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Old Jun 22nd, 2010, 12:52 AM   #16
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Re: Mariya Shishkina

She won U14 Florida sectional without dropping more than 6 games in any of her matches
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Old Jul 7th, 2010, 05:16 PM   #17
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Re: Mariya Shishkina

I was flipping through ESPN Magazine last night and came across this article:

http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/ten...ory?id=5289995
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Old Jul 7th, 2010, 06:13 PM   #18
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Re: Mariya Shishkina

Very interesting. I hope they don't ride her too hard. It sounds like while tennis was chosen for her, she absolutely loves it and wants to be excellent. I hope she doesn't burn out.
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Old Jul 7th, 2010, 08:36 PM   #19
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Re: Mariya Shishkina

Thanks for that
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Old Jul 20th, 2010, 02:47 AM   #20
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Re: Maria Shishkina

Future shockEleven-year-old Maria Shishkina may soon tip the power balance
Nathaniel Welch

Tennis' next big thing trains on inflated exercise balls at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida.

This article appears in the June 28 issue of ESPN The Magazine.



There is a video on YouTube of 11-year-old Maria Shishkina staying balanced as she stands on a big, silver exercise ball. If you think it's easy, give it a shot. Then, once you can stand, try having a catch. Odds are, you'll fall -- and fall and fall and fall as you keep trying, only to finally give up in frustration. Shishkina, though, is calm, chatting and giggling as she tosses a ball back and forth with a coach, her bulging quads keeping her steady atop the unstable ball. Aside from her thick, blond ponytail, those quads are Shishkina's most defining feature -- and two reasons why this wisp of a child is tennis' next big thing.



On a brisk winter day in Bradenton, Fla., Shishkina's musculature is on full display as she practices on one of the many courts at the IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy. Her mother, Marina, watches, perched on four-inch stilettos. "Looking back, it's so funny," Marina says. "Four years ago, we came here right from the airport in a taxi. I didn't speak any English, but they had someone who could translate. They asked me why I had come. I told them, 'I need a scholarship. I've brought you a star.' I can say now, I was right."



We know, we know: Eleven is too young to give anyone the "star" tag. But those who know Shishkina well already call her the next Sharapova. Like that other Maria, this one left her home country (Kazakhstan) at a young age with just one parent in tow (dad Igor, an ex-boxer, has had problems getting a visa to the U.S.) to pursue tennis dreams in America. Like Sharapova, Shishkina is guided by the legendary Nick Bollettieri. And like the three-time major winner, this one-time Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championships winner (U12) has a big-name clothing sponsor: this time, Under Armour.



The top dogs at Under Armour first fell in love with Shishkina last fall, when, on a tour of the Bollettieri facilities, they heard -- yes, heard -- her volleying. "It sounded like a pro," says Under Armour CEO Kevin Plank. "She was this little girl with a twinkle in her eye, and she was just so physically mature." Shishkina has biceps and triceps to go with those quads, and her size 9 and a half shoes indicate she'll be tall. Though she's too young to lift weights, she spends five hours a day on the court and in the gym, working with resistance bands, doing yoga and soccer drills, roller-skating and playing basketball. "Her training platform is a good example of what we're trying to promote for all of our athletes," says Steve Battista, Under Armour's marketing chief.



In Shishkina, Under Armour sees an opportunity to make a big splash in tennis (the company accounted for just 4.4 percent of the tennis apparel market in 2009). Can Shishkina deliver a return on the investment, a five-year deal worth $350,000 plus bonuses? Too early to tell. Even the most successful female tennis prodigies don't start winning Slams until they reach their teens (Martina Hingis won three in 1997 at 16; Sharapova won Wimbledon in 2004 at 17), which means it could be years before we know for sure if Shishkina is the real deal. "Her whole viewpoint may change," says Bollettieri. "She may get injured. She may meet a boy."



At the moment, though, her priorities seem laser-focused on the court. "She has the whole game," says Bollettieri. "Slices, drop shots, swinging volleys, overheads, backhands, big offensive forehands and the serve." Shishkina -- who won the Eddie Herr in December, reached the quarterfinals at the Orange Bowl later that month and won a handful of smaller tourneys this spring -- is home-schooled to accommodate her training schedule. She has a work ethic that would put most pros to shame, and a bit of a swagger. She walks, chin up and chest out, like she's daring the world to take a swing. "Someday, I want people to say I changed the game of tennis or I was a legend or I was No. 1 for a long time or made records," she says. "It means a lot when people say I could be a star. It motivates me."



Of course, Shishkina also freely admits to liking puppies, playing Wii and having her mother courtside during matches. So she is still very much a little girl. Albeit one with very big quads.


Lindsay Berra is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine
http://sports.espn.go.com/sports/ten...ory?id=5289995
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 01:11 PM   #21
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Re: Maria Shishkina

She's already a pro!
She was RU at USTA U14 National Clay Court Championships, losing in 3:6 6:4 6:7(4) and wasting a MP. She lost to a girl she beat 6:1 6:0 in Eddie Herr final in December.
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Old Jul 27th, 2010, 09:02 PM   #22
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Re: Maria Shishkina

PLANTATION — In a contentious match filled with dramatic twists and turns that was completed seconds before a rainstorm hit, it seemed fitting an emotionally charged preteen named Tornado would prevail in a final between two of the nation's top 12-year-old tennis players.

Tornado Ali Black held back tears after blowing a 4-2, 40-30 lead in the second set and had to save a match point before regaining her composure en route to a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) victory over 14th-seeded Maria Shishkina to win the USTA Girls' 14s National Clay Court Championships at the Veltri Tennis Center on Sunday.

"I had an attitude problem after the second set but I was thinking I'm not going to let her win,'' said a beaming Black, who avenged a lopsided loss to Shishkina in the 12s final of the Eddie Herr International in November and is in the process of turning pro.

Black, who used to practice with Shishkina at IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, is working with Rick Macci at his Boca Lago academy where he's rebuilding her serve. She needed a wild card to get into the draw because she missed about six months while searching for the proper orthotics
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 01:30 AM   #23
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Re: Maria Shishkina

Quote:
Originally Posted by Freakan View Post
She's already a pro!
She was RU at USTA U14 National Clay Court Championships, losing in 3:6 6:4 6:7(4) and wasting a MP. She lost to a girl she beat 6:1 6:0 in Eddie Herr final in December.
Where does it say that?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Niunia View Post
PLANTATION — In a contentious match filled with dramatic twists and turns that was completed seconds before a rainstorm hit, it seemed fitting an emotionally charged preteen named Tornado would prevail in a final between two of the nation's top 12-year-old tennis players.

Tornado Ali Black held back tears after blowing a 4-2, 40-30 lead in the second set and had to save a match point before regaining her composure en route to a 6-3, 4-6, 7-6 (4) victory over 14th-seeded Maria Shishkina to win the USTA Girls' 14s National Clay Court Championships at the Veltri Tennis Center on Sunday.

"I had an attitude problem after the second set but I was thinking I'm not going to let her win,'' said a beaming Black, who avenged a lopsided loss to Shishkina in the 12s final of the Eddie Herr International in November and is in the process of turning pro.

Black, who used to practice with Shishkina at IMG Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Bradenton, is working with Rick Macci at his Boca Lago academy where he's rebuilding her serve. She needed a wild card to get into the draw because she missed about six months while searching for the proper orthotics
I'm confused. Is Shishkina already a pro and Tornado is in "the process of turning pro"? A little early So dumb.

"Missed six months while searching for the proper orthotics" -- I'm sorry...what?

The Tornado/Shishkina rivalry is so heated. Love it Throw in ultra diva Julia O'Loughlin and we're in for some exciting matches
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 01:48 AM   #24
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Re: Maria Shishkina

Quote:
Originally Posted by Amalgamate View Post
Where does it say that?



I'm confused. Is Shishkina already a pro and Tornado is in "the process of turning pro"? A little early So dumb.

"Missed six months while searching for the proper orthotics" -- I'm sorry...what?

The Tornado/Shishkina rivalry is so heated. Love it Throw in ultra diva Julia O'Loughlin and we're in for some exciting matches
she signed the 5 year 350k deal with under armour

how is o'laughlin a diva? at like 12
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 03:39 AM   #25
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Re: Maria Shishkina

Quote:
Originally Posted by Kevin. View Post
she signed the 5 year 350k deal with under armour

how is o'laughlin a diva? at like 12
Dude, 12 is old. Go to bollettieri's and you'll see 6 year old prima donnas.
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 10:39 AM   #26
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Re: Maria Shishkina

She's a pro for sure, I read about it in one of the articles after this final.
And O'Loughlin is already 13 and plays junior ITF's (without much success though).
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Old Jul 28th, 2010, 05:09 PM   #27
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Re: Maria Shishkina

But as Nick B. says "Her whole viewpoint may change," says Bollettieri. "She may get injured. She may meet a boy." Stupid to turn pro this early...
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 02:36 AM   #28
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Re: Maria Shishkina

She can't turn pro yet. You have to be at least 14 to turn pro.
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Old Jul 29th, 2010, 03:49 AM   #29
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Re: Maria Shishkina

She can't play in any professional tournament on the WTA Tour or ITF Women’s Circuit, or in any level of Fed Cup competition but accepting sponsorship money, effectively makes her a pro.
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Old Dec 24th, 2010, 04:08 AM   #30
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Re: Maria Shishkina

She lost to a Greek player in the Orange Bowl
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