Sharapova officially in Memphis, not Antwerp - TennisForum.com
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post #1 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 03:57 PM Thread Starter
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Sharapova officially in Memphis, not Antwerp

Teen tennis star Sharapova insists she's more than just looks
Attractive Drawing Card

By Zack McMillin
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February 8, 2004

The picture shows a blond teenage girl, an athlete, dressed in a hot pink one-piece outfit that barely covers her lap.

She is tilted sideways in the tennis chair, her right leg - long and tan - lifted over the chair's arm, exposing the pink spandex underneath.

She is also undeniably attractive, a girl dubbed by one tennis broadcaster as the Siberian Siren and whose natural good looks have drawn comparisons to fellow Russian sensation Anna Kournikova.

She is Maria Sharapova - 16 years old, ranked as the 27th-best women's tennis player in the world, a client of IMG, the influential agency, as a tennis player and a model.

And she is coming to Memphis.

That sultry picture of Sharapova is featured on many of the advertisements - billboards, print advertisements, Web sites - The Racquet Club has produced to promote next week's women's tennis tournament, the Cellular South Cup, Feb. 15-21.

"Let's face it," says Mac Winker, owner of The Racquet Club, "If you are a really attractive person and happen to be a good athlete, you have a leg up."

Winker is hoping Sharapova helps boost attendance and revenue at Memphis's annual professional tennis event. The women's tournament is in its third year as a companion event to the 28-year-old Kroger St. Jude men's tournament. It's probably most well-known for the one player who did not play the past two years - Kournikova.

The tournament had wrapped its marketing around Kournikova in 2002 and 2003, but she was unable to play either year because of injury. Now retired from competitive tennis, Kournikova did make an appearance at the tournament and at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital last year. She is scheduled to make another appearance this year on Feb. 16.

Sharapova, because she is blond, from Russia and an aspiring model, has heard the Kourni-clone comparisons, ad nauseum. She has rejected them, not least because Kournikova, now 22, never won a professional tournament.

Sharapova already has two tournament titles.

"I'm not the next anyone,'' Sharapova has said. "I'm the first Maria Sharapova."

In a recent story in USA Today, Sharapova said: "If people want me to be a tennis babe, I'm sorry. I'm not going to be that."

Indeed, Sharapova has plenty of admirers whose sole concern is tennis.

Among them is her coach, Robert Lansdorp, known for his tutelage of stars like Tracy Austin, Lindsay Davenport and Pete Sampras.

Lansdorp told Sports Illustrated that Sharapova has "that quality of a champion: She plays without fear."

Another of her mentors is Nick Bollettieri, whose famous tennis school in Florida has produced many of tennis's stars, including Andre Agassi and Jim Courier. He, too, rejects the comparisons to Kournikova.

"The similarity I see is that they are both good looking, but Maria really is very different," Bollettieri told reporters in Toronto last summer. "She has more firepower and a different mentality than Anna. She could bend a steel nail, she is so tough."

It was Bollettieri who accepted the 6-year-old Maria into his school a decade ago, after her father, Yuri, brought her to the United States with $1,000 in his pocket and no English-language skills. Shara pova was born in western Siberia, in a town called Nyagan. Afraid of problems associated with Chernobyl, her family moved to Sochi, a resort town on the Black Sea.

Sharapova spent two years away from her mother, who was unable to secure a visa to join her family in Bradenton, Fla., at Bollettieri's school.

"I think Russians might be tougher than other people," Sharapova told a London newspaper.

"When I arrived in America, I was young, but I knew what I wanted. I think that when you start from nothing, when you come from nothing, it makes you hungry."

Sharapova comes to Memphis having played in two tournaments so far this season, the Australian Open (third-round loss to Anastasia Myskina) and the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Tokyo last week (second-round loss to Daniela Hantuchova).

Because of her age, Sharapova's playing schedule is limited.

Winker and The Racquet Club are thrilled to have her in the draw, to say the least.

"She's definitely the No. 1 sought-after young player in the world and absolutely the No. 1 up-and-comer," said Winker.

Sharapova will participate in a fashion show with local models Friday from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. at The Racquet Club.

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post #2 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 04:15 PM
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I am a ball kid on Friday night I can go see Masha

fuck.
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post #3 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 04:26 PM
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What pic was he talking about?
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post #4 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 04:54 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharky
Now retired from competitive tennis, Kournikova did make an appearance at the tournament and at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital last year. She is scheduled to make another appearance this year on Feb. 16.
She came last year for like 3 days and presented a check to St.Jude the day she got here and spent the rest of the time checking out the St.Jude facility

She never came and watched matches ... maybe she will stay this year for Masha but if she stayed last year she stayed in a box at the top like Mandy Moore did

fuck.
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post #5 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 05:26 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PointBlank
She came last year for like 3 days and presented a check to St.Jude the day she got here and spent the rest of the time checking out the St.Jude facility

She never came and watched matches ... maybe she will stay this year for Masha but if she stayed last year she stayed in a box at the top like Mandy Moore did
Yes, but it says that Anna has retired from competitive tennis. That's what I am confused about.

You really think Anna will stay for Masha??? You are funny.... but you might be right... I read another article saying that Maria's scheduled to play her first match on Feb 16th for the night session. So far, she will be seeded 3rd in the main draw and no first round byes for 3rd and 4th seeded, otherwise she would be seeded 4th if Chanda might get in with exempt wildcard.

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post #6 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 05:27 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PointBlank
I am a ball kid on Friday night I can go see Masha
Hope you have lots of fun for the whole great week! You might want to check Maria modelling in a fashion show on Friday.

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post #7 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 05:30 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddyday
What pic was he talking about?


A big post was put up there outside at the tennis club, did you see it, PointBlank?

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post #8 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 06:48 PM
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Is this thread necessary?


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post #9 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 08:29 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sharky
Hope you have lots of fun for the whole great week! You might want to check Maria modelling in a fashion show on Friday.
who the hell is Masha? C'mon with all these damn names!!! Some of you act as if you know these players personally. First it was JuJu and then some messed up name for Kim and Jennifer ( Capster) Call the players by their names already!!!

I could understand RENA for Serena and Vee for Venus, Masha? What the hell is that? I could have sworn you were talking about mash potatoes. I just don't see where Maria relates to mash potatoes or mash anything in that case.

If you wanna start calling people names, why not call Chanda Rubin - And_a_rub_in........or why not call Alexandra stevenson, Alex_and_steve's_son?

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post #10 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 08:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maccardel
who the hell is Masha? C'mon with all these damn names!!! Some of you act as if you know these players personally. First it was JuJu and then some messed up name for Kim and Jennifer ( Capster) Call the players by their names already!!!

I could understand RENA for Serena and Vee for Venus, Masha? What the hell is that? I could have sworn you were talking about mash potatoes. I just don't see where Maria relates to mash potatoes or mash anything in that case.

If you wanna start calling people names, why not call Chanda Rubin - And_a_rub_in........or why not call Alexandra stevenson, Alex_and_steve's_son?

Go Figure, you posters amaze me sometimes..I tell ya!!!
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post #11 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 08:41 PM
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What name would you chose for Chanda?

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post #12 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 11:14 PM
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How do you know I don't know these players personally...
Just the other night I got an e-mail from JUJU followed by a telephone call from Capster followed by a visit from Masha. Rena and Vee came over too, but we turned off all the lights and didn't open the door. Oh, and Aloyna cut herself with a knife making french fries, her cry woke Momo up.
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post #13 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 8th, 2004, 11:32 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by eddyday
What pic was he talking about?
ha eddy! i knew you would wander into here!!

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post #14 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2004, 12:17 AM
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In Russia, Masha is a VERY common nickname for Maria, just like Jenny for Jennifer in USA. I don't see a problem with that.

And BTW, "a" in Masha isn't spelled like "a" in "mash", rather like "a" in "start".
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post #15 of 33 (permalink) Old Feb 9th, 2004, 12:28 AM
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im the first Maria Sharapova. how many times is she gonna say this? and how long will it take her to figure out a different way of saying it

Jelena Dokic.Vera Zvonareva.Tatiana Golovin.Mary Pierce.Monica Seles.Martina Hingis.Anna Kournikova


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