Maria Sharapova – 10 facts you didn’t know
She may be currently ranked at number 30 in the world, but Maria Sharapova is well on her way to recovery from the shoulder injury that kept her out for so long.
The 22-year-old reached her first final since April 2008 at the Rogers Cup in Toronto last week and will be hoping to continue a rise up the rankings at Flushing meadows on Monday.
Here are some facts about the former world number one that you may not know.
10. Despite being out of action for much of 2009 with a shoulder injury, she is still the top earner in female sports with an estimated $22 million this year.
9. During the week ending July 3, 2004 (the year she won Wimbledon), Maria was number 11 on the list of most popular internet searches. She fell directly behind Spider-Man 2.
8. She enjoys reading books in the Sherlock Holmes and Pippi Longstocking series.
7. When training as a young child, Sharapova was close to becoming a left-handed player because of her ambidexterity.
6. She started hitting tennis balls at the age of four and participated in an exhibition event in Moscow featuring Martina Navratilova aged just six.
5. She turned professional on her 14th birthday and had already signed her first deal with Nike back in June 1997 when she was just 11.
4. In 1986, the year before she was born, her parents fled their home in Gomel after the Chernobyl disaster.
3. Her lengthy list of sponsors includes Canon, Land Rover, Cole Haan, Nike, Parlux, Prince Sports, Tiffany & Co, Sony Ericsson and TAG Heuer.
2. Her loudest grunt during a match was measured at 101.2 decibels (louder than a motorcycle or a lawnmower) on 21 June 2005 at Wimbledon.
1. She will be the 29th seed at the 2009 US Open – it will be only the second event in which she has been seeded this year.