to Roland Garros on Wednesday, despite having missed five months after foot surgery in January. She was in search of the magic that made her a champion three years ago. Instead, it was a short return to the Paris clay. It took only 55 minutes for her to lose to Meghann Shaughnessy, 6-1, 6-0.

    Myskina, 25, knew she was not going to win another title here, considering the surgery that left her big toe painful and swollen. But she did not expect the comeback to be so physically and mentally jolting.

    Now she realizes that the doctors may be right: She may never play again, at least at a top level.

    "You remember how you used to run or you used to play, and now it's completely different story," she said. "It's difficult not to be sad right now, you know, to say like everything is fine.

    Sharapova advances at Roland Garros

    Serving below her best, Maria Sharapova eased her way into the third round of the French Open - sore shoulder and all.

    The second-seeded Russian, still feeling a shoulder injury that caused her to miss about two months of action, beat Jill Craybas of the United States 6-2, 6-1 Thursday.

    "It's still there at times," Sharapova said, referring to soreness in her right shoulder. "For one week I couldn't do anything. I couldn't really move my shoulder up and down because there was a significant amount of pain."

    Sharapova still doesn't feel comfortable with her movement.

    "I feel like a cow on ice. Especially on clay," Sharapova said. "I don't play on clay for the other 10 months of the year. It's not as natural for me."

    Craybas quickly noticed that Sharapova's game was below par.

    "I don't think she was hitting her serve 100 percent," Craybas said. "Pretty much doing second serves all the time."

    Sharapova has yet to win a title this year. She has 15 career titles and lost to Serena Williams in the final of the Australian Open.

    The 20-year-old Russian - a two-time Grand Slam champion - also reached the semifinals at Tokyo and Istanbul, Turkey.

    Sharapova reached the quarterfinals at Roland Garros in 2004 and 2005, and lost in the fourth round last year.

    "She competed very well the whole match," Craybas said. "She had a few loose errors, but that didn't distract her."

    While Craybas thinks it's still too early to tell whether Sharapova can win at Roland Garros, she won't rule it out.

    "It's dangerous in general to underestimate her," Craybas said. "She's still one of the best in the world."

    Sharapova sneaks off from her Istanbul hotel



    On her official website, Sharapova wrote: "During my visit to Istanbul, we have stopped at a car wash to have our car cleaned. However, you always have to rewash your car in Istanbul since they dry cars with red towels which leave stains all over the car."

    Sharapova's internet diary has proven that she sneaked off from the hotel and had a city tour all by himself without getting caught by paparazzi. Her driver got fired.


    Hotel fires driver for secretly giving Sharapova a city tourRussian tennis player Maria Sharapova who participated in Istanbul Cup last week had taken a city tour with the driver assigned for her service, without the consent of organizers. When famous player wrote this on her internet diary, the driver got fired.

    On her web diary, Sharapova wrote: "I am in Turkey....warm people and great food (very yummy)...two VERY important qualities. I haven't seen too much of the city but from what I have seen, it reminds me a bit of Russia. Still adjusting to the time change....sort of forgot what that feels like. I'm hoping I can visit their famous Grand Bazaar because I'm in search of their glass tulip tea cups, although I'm not sure how realistic that really is.

    I went through one of those claustrophobic drive through car washes for the first time because there was no way I could spend another 20 minutes waiting around for a proper washing.....I was a bit disappointed because after it was watered and splashed with some disgusting looking rainbow wax, someone dried it by hand with a red towel, that left red looking dust all over it. Is it normal to need another car wash after just washing it?"

    When she posted this on her website, tour organizers have found out about her secret city tour without informing officials. Sharapova's driver in Istanbul got fired.

    Sharapova knocked out in Istanbul
    Maria Sharapova became the latest victim for unseeded Aravane Rezai as she crashed out of the Istanbul Cup at the semi-final stage.

    The 59th-ranked player in the world, Rezai beat Sharapova 6-2 6-4, adding the Russian to her list of scalps after toppling number four Venus Williams in the second round on Wednesday en route to her first final appearance.

    Unable to string together back-to-back wins this year prior to this claycourt tournament, the 20-year-old Rezai's best prior showing was in the quarter-finals at Hasselt, Belgium last November.

    The opponent in Saturday's championship match for Rezai will be second-seeded Elena Dementieva of Russia.

    Sharapova makes winning comeback

    Maria Sharapova

    World number two Maria Sharapova won her first game back after a two-month absence with a shoulder injury.

    The US Open champion was a long way from her best form as she beat unseeded Bulgarian Tsvetana Pironkova in straight sets in the Istanbul Cup.

    "It was a difficult match and I was not expecting much from myself because I just came back from one of my worst injuries," said the Russian.

    "It was not my best performance, but I hope I will get better as I play more."

    Sharapova eased through the first set 6-4 against her 19-year-old opponent, ranked 95th in the world.

    But the former Wimbledon champion, 20, was taken to a tie-break in the second before eventually winning it 7-1.

    Sharapova, who said she "did not feel 100%", last played in March when she lost 6-1 6-1 to Serena Williams in Miami.

    The Russian will now face either Italian Romina Oprandi and Poland's Agnieskza Radwanska.

    Tennis star Maria Sharapova in Canon PowerShot commercial 
     
     Canon USA newest ad advertisement campaign featuring tennis superstar Maria Sharapova and the Canon PowerShot SD750 Digital ELPH camera delivers style, substance and best-in-class status for the market leader in digital cameras. As part of this new advertisement campaign, two new commercials titled “Banter” and “Dolce” will debut in advance of the Roland Garros, French Open (May 27 - June 10, 2007). The integrated advertisement campaign consists of television, print and interactive executions that reaffirm Canon’s relationship with and commitment to linking the PowerShot digital camera brand to an individual who embodies the essence of Canon.
    Maria Sharapova

    Canon Face Detection Technology
    “For the third installment of our campaign with Maria, we wanted to show how passionate she is about taking pictures with her Canon PowerShot digital camera,” said Yuichi Ishizuka, senior vice president and general manager of the Consumer Imaging Group at Canon U.S.A. “This campaign continues to reinforce Maria’s connection with the brand, while highlighting one of the newest advanced photo features called Genuine Canon Face Detection Technology.”

    Canon PowerShot Digital ELPH
    “Banter,” the 30-second spot and “Dolce,” the 15-second spot created by New York-based Dentsu America, and shot by industry renowned director Joe Pytka, follows the successful “Practice” and “Attraction” commercials that debuted in 2005 and 2006, respectively, and featured Maria Sharapova. In this execution, the PowerShot Digital ELPH camera allows Maria to indulge her passion of photography, personified by her efforts to capture her Pomeranian dog Dolce’s every move. The latest spot, which was shot in Miami, FL, puts Maria in a variety of situations to help reinforce the Canon PowerShot brand’s positioning of substance and style, and explore Maria’s hobbies outside of tennis. Instead of capturing a “single picture-taking moment,” as in past executions, “Banter,” shows Sharapova literally capturing dozens of images while taking pictures with the PowerShot SD750 Digital ELPH camera. “Dolce,” on the other hand, focuses on the Genuine Canon Face Detection Technology which automatically adjusts focus, exposure and flash, for up to nine faces, enabling users to capture the shot they want every time.

    Tennis superstar Maria Sharapova
    “This spot takes Maria’s relationship with PowerShot to another level. Maria’s powerful and magnetic personality always comes through on the court. What audiences haven’t yet seen much of is the personal side of Maria, how engaging she is off the court, and how much she really loves taking pictures,” said Mike Wilson, chief creative officer, Dentsu America. “This campaign shows a fun side of Maria and showcases how much she enjoys using her Canon PowerShot digital camera to capture all her favorite moments.”

    Maria Sharapova video spot
    Both spots center on the humorous interplay between Sharapova and her Pomeranian, Dolce. “Banter” involves Maria chasing Dolce around various locations, including a tennis court, her house and her pool, constantly trying to capture his every move with her PowerShot SD750 digital camera. Dolce responds to Maria's demands to "smile" and "roll over" through a voiceover, snapping back with lines such as, "A little snap-happy with the new camera, no?” and, “You think you own me? Oh wait, you do own me.” “Dolce” also centers on Maria and Dolce, but highlights the Genuine Canon Face Detection Technology, which sets the appropriate focus and exposure, and can detect up to nine faces, as well as determine if a face is the main subject of the scene as the ensuing frames demonstrate how it works.

    Maria Sharapova - Canon commercial
    “Being a part of this Canon commercial was a lot of fun and I think it shows my fans another side of me while showcasing my passion for photography,” said Maria Sharapova. “This commercial was very true to life for me, since I really can’t stop taking cute pictures of my dog. After seeing the commercial I’m really glad he can’t speak!” A print ad shot by prominent Sports Illustrated photographer and Canon Explorer of Light, Walter Iooss, will accompany the launch of “Banter” and “Dolce” and can be seen in various high-profile consumer magazines beginning in June.


    SHARAPOVA MADE TO WORK FOR WIN
    Picture 

    Top seed and world number two Maria Sharapova survived a brief scare before securing her place in the semi-finals of the Istanbul Cup.

    The Russian looked to be cruising past seventh seed Agnieszka Radwanska before the Pole upset the odds to take the second set.

    But Sharapova showed no signs of the shoulder injury that threatened her participation in the tournament as she produced a stunning display in the decider to finally come through 6-2 3-6 6-0.

    The 20-year-old will now face unseeded Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai in the last four after she fought back from one set down to defeat America's Meghann Shaughnessy 1-6 6-1 6-4.

    Second seed Elena Dementieva also booked her place in the semi-finals after surviving an early scare against unseeded Catalina Castano.

    The 25-year-old appears on course for an all-Russian final with Sharapova after disposing of her Colombian opponent 1-6 6-4 6-4.

    Dementieva will now face fifth seed Alona Bondarenko after third seed Patty Schnyder had to withdraw from their quarter-final clash with a right thigh strain.

    Sharapova progresses
    Maria Sharapova and Elena Dementieva both were pushed to a decisive third set before advancing to the semi-finals of the $200,000 Tier III Istanbul Cup.

    The top-seeded Sharapova continued her preparation for the upcoming French Open with a 6-2 3-6 6-0 victory over No. 7 Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland.

    So far, Sharapova has yet to break through at Roland Garros, as it is the only Grand Slam that the 20-year-old has yet to reach the semi-finals in.

    She did make it to the quarters in 2004-05 before losing in the fourth round to Dinara Safina last year.

    <a href="http://ad.au.doubleclick.net/click%3Bh=v8/355d/3/0/%2a/m%3B98592511%3B0-0%3B0%3B6763584%3B4307-300/250%3B21118778/21136671/1%3B%3B%7Esscs%3D%3fhttp%3A%2F%2Fwww.sportingbet.com.au/partners.asp?btag=a_147b_15" target="_blank"><font color="#000000"><img src="http://m1.au.2mdn.net/801709/300x250_Racing.gif" alt="Click here..." border="0" height="250" width="300"></font></a>
    The French Open begins play Sunday.

    A finalist at Roland Garros in 2004, the second-seeded Dementieva had to battle back from a slow start to dispatch Catalina Castano of Colombia, 1-6 6-4 6-4.

    Dementieva's next opponent will be No. 5 Alona Bondarenko of the Ukraine.

    The 22-year-old advanced on a walkover, as third-seeded Patty Schnyder of Switzerland was unable to play due to a right quadriceps strain.

    In the final quarter-final match, Frenchwoman Aravane Rezai beat an American for the second straight day with a 1-6 6-1 6-4 victory over Meghann Shaughnessy.

    Rezai, who reached her first semi-final of the year, upset No. 4 Venus Williams in straight sets on Wednesday.

    Rezai has faced Sharapova once before, losing in the second round at the French Open in 2005.

    Istanbul Cup, Turkey
    Singles - Quarterfinals
    1-Maria Sharapova (Russia) bt 7-Agnieszka Radwanska (Poland) 6-2 3-6 6-0
    2-Elena Dementieva (Russia) bt Catalina Castaņo (Columbia) 1-6 6-4 6-4
    5-Alona Bondarenko (Ukraine) bt 3-Patty Schnyder (Switzerland) w/o (right quadriceps strain)
    Aravane Rezai (France) bt Meghann Shaughnessy (USA) 1-6 6-1 6-4


    Sharapova survives brief scare
     
    Sportsnet.ca
    The top-seeded Russian will next meet Aravane Rezai of France. (AP)
    Click here to find out more!
    ISTANBUL, Turkey (AP) -- Maria Sharapova beat Agnieszka Radwanska 6-2, 3-6, 6-0 Thursday to advance to the semifinals of the Istanbul Cup.

    The top-seeded Russian will meet Aravane Rezai of France in the last warmup before the French Open.

    "It's good for me to play tough matches like this," Sharapova said.

    The 62nd-ranked Rezai, who ousted Venus Williams in the second round, is seeking her first WTA Tour title. She beat Meghann Shaughnessy of the United States 1-6, 6-1, 6-4.

    Elena Dementieva also rallied to beat Catalina Castano 1-6, 6-4, 6-4 in the quarter-finals of the clay-court championship. The second-seeded Russian plays fifth-seeded Alona Bondarenko of Ukraine in the semifinals.

    "It was a long match," Dementieva said, after beating the Colombian in two hours 34 minutes. "I'm glad I survived against her today."

    Patty Schnyder of Switzerland withdrew from her match against Bondarenko because of a thigh injury, cutting short her tuneup for Roland Garros.

    Schnyder said she has suffered from pain in her right quadriceps since an earlier round of the tournament.

    "I need some rest," said Schnyder, who plans to play in the French Open on Sunday. "I don't want to force it."

    ------=

    Davydenko, Roddick eliminated in quarter-finals of Hypo Group

    POERTSCHACH, Austria (AP) -- Defending champion Nikolay Davydenko and second-seeded American Andy Roddick lost their quarter-final matches Thursday at the Hypo Group International.

    Davydenko fell to Juan Monaco of Argentina 6-2, 6-7 (5), 6-4, and Roddick lost to wild-card Gael Monfils of France 7-5, 6-3.

    Fourth-seeded Lleyton Hewitt advanced after defeating Diego Hartfield of Argentina 6-2, 6-2. The Australian will play Monfils in the semifinals. Luis Horna of Peru beat Albert Montanes of Spain 7-6 (5), 6-7 (2), 6-1.

    Davydenko never found his rhythm against the 47th-ranked Monaco after trailing 4-0 in the first set.

    The top-seeded Russian still won a tight second set, but Monaco dominated the third and converted his first match point.

    "Monaco got off to a quick start which made it very hard to fight my way back into the match," Davydenko said. "I was almost exhausted after winning the second set, and had not enough power left for the third."

    Monfils, ranked 75th, combined eight aces with strong forehands and drop shots from the baseline against Roddick.

    "Normally you win the point when you hit the ball in a corner three times -- but not so against Monfils," Roddick said. "He's a great athlete and seems to get every ball back."

    The 20-year-old Frenchman is coming back after seven months out with foot and ankle injuries.

    "I am very happy with my performance this week -- it is a real confidence booster for me," Monfils said. "I knew how to play Roddick as I beat him last year. I am tall and can reach a lot of his serves."

    Monfils advanced to his first semifinal since the ATP Masters Series in Rome in May, when he beat Roddick in the quarter-finals.

    Roddick was broken for the first time in the tournament while serving for the first set at 5-4. Another break by Monfils earned him the opening set.

    Roddick, who missed three break points in the first game of the second set, was broken in the next game and received a warning for smashing his racket to the court.

    Roddick missed two more chances on Monfils' serve at 4-1 down.

    Hewitt, meanwhile, broke Hartfield two times to build a 3-0 lead in the first set.

    "It was very important for me to start well and put him under immediate pressure," Hewitt said. "I just wouldn't allow him to play his usual game."

    Hartfield broke back once, but had few chances in the service games of Hewitt, who ended the match with an ace on his first match point.


    Sharapova Wins in Return




    ISTANBUL, Turkey - World No.2 Maria Sharapova made a successful return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour after a seven week injury lay-off, when she defeated Tsevetana Pironkova in straight sets at the Istanbul Cup on Tuesday. Another marquee name in the draw, Venus Williams, was also in action at the $200,000, Tier III event, easing past Tatiana Poutchek to take her place in the second round.

    The day's only second round match saw the tournament's top seed Sharapova take on Bulgaria's Pironkova. The Russian No.1, making her first appearance on Tour since recovering from shoulder and hamstring injuries, was far from at her best against her teenage opponent, but she did just enough to take her place in the quarterfinals, recording a 64 76(1) victory.

    The Sharapova was erratic throughout, squandering a 5-3 second set lead and coming within two points of being forced into a third set, before finally clinching the match on the tie-break. Nevertheless, as the 20-year-old Russian has not hit a ball in anger since her round of 16 defeat in Miami, she was understandably pleased to have got her clay court season off to a winning start.

    "I think considering that it was my first competitive match in 7-8 weeks and that I've just had one of the biggest injuries of my career, it wasn't too bad." Sharapova said. "She's a very good player who's had some big wins in her career, so it was a nice test for me."

    No.4 seed Williams produced an altogether more convincing display in her first round victory over experienced Belarusian Poutchek, requiring only 51 minutes to dispatch the 28-year-old and set up a second round meeting with Aravane Rezai. Williams has made a consistent start to the clay court season - reaching the semifinals and quarterfinals at Charleston and Warsaw respectively - and with Roland Garros less than a week away, the 26-year-old American appears to be running into form at just the right time. The world No.29 served magnificently throughout, failing to yield a single break point on her way to a commanding 61 62 victory.

    "I'm obviously hoping to do well at Roland Garros, but right now my full concentration is on this tournament," Williamscsaid. "Every year I hope is my year. I've had great success in my career, so I'm going to use this experience to have a lot more in the future."

    Patty Schnyder was another seed to have an easy day's work on Tuesday, racing into the second round with a 61 61 victory over Chan Yung-Jan. Such was the Swiss player's dominance, she allowed her 17-year-old opponent to win a mere 17 points in the whole match and completed her demolition job in just 46 minutes.

    "There aren't many times when you have an easy day like that, so I'll take it," Schnyder said. "I think she was coming from playing on hard court, while I've been on clay for many weeks now, I've definitely got a lot of confidence going into Roland Garros. I've had a good two weeks in Berlin and Rome, so I feel ready and I'm looking forward to going to Paris."

    In the second round Schnyder will come up against another teenager in the form of Vania King, who defeated local wildcard entrant Ipek Senoglu 63 75 in her first-round match. The young American started the match well, but despite taking the first set was never fully able to stamp her authority on proceedings and was made to battle right until to the end by her lower-ranked opponent.

    Monday also saw surprise first-round exits for No.6 seed Anna-Lena Groenefeld and No.8 Sania Mirza. Groenefeld has won only four matches this year and after losing the first set against Columbia's Catalina Castaņo, the 21-year-old German quickly slipped to her 10th defeat of the season. Castaņo's reward for her 76(3) 62 win is a second-round clash with Belorussia's Ekaterina Dzehalevich, who triumphed over fellow qualifier Anna Tatishvili, 63 75.

    Mirza, like Sharapova, is on the comeback trail, but since returning from a right knee ligament injury the Indian No.1 has failed to recapture the form that saw her reach two semifinals in the opening month of the season. Against Meghann Shaughnessy, the 20-year-old once again looked rusty and after dropping a closely contested first set, she fell away in the second to succumb to her second consecutive first-round defeat. Lying in wait for Shaughnessy in the next round is Russian qualifier Ekaterina Afinogenova, who won a gripping encounter with Germany's Sandra Kloesel, 63 57 63.

    The only other first-round match saw Latvian qualifier Anastasija Sevastova brush aside the challenge of Belarusian Anastasiya Yakimova, 61 63. Meeting the 17-year-old in the next round will be the in-form No.5 seed Alona Bondarenko, in what promises to be just one of several fascinating clashes scheduled to take place on Wednesday.

    In the doubles competition, top seeds Chan and Mirza got their title challenge off to the perfect start, overcoming the all-Romanian duo of Sorana Cirstea and Agnes Szatmari, 63 61. Their quarterfinal opponents will be the German-Greek partnership of Kloesel and Anna Koumantou, after they edged out Stella Menna and Kateryna Polunina 46 64 108 in a thrilling opening-round tussle.

    On the other side of the draw an intriguing family versus family encounter was scheduled last out on Court 1, as the Bondarenko sisters Alona and Kateryna were pitted against Agnieszka and Urszula Radwanska. The first set certainly did not disappoint, with the two families serving up some wonderful tennis. However, after dropping the opening set the Bondarenkos appeared to run out of steam and succumbed to their younger opponents 64 61, in little more than an hour.

    The only other team to advance on Monday was the Australian duo of Casey Dellacqua and Christina Horiatopoulos, who benefited from the withdrawal of No.2 seeds King and Jelena Kostanic Tosic because of a strain in the American's lower back. (WTA)


    Sharapova makes successful comeback in Istanbul

    ISTANBUL: Russian top seed Maria Sharapova advanced to the quarter-finals of the WTA Istanbul tournament, defeating Tsvetana Pironkova of Bulgaria in straight sets on Tuesday in her first match after nearly two months out through injury.

    But it was clear Sharapova, ranked number two in the world, was not yet in top form after a shoulder injury that has kept her away from the courts since March. “It was a difficult match and I was not expecting much from myself because I just came back from one of my worst injuries. But it was good to beat a good player,” said Sharapova. The 20-year-old won the first set 6-4 as she attacked with ruthless well-placed shots and the unseeded Pirankova tried to hold on with some good returns. Sharapova began the second and final set well, gaining a 5-2 advantage over her rival, but Pironkova fought back to equalize at 6-6, only to lose 7-6 after a tie-breaker which the Russian won 7-1.

    “I, of course, did not feel 100 percent. It was not my best performance,” Sharapova said. “But I hope I will get better as I play more games...And I hope I will stay healthy.” In the quarter-finals, she will face the winner of the second round clash between Romina Oprandi of Italy and seventh-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska of Poland. Sharapova last played in March when she was thrashed 6-1, 6-1 in the Miami quarter-finals by Serena Williams. afp

     

    Sharapova and Dolce Vamp for Canon



    NEW YORK—Canon will break two spots with tennis star Maria Sharapova tonight to support the PowerShot SD750 Digital ELPH camera.

    The spots, “Banter” and “Dolce,” are part of a larger campaign that also includes print, Internet and live activation at the French Open. Dentsu America, New York, is the lead agency. The spots were directed by Joe Pytka.

    The two spots follow Sharapova as she attempts to take photos of her Pomeranian dog, Dolce, including chasing the pooch around a tennis court, her house and her pool. The spots will break separately during 24, American Idol and on the MTV Music Awards. They will air together during the NBA Finals and other cable shows. Print will hit newsstands in early June in publications including Entertainment Weekly, People and Wired.

    “This campaign shows a fun side of Maria and showcases how much she enjoys using her Canon PowerShot digital camera to capture all her favorite moments,” Mike Wilson, chief creative officer at Dentsu America, said in a statement.

    Canon USA, Lake Success, N.Y., spends about $25 million on media behind PowerShot, per TNS. The company is in the third year of a three-year, $6 million deal it signed with Sharapova in 2004. Max Eisenbud at IMG, Cleveland, is Sharapova’s agent.

    Pironkova advances to play Sharapova

    ISTANBUL, Turkey- Tsvetana Pironkova defeated Olga Govortsova 6-4, 2-6, 6-2 Monday to set up a second-round match against top-seeded Maria Sharapova in the Istanbul Cup.

    Sharapova had a bye in the first round of the clay-court tournament that also features Venus Williams, who is seeded fourth and is scheduled to face Tatiana Putchek in the first round.

    Second-seeded Elena Dementieva also had a bye and will play Jelena Kostanic Tosic, who defeated Yaroslava Shvedova 2-6, 6-3, 6-4 in the first round.

    Fifth-seeded Alona Bondarenko dropped only one game in defeating Pemra Ozgen of Turkey 6-1, 6-0, while seventh-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska defeated Ekaterina Bychkova 7-5, 7-5.

    Sharapova to introduce the diamond racket

    Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova has arrived in Istanbul two days ago. Sharapova will introduce a Turkish hand made diamond racket in Topkapı Palace tomorrow. 
     
    "Tennis is my whole life"
     
    90 % of her income she earns from different organizations other than tennis. "Without tennis you wouldn't have met the Maria in fashion magazines," says Sharapova.

    SABAH interviewed with Maria Sharapova; Sony Ericsson WTA Tour 2007 participant. Sharapova, who owns a personal website which she updates everyday told SABAH reporter that creating a website had helped her inform her fans with correct information about her personal and professional life.
    "Reading my website help my fans better understand me since the only place they see me is the tennis courts," said Sharapova. "With the help of online technology, I am now able to show them what real Maria does in her everyday life, what she wears other than sportswear," she added.

    "My life is not something secret. I enjoy what normal people would enjoy other than playing tennis."
    Sharapova will introduce a hand made diamond tennis racket at Topkapı Palace today. The racket valued $ 250 thousand will be given to a woman player who wins the tournament three times in a row.

    Maria Sharapova in İstanbul for WTA tournament

     

    World famous Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova arrived in İstanbul on Thursday to participate in the Sony Ericsson WTA İstanbul Cup 2007 International tennis tournament.

    Organizers said that Sharapova's father arrived in İstanbul on Wednesday, but the reigning US Open champion landed at the Atatürk Airport at 11:30 a.m. Tennis star Venus Williams of the US and Elena Dementieva of Russia will also be participating in the event. The qualifying matches will take place between May 19-20 in the tournament, where the real competition is set to take place between May 21-26 at the Tekstilkent Arena.

        Sharapova won the prestigious Wimbledon tennis tournament in 2004. Six feet tall, muscular and blonde, she turned pro in 2001 -- at the young age of 14. The tennis prodigy and her father had moved to Florida from Russia when she was nine so that Sharapova could study at Nick Bollettieri's tennis academy. Sharapova steadily worked her way up through the pro ranks, claiming her first WTA victory at the 2003 AIG Japan Open. In the meantime, she took occasional modeling jobs, earning comparisons to Anna Kournikova. In 2004 Sharapova stunned the tennis world by defeating defending champion Serena Williams in the singles finals at Wimbledon to win the prestigious tournament at age 17. In 2006 she beat Justine Henin-Hardenne to win the US Open.

    Maria Sharapova set to promote 2014 Sochi Olympics bid internationally

    World's tennis star from Russia Maria Sharapova has set to promote internationally Olympics candidate city of Sochi as key ambassador for Russia's bid.

    Russia's Black Sea resort city of Sochi has been short-listed as a candidate city to host the 2014 Olympic Winter Games, along with Austria's Salzburg and South Korea's PyeongChang.

    "I want people to learn about Sochi as much as possible," Sharapova said in an interview with Russia Today TV Channel. "In the nearest future I will go on a world tour to tell everyone about the wonderful city of Sochi. I am proud of my city."

    Sharapova, the holder of two Grand Slam titles and former world's No 1, was born in Siberia in 1987 and two years later her family moved to Sochi, where she lived and practiced tennis for the next five years.

    "I had to leave Sochi due to my career as there were no places for [tennis] practices during winter," she added.

    Sochi previously bid for the 1998 and 2002 Winter Olympics, but was rejected largely due to its poor-quality Soviet-era infrastructure. The winner of the bid will be announced in July 2007 in Guatemala City. - RIA Novosti

    Shoulder woe for Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from next week`s Italian Open because of a right shoulder injury.

    The 20-year-old Russian, who also missed the event last year with a foot problem, has not played since competing in Miami in March.

    The world number two told her official website, www.mariasharapova.com: "I am going to have to pull out of Rome. My body is slowly getting better, but in no way will I be ready to play in Rome."

    She added: "It is such a shame because I like playing in Rome and I have to pull out two years in a row.

    "I just want to let my fans know that I am doing everything possible to be ready to play the French Open [beginning May 28]."

    World number one Justine Henin did not enter the Italian Open, leaving Frenchwoman Amelie Mauresmo as the top-ranked player for next week`s competition.

    Keeping her priorities straight

    Maria Sharapova has become an international icon at the tender age of 20, but what she wants most right now is to be healthy and get back to the sport she loves. I caught up with her this week at the Home Depot Center in Carson, Calif., where she was practicing with her coach, Michael Joyce, and her father, Yuri.

    "This is the second year in a row I am missing most of the clay court season," she said, "and it is so frustrating not being able to get the matches I need heading into a Grand Slam. But right now I am just taking it one day at a time and my priority is to just get healthy."

    Maria is battling a nagging injury to her right shoulder, which has bothered her since the beginning of the year. It has affected not only her serve, but also her patience. In talking to Maria, it is apparent how much she loves competing and how much she misses the tension-filled atmosphere that surrounds every match she plays. In stark contrast to many of her starlet predecessors, Maria craves the satisfaction of victory on the court more then adulation off it.

    That's not to say Maria doesn't enjoy the incredible access and opportunity that her status allows her. She has a keen eye for fashion and enjoys the process of collaborating with Nike, the clothing sponsor on her always-evolving line of dresses. She is personally responsible for bringing Nike from the sports pages to the fashion magazines.

    "It all started with the black dress I wore during the U.S. Open last year [which she won incidentally]. I helped design that and everyone loved it, so I have continued to work with the Nike designers, and I enjoy it so much."

    Maria isn't the type of person who dreams small or lacks belief in herself, and rightfully so. She is the first female tennis player to successfully transcend the athletic world for that of the fashion world. She was recently the first female athlete on the cover of Teen Vogue, and who could forget her spread in last year's Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Edition. She was recently featured in a 10-page spread in the March edition of Vogue and was named one of the "10 Best Dressed New Faces" by the magazine.

    She designed the best-selling pink tennis bag for her tennis racket sponsor, Prince, and the new edition of her bag will be debuting soon, as will her new Canon commercial. She also has a successful perfume bearing her name, which she helped create. So you get the picture: This is one busy 20-year-old. She isn't just a tennis player; she is a walking, talking, tennis ball-pounding corporation.

    Aside from that, however, she personally updates her Web site, answers fans questions and entertains her supporters with insightful and humorous information. Among the info, her "Dream Mixed Doubles Partner" (John McEnroe, so she would have someone to yell at the umpires with!), "Favorite Spa" (Four Seasons Costa Rica), "Favorite place she wants to go but hasn't been"(Maldives) and "Favorite Movie" (Something's Gotta Give)."

    Maria's "Weekly Doodles" give her fans access and insight into her life, which sometimes is as simple as practicing and sometimes as spectacular as shooting commercials or attending fashion shows. Suffice to say, she makes the extra effort to let people into her life, giving them the opportunity to know her on and off court.

    However what Maria wants everyone to know the most is that, "Tennis is my priority. I am very aware that I get to do a lot of other fun and exciting things because of my tennis, but it is tennis that I love the most, and I will never lose sight of that."

    And that is exactly what her fans want to hear. Get healthy soon, Maria. Hope to see you in Paris.

    Sharapova doubtful for French Open


     

    Maria Sharapova is a major doubt for the French Open which begins at Roland Garros later this month after announcing her withdrawal from next week's Italian Open through a niggling shoulder injury.

    World No 2 Sharapova, who missed this week's Qatar Telecom German Open here in Berlin because of the problem sustained in Miami in March, promised to do all she could to make the Paris line-up but the odds are clearly against her after two months' inactivity.

    The 2004 Wimbledon champion and current US Open title holder said: "I just want my fans to know that I am doing everything possible to play at the French Open. My body is slowly getting better but there is no way I will be ready to play in Rome."

    advertisement

    Sharapova, 20, has played in only four tournaments this year, reaching the final of the Australian Open in which she was thrashed by Serena Williams, another of the three big names missing here along with Kim Clijsters who announced her retirement last weekend.

    Martina Hingis, who came out of retirement 18 months ago, yesterday became the fourth woman to break through the $20 million prize money barrier after a stuttering start to her challenge to win a second Berlin title.

    The Swiss would by now have surpassed the all-time record holder Steffi Graf, whose on-court earnings were a staggering $21,895,277, but for being forced off court for three years because of lingering foot problems.

    Hingis, still only 26, maintains that she still has the ability to rule the world again, but her form in her second year back on tour suggests that she will fall short in her quest to win a sixth grand slam title eight years after her fifth. Her laboured 7-5, 7-6 victory over Ukrainian Kateryna Bondarenko was only her sixth in her last five tournaments and that could easily have been denied her by an opponent ranked 67 in the world. Bondarenko held three set points to draw level and Hingis admitted that she did not feel too optimistic about going into a decider.

    Hingis, who has been undergoing treatment for a variety of ailments lately, reflected: "Any victory is worthwhile, although I was feeling a bit tired out there and did not want a third set. But I am here to fight another day."

    That will be this afternoon's testing third-round match against her compatriot Patty Schnyder, the 15th seed, who might have had greater reason to complain about fatigue after resuming her first-round match yesterday lunchtime after being rained off on Tuesday and then returning for her second-round engagement a couple of hours later.

    She required less than an hour's playing time, however, to see off Italy's Roberta Vinci and Virginia Ruano Pascual, of Spain. Daniela Hantuchova, meanwhile, lost to Czech qualifier Zuzana Ondraskova.

    Maria Sharapova wants to take shot at designing!

    London, May 3 (ANI): Wimbledon winner Maria Sharapova has a secret dream, which is not winning all the four Grand Slams, but to try her hand at designing clothes.

    The 20-year-old Russian Tennis star said that she wants to launch her own apparel line.

    “My dream is to have my own clothing line,” the Daily Express quoted her, as saying.


    Maria Sharapova
    Š AFP/File

    However, the robust sportswoman doesn't support the size 0 trend.

    Sharapova said that when she attended LA fashion shows, she was shocked to see emaciated models who looked like they were going to ‘break’.

    “I never realized the super-skinny thing was a reality until I started going to fashion shows in LA. I see the girls step onto the runway and think, 'Poor things!' They look as if they're about to break,” she added. (ANI)

    Born: 19/4/87
    Nationality: Russian
    Seeded: 2
    World ranking: 2
    Wimbledon best:
    Champion (2004)
    Recent record:
    2004:
    Champion
    2003: 4th round
    2002: N/A

    _42902801_sha2_ap_203.jpg

    Sharapova withdraws from Italian Open

    ROME (AP) -Maria Sharapova has withdrawn from the Italian Open due to a right shoulder injury.

    The second-ranked Russian hasn't played since losing to Serena Williams in the fourth round of the Sony Ericsson Open in Miami in March. She also pulled out of Rome last year with a foot problem.

    Organizers made the announcement Wednesday, five days before the tournament is scheduled to start. Top-ranked Justine Henin did not enter, leaving No. 3 Amelie Mauresmo as the top player. Mauresmo is a two-time Rome champion and a five-time finalist.

    Seventh-ranked Martina Hingis is expected to defend her title