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Old May 17th, 2012, 03:24 PM   #4154
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Re: ** Masha News and Articles! ** Vol. 2

World No. 2 tennis player Maria Sharapova's star has risen even further over the past year to make her the world's 71st most powerful celebrity, Forbes magazine said Thursday.
Sharapova climbed nine places to her new spot in the annual ranking of 100 film stars, musicians and TV personalities, which was topped by actress and singer Jennifer Lopez.
Sharapova, 25, remains the only Russian on the list and holds onto her position as the most powerful female tennis players, despite Serena Williams gaining seven places to take the 77th spot.
With earnings of $13 million, Williams could not compete with her Russian rival, who earned twice as much, Forbes said.
The world of sport is still ruled by 36-year-old golf star Tiger Woods, although he dropped six places to 12th, in part because his earnings fell by $17 million.
Woods is followed by two basketball players, NBA MVP LeBron James of the Miami Heat in 15th and LA Lakers shooting guard Kobe Bryant in 27th, before Roger Federer becomes the most powerful tennis player at 31st.
In football, England player David Beckham is the most powerful player in the 32nd spot, while Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo, ranked 44th, beats his Barcelona rival Lionel Messi, six places below him.
Sharapova became an overnight tennis sensation at the age of 17 when she won Wimbledon in 2004, and quickly showed her business acumen by signing lucrative contracts with several global brands.
Sportwear brand Nike re-signed the Russian star to an eight-year contract worth up to $70 million in January 2010, which she supplements with earnings from Sharapova-branded tennis gear, handbags and shoes, for which her royalties doubled in 2012, Forbes said.
The Forbes rankings are generated by combining earnings with measures such as Google searches, press mentions and the number of times each celebrity has appeared on the cover of magazines.
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