Wednesday 9 March 2016

Maria Sharapova Notable Career Moments

Maria Sharapova will forever be known as the queen of the courts who brought glamour to the game and became a significant role model for young women around the globe but after her shocking announcement at a news conference in Los Angeles on Monday that she had failed a drugs test at the Australian Open, her image could now be seriously tarnished.

Sharapova, who tested positive for a substance called Meldonium, claimed she did not realise the substance was illegal, but took full responsibility for her actions. The International Tennis Federation said Sharapova, who now faces a ban from the sport, had been informed of the positive test on March 2 and she will be provisionally suspended from March 12.

Her career started in 2001 as she made her professional debut aged just 14. She won 35 career WTA titles and is among a select 10 women who own a career Grand Slam. Sharapova is a five-time major champion having won the 2004 Wimbledon crown, the 2006 US Open title, the 2008 Australian Open and the 2012 and 2014 French Opens. She also won a silver medal for Russia at the 2012 London Olympics and she is currently ranked seventh in the world and according to Forbes she was the highest paid female athlete in 2015 with £21m.

Sharapova was dressed all in black as she made the shocking revelation of the failed drugs test at a pre-arranged news conference on Monday. She said: “I know many of you thought I was retiring but if I was ever going to announce my retirement it would probably not be in a downtown Los Angeles hotel with this fairly ugly carpet”.

With that been said let take a look back at her Grand Slam achievements:

2004 Wimbledon Win Over Serena Williams
At just 17 years old, Sharapova was playing in her first major final and she stunned the world by defeating Serena Williams. Sharapova took the first set in just 30 minutes and never looked back to become the first Russian woman to win the Wimbledon title. She also became the second youngest champion after Martina Hingis.

2006 US Open Victory Over Justine Henin
At 19, Sharapova claimed her second major against Justine Henin, who was playing in her fourth Grand Slam final of the year. Sharapova had knocked out top seed Amelie Mauresmo in the semi-finals, gaining revenge over the Frenchwoman who had beaten her at Wimbledon earlier in the year. After the final, her delighted celebration saw the top of the winner's trophy fly off.

2008 Australian Open Win Over Ana Ivanovic
Seeded fifth, Sharapova put out Lindsay Davenport in the second round and then world No 1 Henin in the quarter-finals, ending the Belgian's 32-match winning streak. Jelena Jankovic was her next victim in the semi-finals before seeing off Ana Ivanovic in the final, having not dropped a set all tournament.

2012 French Open She Defeated Sara Errani 6-3 6-2
Sharapova became only the 10th woman to complete a career Grand Slam with victory at Roland Garros. During the tournament, she was also asked to carry the Russian flag in the Olympic Games opening ceremony in London later in the year.

2014 French Open Victory over Simona Halep
Sharapova won her second French Open title in three years in a gripping final, the first to go the full distance in Paris in 13 years and the second longest on record. It was the 27-year-old Russian's fifth Grand Slam title, bringing her level with Martina Hingis on the all-time list, and it came 10 years after she won her first major at Wimbledon.

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