Off court battle for Kirilenko
In the Mirror today, Maria is in Page 3 and seen has the new Sharapova for looks in Britain, but it mentions problems off court
MOVE OVA MARIA, HERE'S, ER, MARIA 2
New Russian smasher set to wow Wimbledon
By Gary Anderson
HOW do they do it? Just two years after stunning Maria Sharapova wowed - and won - Wimbledon, here's the latest tennis sensation from Russia. And her name's Maria too.
Nineteen-year-old Maria Kirilenko has already posed for Vogue and has a wardrobe to die for. But behind the glamour of her skimpy Stella McCartney dresses lies a steely determination to reach the top - driven into her by her Red Army veteran father.
Maria's dad Yuri and mum Olga had her hitting balls at four and she was enrolled in a top tennis academy by the age of six. So far she has earned £500,000 prize money, won the China Open and US junior Open and is rated 20th in the world. She's seeded 18 at Wimbledon, which starts tomorrow. But Maria's success is being threatened by a bitter off-court dispute over her future prize money after her ambitious father dumped her coach of five years. Devastated former pro Elena Bryukhovets, 35, has vowed to sue Maria's parents for a slice of her future earnings. She said: "Her family terminated my contract without explanation. I was dead to them. Whenever I called, they would see my number on their screen and refuse to pick up the phone."
But Maria, 19, is determined not to let the off-court battle derail her from her ambition to challenge her pal Sharapova on and off the court. She said: "Sport is my top priority. I love what I'm doing and I have my aim of success I'm heading towards. I think every person must take their chance." Game, Miss Kirilenko.