I started to really pay attention to Maria when she played Ivanovic in the Australian Open final and from then I have really admired her and she is now my favourite tennis player and most likely always will be.I went to the Sony Ericsson Open twice and saw Maria practice and play some matches there. Believe me she is quite the specimen to see in reality. If you think she is beautiful on TV then seeing her in real life is so much more amazing. She is very regal and serious about her practice but she also has the ability to draw you in and it makes you wish time would just stand still. When I was at another practice court you just had to hear that trademark grunt and people started saying Sharapova was practicing near by (quite funny). At that point almost everyone would clear out to go and see her. I remember the first event I saw her practicing and she looked straight at me when signing autographs and all I saw were these amazing and expressive green eyes even from a few feet away. I finally got her autograph (twice this year) and it was so emotional for me that I cried right after. When you finally see her she is everything you imagined and so much more. She might not always put on a show or smile constantly just to please the crowd but she gives us what she can as an athlete and a human being. For that you can't help but to respect her at the very least. Maria really appreciates her fans and her true fans know how to respect her as well.
I hope to see her again someday and will always wish her the best