Maria Sharapova's second appearance on the WTA Tour has been confirmed. She will play the Japan Open in Tokyo, which begins on September 30th. She has a wildcard into the main draw. Also, put aside any dreams of Maria Sharapova being a Junior World #1 - her junior career has ended. Wimbledon was her last junior event, and she will not play the US Open juniors in September. Maria's career high in juniors was #8. She won three junior titles, all in 2001, and was runner-up five times in 2002, including at the Australian Open, where she was the youngest ever finalist, and Wimbledon. We will shift our focus towards Maria as a future WTA #1 instead! Best of luck Maria in your professional career. Maria's win in Vancouver earned her a feed-up spot into the qualifying at the WTA event in Quebec, also in September, but I have no news as yet on whether she will play there.
Aug 7th, 2002, 01:10 AM
Mark, how did you learn this? You mean she's not going to play the junior U.S. Open this year? :confused: How does that possibly help her developement? I thought her agent told me that she wouldn't play anymore junior tournaments after the Open. Maybe I misunstood him. But the only way she shouldn't play the junior U.S. Open is if she got a WC in the U.S. Open maindraw or qualifying. I don't get it.
Aug 7th, 2002, 01:46 AM
Mark, Nike and Prince are counting on Maria being one of their top female players and biggest stars in the future. And she is very marketable. But does is make marketing sense for Maria not to play the U.S. Open? Even if it was just the juniors? :confused: I was hoping for some Sharapova articles at the Open. Now there won't be any! :(
Aug 7th, 2002, 03:29 AM
Nike and Prince are counting on Maria being one of their top female players and biggest stars in the future. And she is very marketable. But does is make marketing sense for Maria not to play the U.S. Open? Even if it was just the juniors?
Patience CAT, patience.
Maria isn't marketable. YET. She's still young. They only market sex-symbols or truely great players. Maria is too young to be either of these. Wait until she's 17/18.
Her marketability potential is high, but at the moment her rating is low because of her age. So why waste her now, when they can make alot more money off her later? They don't want her to burn out, because then she'll have no marketability rating.
So they are saving her for later.
A sensible decision for everyone (except the fans). She won't get burned out, and (when she's old enough), they can market the full product. Why market a 15 year old girl, when you can market an 18 year old woman?
Aug 7th, 2002, 06:59 AM
Thanks for the lastest Sharapova news, Mark! I guess you got the confirmation from Max. We will always be desperated to know her committed upcoming schedule for many years to come. :wavey:
No longer playing in junior doesn't surprise me. I mean I have witnessed 4 out of 5 matches Maria played in Vancouver. She was the best player in the draw. She played unbelievable in the last two sets in the final against Granville. She played smart and aggressive. It was a perfectly good test for her.
I will always remember Maria winning in the ITF Vancouver for the rest of my life. It was a special moment for me to meet her in person before she is going to be a well-known, marketable tennis star. When she has a match point, I knew she was going to win, the best career win that I have witnessed. When Granville hit wide on her forehand, Maria jumped, bended her knees to the ground and pumped both fists facing to her dad with a winning smile! She then shaked her hand to Laura at the net. She then throwed both arms in the air as her dad hurried to give her a BIG HUG and KISSES! Aww.. cute! :)
The small ceremony was held. I couldn't hear very well what Maria said but she enjoyed in Vancouver. And she thanked her dad for supporting her. And all that stuff. Then she recieved a nice square-shaped glass trophy (the glass was sort of green and clear) and a cheque of $3000 US, of course. :) She has pictures taken with the people by the tournament organizers. She had a quick interveiw with a man while they sat on the bench. The guy was writing down on a paper while Maria was interviewing. Then I came down to the ground level from the balcony and waiting for Maria to leave the court. As Maria was leaving and aprroaching to me on the way out.. she was smiling and happy... and I shouted in front of her... "CONGRATS, MARIA! GIMME A FIVE?" and she gave me a five and said thank you as she was sort of bowing. YES! She touched my hand! :bounce: I will always be the biggest Maria Sharapova fan! She is the best! :)
Now, looks like Maria has turned to pro in August 2002. A few months earlier than Anna Kournikova did. I wanted Maria to start in her professional career at the end of this year or earlier. She just did. :)
Bye Bye junior Maria Sharapova. :sad: A big hello to professional Maria Sharapova. :bounce: I am very much looking to Maria's professional matches in her WTA career. It's very, very exciting for me. I would like to see Maria's first WTA title next year. ;) Heck, she can do it! I can see that she is going to get better and better!
Go Masha! :)
Aug 7th, 2002, 09:59 AM
not suprised she's given up on the juniors
a) she's basically good enough to handle most of the tour players
b) she knew she wouldn't be able to end the year at #1 after that loss to Vera Douchevina (possible but highly unlikely)
that WC in the Japan Open will be a good tester for Masha.
Aug 9th, 2002, 04:33 PM
For your information Cassius, IMG has been marketing Maria for many years already! She was on television shows, in tennis magazines and international newspapers before she even played one 18u tournament! :eek: That's why Nike and Prince have locked her up contractually at such a young age.
Sharky, you're right. I feel the same way as you do about meeting Maria before she becomes a famous tennis player. There is something very nice about that! :D And Sharky, I'm glad Maria gave you five! :bounce: She obviously likes you very much! :kiss:
Aug 10th, 2002, 01:12 AM
For your information Cassius, IMG has been marketing Maria for many years already! She was on television shows, in tennis magazines and international newspapers before she even played one 18u tournament! That's why Nike and Prince have locked her up contractually at such a young age.
'For you information' CAT, I knew this, but there is a big limit on how much promotional work some-one can do if that person is a relative unknown.
I stand by my statement. Maria isn't marketable. YET. She can appear on all the TV shows she wants, but that doesn't mean she is 'marketable'. It means she is getting exposure, ready for the future, for when she will be marketable.
Putting her on mag. covers is a classic ploy. They do this just to get her in the public eye. So that when she finally gets into the top 20, she will already be famous and then she'll be VERY marketable.
Like I said before, it's all about sex-symbols or true greats. Maria is neither. 'YET'.
Aug 16th, 2002, 06:26 AM
Any news on Maria's presence in Quebec qualifying ? If she plays, I will be there on Saturday and Sunday without any doubt! :)
Aug 16th, 2002, 08:08 PM
Why don't you fax her IMG agent Max Eisenbud in Cleveland, Ohio. Tell him you run her Tennis Rulz website and you want to find out if she is coming to Quebec. Give it a shot!
Aug 17th, 2002, 03:42 AM
Great idea, I'll be on it Monday and give you guys feedback:)