Mountain View


On March 7, 2016, Sharapova revealed that she had failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open, which she described as the result of an oversight.[186] Sharapova admitted to testing positive for meldonium, an anti-ischemic drug usually prescribed for heart conditions that was added to the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA)’s banned substances list on January 1, 2016.[187] Sharapova was provisionally suspended by the International Tennis Federation (ITF) from playing tennis effective from March 12, 2016. She later released a statement regarding the test and explaining her use of the medicine:

I received a letter from the ITF that I failed a drugs test at the Australian Open. I take full responsibility for it. For the past ten years I have been given a medicine called mildronate by my family doctor and a few days ago after I received the ITF letter I found out that it also has another name of meldonium which I did not know. It is very important for you to understand that for ten years this medicine was not on WADA’s banned list and I had legally been taking the medicine for the past ten years. But on January 1st the rules had changed and meldonium became a prohibited substance which I had not known. I was given this medicine by my doctor for several health issues that I was having in 2006.[188]

Meldonium is not approved for use in the United States, Sharapova’s country of residence;[189] however, it is legal to use in Russia, the country that Sharapova represents in tennis.[190] The drug’s inventor Ivars Kalvi said that he did not think taking it should be construed as “doping”,[189] but he also said that it “is very popular among athletes” and was used by the Soviet military for “optimizing the use of oxygen” and that it “allows athletes to train under maximum strain”.[189]Don Catlin, a long-time anti-doping expert and the scientific director of the Banned Substances Control Group (BSCG) stated that “There’s really no evidence that there’s any performance enhancement from meldonium – Zero percent.”[191][192]

Sharapova said that she had been taking the drug to treat magnesium deficiency, an irregular EKG and family history of diabetes,[193] and indicated that she had not read an email informing her that meldonium had been banned for use in tennis. Meldonium’s addition was outlined on a WADA and United States Anti-Doping Agency summary document[194][195] and it has been reported that all tennis players were warned five times that it was due to be banned.[196] On March 11, 2016, Sharapova denied reports about the five missed warnings via Facebook:

That’s a distortion of the actual “communications” which were provided or simply posted onto a webpage. I make no excuses for not knowing about the ban. The other “communications”? They were buried in newsletters, websites, or handouts (many of them technical, in small print). I didn’t take the medicine every day. I took it the way my doctor recommended I take it and I took it in the low doses recommended. I’m proud of how I have played the game. I have been honest and upfront. I won’t pretend to be injured so I can hide the truth about my testing.[197][198]

Most fellow tennis players reacted to Sharapova’s announcement with little support or sympathy.[199][200]John McEnroe and Pat Cash said they found it hard to believe her.[201][202]Jennifer Capriati posted on Twitter that she should be stripped of her 35 professional titles.[203]Chris Evert expressed her surprise at the lack of support in tennis for Sharapova, noting that she ” always isolated herself from the rest of the tennis world, from the players”.[204]Serena Williams expressed surprise at Sharapova’s announcement but commended her for being “upfront with what she had done”.[205]Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Andy Murray all publicly condemned Sharapova and argued that she deserved to be punished on the basis that she failed the doping test,[206][207] with Murray adding that “Taking a drug you don’t necessarily need because it’s legal is wrong”[208] and Federer stating that “Whether it’s intentional or not, I don’t see too much difference. You must be 100 percent about what you are taking”.[209] Sharapova’s case prompted Federer to urge the tennis federation to conduct more anti-doping tests.[210]Novak Djokovic said that he felt sorry for her, but that she must still be ready for punishment.[211] The Russian Tennis Federation strongly defended Sharapova, describing the positive drug test as “nonsense” and adding that they expected Sharapova to be available for the 2016 Summer Olympics.[212][213]

As a result of the failed drug test, Nike and TAG Heuer suspended their relationships with Sharapova, while Porsche postponed promotional work.[214][215] Racquet manufacturer HEAD stood by Sharapova, saying, “We look forward to working with her”, and announced that they intended to extend their contract.[216] They also suggested that WADA should prove scientifically why the drug should be banned.[217] The United Nations Development Programme suspended Sharapova from her role as a goodwill ambassador on March 16, while expressing thanks for her support of their work over the previous nine years.[218]

On April 12, WADA intimated that athletes who tested positive for meldonium before March 1 could avoid bans, but the International Tennis Federation said that Sharapova’s case would proceed.[219] On June 8, the ITF announced that Sharapova would be suspended for two years. Sharapova indicated she would appeal the ban.[220]

Following a hearing on 7 and 8 September 2016, the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) panel found that Sharapova had a reduced perception of the risk that she took while using Mildronate, because (a) she had used Mildronate for around ten years without any anti-doping issue, (b) she had consulted the Russian doctor who prescribed the Mildronate for medical reasons, not to enhance her performance, and (c) she had received no specific warning about the change in status of meldonium from WADA, the ITF, or the WTA.[221][222] However, the CAS panel also noted Sharapova’s failure to disclose her use of meldonium on her doping control forms and that she was at fault for (a) failing to give her agent adequate instructions as to how to carry out the important task of checking the Prohibited List, and (b) failing to supervise and control the actions of her agent in carrying out that task (specifically the lack of any procedure for reporting or follow-up verification to make sure that her agent had actually discharged his duty).[223]

On October 4, the CAS reduced the sanction imposed on Sharapova by an Independent Tribunal from 24 months to 15 months.[14] CAS has released a statement on its official website stating:[15]

Ms. Sharapova committed an anti-doping rule violation and that while it was with “no significant fault”, she bore some degree of fault, for which a sanction of 15 months is appropriate.

Fed Cup participation

Sharapova has lived in the United States since moving there at the age of seven, but retains her Russian citizenship, and is therefore eligible to play in the Fed Cup for Russia.[224] However, the behavior of Sharapova’s father during her matches on the WTA Tour, combined with a perceived lack of commitment by her to the Fed Cup, has made her selection for the Russian Fed Cup team controversial in the past.

After Sharapova had beaten fellow Russian Anastasia Myskina at the 2004 WTA Tour Championships, Myskina criticized Sharapova’s father, saying: “He was just yelling and screaming instructions to her and I thought he just might jump right on the court at one point in the match.” At the Fed Cup semifinals two weeks later, Myskina stated she would stop playing for Russia if Sharapova joined the Russian team the following season: “If she joins our team next season you won’t see me there for sure. His behaviour is totally incorrect, simply rude. I don’t want to be around people like him.” Larisa Neiland, assistant to Russia Fed Cup captain Shamil Tarpishchev, added: “Her father’s behaviour (at the WTA Tour Championships) was simply outrageous. I just don’t see how he could work with the rest of us.” However, Tarpishchev himself played down the problem, insisting: “I feel that things will calm down soon and we’ll have Myskina, Sharapova, Kuznetsova and everyone else playing for Russia.”[225]

At the end of 2005, Sharapova stated she was now keen to make her Fed Cup debut[226] and was set to play against Belgium in April 2006, but withdrew.[227]She later withdrew from ties against Spain in April 2007[228] and against the United States in July 2007 because of injuries.[229] The latter withdrawal led to Russia’s captain saying she would be “ineligible for selection” for the Fed Cup final in September.[230] However, Sharapova attended the final, cheering from the sidelines and acting as a “hitting partner” in practices, resulting in some of her Russian teammates implying that she was attending only to enable her to play at the 2008 Beijing Olympics (rules state that players must have “shown commitment” to Fed Cup in order to play). Svetlana Kuznetsova said, “She said she wanted to be our practice partner but if you can’t play how then can you practice?”[231]

Sharapova finally made her Fed Cup debut in February 2008, in Russia’s quarterfinal tie against Israel.[232] She won both her singles rubbers, against Tzipora Obziler and Shahar Pe’er, helping Russia to a 4-1 victory.[233] For the semifinals, she was given permission to skip the tie, with Tarpishchev announcing that she will be on the team for the final.[234] However, the date of the final coincided with the lay-off from her shoulder injury, and thus she did not play.[234]

In the 2011 first-round tie, Sharapova played Virginie Razzano of France and lost. Sharapova was supposed to play Aliz Cornet but she was suffering from a viral illness.[235] Teammate Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova played and defeated Cornet to secure the 3-2 win for Russia against France. Sharapova continued to participate in 2012 and helped Russia to a 3-2 win against Spain in the first-round tie. Sharapova defeated Silvia Soler Espinosa in the first rubber, but was unable to play her second rubber due to illness.[236] In 2015, Sharapova helped Russia earn a place in the semifinals after beating Pole Urszula Radwaska in the first tie and her sister Agnieszka Radwaska in the second tie. Sharapova was scheduled to play the semi-final against Germany, however, she withdrew days before the competition. She then joined the team for the final against Czech Republic and won both of her matches, against Petra Kvitov and Karolna Plkov. Despite the 2 wins by Sharapova, Russia still lost 3-2 after losing the decisive doubles rubber.

Playing style

Sharapova is an aggressive baseliner with power, depth, and angles on her forehand and backhand.[237] She is one of the few players on the WTA tour who often use the reverse forehand. Instead of using a traditional volley or overhead smash, she prefers to hit a powerful “swinging” volley when approaching the net or attacking lobs.[238] Sharapova is thought to have good speed around the court, especially considering her height.[237] At the beginning of 2008, some observers noted that Sharapova had developed her game, showing improved movement and footwork and the addition of a drop shot and sliced backhand to her repertoire of shots.[239][240] Despite her powerful game, Sharapova’s greatest asset is considered to be her mental toughness and competitive spirit, with Nick Bollettieri stating that she is “tough as nails”. Hall-of-famer John McEnroe said of Sharapova, “she’s one of the best competitors in the history of the sport.”[241]

Sharapova is known for on-court “grunting“, which reached a recorded 101 decibels during a match at Wimbledon in 2005.[242] During her second round match in Birmingham in 2003, Sharapova was asked to tone down the level of her grunt after opponent Nathalie Dechy complained to the umpire, with Sharapova’s response saying that her grunting was “a natural instinct.”[243]Monica Seles suggested that grunting is involuntary and a part of tennis.[244] When questioned by the media about her grunting, Sharapova urged the media to “just watch the match.”[245] Her defensive game has been worked on by her new coach, and this has reflected in her results, making consecutive semi-finals at premier mandatory events on the tour. Later in her career, Sharapova also added drop shots to her repertoire, making for a more unpredictable game style.


Sharapova at The Championships, Wimbledon in 2009.

Early in her career, Sharapova’s first and second serves were regarded as powerful,[237] and she was believed to possess one of the best deliveries on the Tour.[246] Since the beginning of 2007, however, problems with her shoulder have reduced the effectiveness of her serve.[246] The shoulder injury resulted in not only her inconsistent first serves, but also her hitting high numbers of double faults.[247] Two-time US Open singles champion Tracy Austin believes that Sharapova often loses confidence in the rest of her game when she experiences problems with her serve and consequently produces more unforced errors and generally plays more tentatively,[248] while tennis writer Joel Drucker remarked that her serve was the “catalyst for her entire game”, and that her struggles with it left her “unmasked.”[246]

In her return from layoff in 2008 to 2009, she used an abbreviated motion, which was somewhat less powerful, and though producing aces, also gave a very high number of double faults. After her early loss at the 2009 US Open, Sharapova returned to a more elongated motion, similar to her pre-surgery serve. She has since been able to produce speeds greater than before, including a 121-mph serve hit at the Birmingham tournament in 2010 – the fastest serve of her career.[249]

However, since her shoulder operation Sharapova has been unable to control her serve. This has led to numerous faults, as she is unable to feel how much power she is generating.[250] The new action led to an elbow injury, and, although under Thomas Hgstedt it has improved, it can still be erratic.[251] This improvement in serving can be seen in the 2013 Australian Open and following tournaments where Maria Sharapova committed fewer double faults than in previous years.


Because she predicates her game on power, Sharapova’s preferred surfaces early in her career were the fast-playing hard and grass courts, as evident through her 25 victories on hard court and grass court.[citation needed] This was most notable when she won the 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 U.S. Open and 2008 Australian Open crowns, where she had her career breakthrough and played her peak tennis level, respectively.[citation needed]

Sharapova initially was not as well-suited to the slower clay courts as she is on hard and grass courts. Sharapova admitted in 2007 that she was not as comfortable with her movement on clay compared with other court surfaces and once described herself as like a “cow on ice” after a match on clay,[252] due to her inability to slide. Later in her career, she showed improvement on this surface with respect to experience, as evidenced with her first WTA red-clay title at the 2010 Internationaux de Strasbourg, 7 years since playing on the WTA circuit. She won her first French Open title and captured the career grand slam at the 2012 French Open and as of 2014, led the WTA tour of active players with the highest winning percentage on clay, with an 84.25% winning rate.[253] Since her shoulder injury, her best surface has become clay over grass & hard courts, and with her victory at the 2014 French Open, she has now won the French Open twice, which is more times than she has won any other slam, and three out of her four last Grand Slam Finals have all been at the French Open (3 consecutive finals from 2012-2014).


Sharapova has had multiple coaches throughout her career including: Robert Lansdorp,[254][255] Yuri Sharapov,[256]Michael Joyce from 2004-11,[257]Jimmy Connors in 2013,[258] and Sven Groeneveld 2013-18.[259]Thomas Hgstedt from 2011-13, 2018-19.[260]

Personal life


In 2011, Sharapova was engaged to Slovenian professional basketball player Sasha Vujai,[261][262] with whom she had been in a relationship since 2009.[263] On August 31, 2012, Sharapova confirmed that the pair had ended the engagement and separated earlier that year.[citation needed]

Public profile

Sharapova has lived in the United States since moving there at the age of seven. Besides a home in Bradenton, Florida, she also has a residence in Manhattan Beach, California.[264]From 2005 to 2011, Sharapova was named to the Forbes Celebrity 100, which attempts to compile the top 100 most powerful celebrities of that year.[265]Sharapova has made varying remarks on how long she intends to maintain her tennis career. Following the retirement of 25-year-old Justine Henin in 2008, Sharapova said, “If I 25, and I’d won so many Grand Slams, I’d quit too.”[266] In an interview after the 2008 Australian Open, she balked at the idea of playing for another ten years, saying that she hoped to have a “nice husband and a few kids” by then.[267] However, in an interview before her 2012 Australian Open semifinal, Sharapova changed her stance, saying she intended to continue playing tennis for as long as she enjoyed playing the game. Sharapova stated, “I’m sure when I was 17 years old and someone said, you’ll be playing for another eight years, it would be like, you’re not going to see me at a press conference at 25 years old. But years go on. I missed a year in my careerI didn’t play that year. I’ve said this, just before the tournament, a few weeks before, I woke up, and I was just so happy to be going back on the court. I felt so fresh, full of energy, just with a really good perspective. Times change, obviously. I see myself playing this sport for many more years because it’s something that gives me the most pleasure in my life. I think it helps when you know you’re good at something, and you can always improve it. It obviously helps with the encouragement.”[268]


Although a United States resident since 1994, Sharapova still prefers Russian citizenship. Sharapova has stated the reason she prefers to keep Russian citizenship is because “it is about the family environment, it is about the rich culture. Just life experiences that I look back to and I know that for so many years I was shaped into the individual I was from those experiences. And not necessarily simply the country, but the people, the mentality and the toughness and that never giving up attitude”.[269]

Charity work

The Maria Sharapova Foundation is committed to helping children around the world achieve their dreams. Sharapova has donated $100,000 to Chernobyl-related projects. In partnership with the UNDP, she launched a $210,000 scholarship program for students from Chernobyl-affected areas of Belarus that will award five-year scholarships to 12 students at the Belarusian State Academy of Arts and the Belarusian State University.[270] At the 2004 US Open, Sharapova, along with several other Russian female tennis players, wore a black ribbon in observance of the tragedy after the Beslan school hostage crisis, which took place only days before.[271] In 2005, she donated around US$50,000 to those affected by the crisis.[45] On February 14, 2007, Sharapova was appointed a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and donated US$210,000 to UNDP Chernobyl-recovery projects. She stated at the time that she was planning to travel back to the area after Wimbledon in 2008,[272] though it didn’t happen since she had to travel back to the US because of her shoulder injury.[273] She fulfilled the trip in late June/early July 2010. Sharapova has helped to promote the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia,[274] and was the first torch bearer in the torch-lighting ceremony during the opening festivities. In addition, with Angela Haynes, Maria Kirilenko, Nicole Vaidiov, Rennae Stubbs, Governor Jeb Bush, and Jennifer Capriati, Sharapova participated in an exhibition in Tampa in December 2004, raising money for the Florida Hurricane Relief Fund.[275] In July 2008, Sharapova sent a message on DVD to the memorial service of cancer victim Emily Bailes, who had performed the coin toss ahead of the 2004 Wimbledon final that Sharapova had gone on to win.[276]


Sharapova’s autobiography, Unstoppable: My Life So Far was published on September 12, 2017, by Sarah Crichton Books.[277]


Sharapova at official unveiling of her Canon PowerShot Diamond lineup

Sharapova’s tennis success and appearance have enabled her to secure commercial endorsements that greatly exceed the value of her tournament winnings.[278][279] In March 2006, Forbes magazine listed her as the highest-paid female athlete in the world, with annual earnings of over US$18 million,[280] the majority of which was from endorsements and sponsorships. She topped that list every year until 2016, even after her 2007 shoulder injury.[281][282][283] In 2011, Forbes listed Sharapova as No. 29 in their list of 50 top-paid athletes, the only woman on the list.[284] In 2012, she was listed as No. 15, and was joined in the top 20 by Li Na at No. 16 and Serena Williams at No. 17.[285] In April 2005, People named her one of the 50 most beautiful celebrities in the world.[286] In 2006, Maxim ranked Sharapova the hottest athlete in the world for the fourth consecutive year. She posed in a six-page bikini photoshoot spread in the 2006 Valentine’s Day issue of the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue, alongside 25 supermodels.[287] In a poll run by Britain’s FHM magazine, she was voted the seventh most eligible bachelorette,[288] based on both “wealth and looks.”

Immediately after her win at the 2004 Wimbledon Championship, mobile phone company Motorola signed Sharapova to endorse their mobile phone line.[289] Additionally, she appeared in commercials for Land Rover and Canon, as well as approved of namesake items by watch brand Tag Heuer and jeweller Tiffany.[289] Tiffany also provides Sharapova with earrings from the “Tiffany for Maria Sharapova” collection at the four major events, that are also retailed globally.[290] She also starred in an award-winning campaign for the sports clothing brand Nike, “Pretty“, in the summer of 2006. She signed a sponsorship deal in January 2007 with Gatorade and Tropicana,[291] which ended in 2009.[292] In 2007, Sharapova was featured in a number of Canon USA’s commercials for the PowerShot.[293] Sharapova has also been depicted in many tennis-related video games. Some of the titles include the Top Spin series, Virtua Tennis series, and Grand Slam Tennis series. During the layoff due to her shoulder surgery, sensing the fleeting nature of a professional athlete’s career, Sharapova decided to focus on developing her name as a brand, beginning with meeting with her sponsors more extensively to further her brand.[289] 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.[294]

Following in the footsteps of tennis players who started clothing lines such as Fred Perry and Ren Lacoste, Sharapova launched her own tennis apparel line, the “Nike Maria Sharapova Collection”, in 2010. The collection includes dresses that she designed for all the major tournaments, in collaboration with Nike and Cole Haan.[295] She had previously found that the outfits given to her by Nike did not suit her frame and were worn by too many other players.[289] She comes up with design ideas and sketches in a process that begins 18 months before the event[295] and receives royalties from the sale of the collection, of which the corresponding dresses are coordinated to be available simultaneously with the corresponding major tournament.[289] The collection is worn by other WTA players, including Sofia Arvidsson, Eugenie Bouchard, Kai-Chen Chang, Andrea Hlavkov, Madison Keys, Anastasia Pivovarova as well as junior players such as Indy de Vroome.[295] Sharapova had earlier collaborated with Nike on the “little black dress” that she wore for her night matches at the 2006 US Open.[289] The dress featured a round crystal studded collar and was inspired by Audrey Hepburn.[289] The dress was well publicized and received but was not mass-produced.[289][295][296] Additionally, she designs shoes and handbags for Cole Haan, for which her signature ballerina flats are one of the biggest sellers of the entire brand.[289]

Sharapova used the Prince Triple Threat Hornet for part of 2003 and then used several different Prince racquets until the US Open. She gave the racquet she used in the 2004 Wimbledon final to Regis Philbin when taping Live with Regis and Kelly. Sharapova began using the Prince Shark OS at that tournament specially designed for her.[297] She then switched to the Prince O3 White racquet in January 2006. She switched to the Prince O3 Speedport Black in July 2008.[298] After being with Prince for ten years,[299] Sharapova began endorsing Head racquets in 2011 and uses the Head YOUTEK IG Instinct.[300][301] Sharapova signed a three-year deal to be brand ambassador for Porsche in 2013.[302]


Sugarpova[303] is a candy line created by Maria Sharapova and candy veteran Jeff Rubin, founder of international retailer IT’SUGAR.[304][305] According to the Sugarpova website, “Sugarpova is a premium candy line that reflects the fun, fashionable, sweet side of international tennis sensation Maria Sharapova.”[306] A portion of all proceeds goes to the Maria Sharapova Foundation, Sharapova’s charity.[306] Sugarpova was launched worldwide in 2013. In February 2016, Sugarpova announced that it had partnered with Polish company Baron Chocolatier[307] to make Sugarpova Premium Chocolates.[308] Sugarpova also plans to extend its range to lifestyle products.[309]

Sharapova considered changing her name to Sugarpova for the duration of the 2013 US Open.

Career statistics

Grand Slam tournament performance timeline

KeyW SFQF#RRRQ#ANHul{list-style-type:none;margin-left:0}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>ul>li,.mw-parser-output .refbegin-hanging-indents>dl>dd{margin-left:0;padding-left:3.2em;text-indent:-3.2em;list-style:none}.mw-parser-output .refbegin-100{font-size:100%}]]>Tournament200320042005200620072008200920102011201220132014201520162017201820192020SRW-LWin %; background:#efefef”>Win-Loss4-415-319-420-316-411-27-38-416-421-312-316-314-34-13-18-43-30-1;” class=”unsortable”>ScoreWin2004WimbledonGrassUnited States Serena Williams6-1, 6-4Win2006US OpenHardBelgium Justine Henin6-4, 6-4Loss2007Australian OpenHardUnited States Serena Williams1-6, 2-6Win2008Australian OpenHardSerbia Ana Ivanovic7-5, 6-3Loss2011WimbledonGrassCzech Republic Petra Kvitov3-6, 4-6Loss2012Australian OpenHardBelarus Victoria Azarenka3-6, 0-6Win2012French OpenClayItaly Sara Errani6-3, 6-2Loss2013French OpenClayUnited States Serena Williams4-6, 4-6Win2014French Open (2)ClayRomania Simona Halep6-4, 6-7(5-7), 6-4Loss2015Australian OpenHardUnited States Serena Williams3-6, 6-7(5-7)

WTA Tour Championships

Finals: 3 (1 title, 2 runner-ups)

ResultYearSurfaceOpponentScoreWin2004HardUnited States Serena Williams4-6, 6-2, 6-4Loss2007HardBelgium Justine Henin7-5, 5-7, 3-6Loss2012HardUnited States Serena Williams4-6, 3-6


See also: WTA Awards

  • Russian Cup Newcomer of the Year
  • Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year[310]
  • WTA Player of the Year[311]
  • WTA Most Improved Player of the Year[311]
  • ESPY Best Female Tennis Player[311]
  • Prix de Citron Roland Garros[312]
  • Russian Cup Female Tennis Player of the Year
  • Russian Cup Female Tennis Player of the Year
  • Whirlpool 6th Sense Player of the Year[311]
  • ESPY Best Female Tennis Player[311]
  • ESPY Best International Female Athlete[311]
  • ESPY Best Female Tennis Player[313]
  • Russian Cup Team of the Year (as part of the Fed Cup team)
  • WTA Fan Favorite Singles Player[311]
  • WTA Humanitarian of the Year[311]
  • WTA Most Fashionable Player (On Court)[311]
  • WTA Most Fashionable Player (Off Court)[311]
  • WTA Most Dramatic Expression[311]