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Old Apr 17th, 2005, 01:36 PM   #121
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Old Apr 21st, 2005, 09:28 PM   #122
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This appeared in our local paper today.
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Old Apr 22nd, 2005, 10:22 AM   #123
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Nice, thanx !!

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Old May 16th, 2005, 06:43 AM   #124
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An article about Maria's return to Wimbledon this year
http://www.wimbledon.org/en_GB/news/...413197782.html
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Old Jun 4th, 2005, 02:55 PM   #125
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Sharapova - won at Edgbaston last year (Getty Images).
SHARAPOVA RELISHING GRASS RETURN



Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova is hoping history will repeat itself as she steps up the preparations for the defence of her crown at the DFS Classic in Edgbaston next week.

Sharapova, 18, was a virtual unknown outside tennis circles this time last year when she arrived in Birmingham to take part in the DFS event.

But she won both the singles and the doubles titles at the DFS before going on to announce herself on the world stage with her triumph in the Wimbledon final against Serena Williams.

A repeat of the events in both Birmingham and at Wimbledon is now her main aim.

Having been knocked out of the French Open at the quarter-final stage by Justine Henin-Hardenne, world number two Sharapova had no hesitation in opting to take part in the DFS event as she hones her preparations for the defence of her Wimbledon title.

She relishes the chance of playing on grass again and is pleased to be back where she made her break into the big time.

"A lot of things have changed in the last year but I am still the same person," said Sharapova, who will face either Tatiana Perebiynis of Ukraine or Anne Kremer of Luxembourg when she launches her campaign in the second round on Tuesday.

"It all started for me on the grass courts and I am very happy to be back in Birmingham," she said.

"It is a very quiet place and it is one of those tournaments where things are not very hectic.

"I can relax and concentrate more on my tennis rather than being in the public eye when I get to Wimbledon.

"I think it is a really great warm-up for Wimbledon. I have always enjoyed playing here and so I thought why not come back.

"Of course what happened to me last year was amazing. I was playing really great tennis here and went on to win Wimbledon so being here does bring back great memories and hopefully I can enjoy similar success again.

"I can't believe it has been a whole year already."

Sharapova knows that as the defending champion at both the DFS and Wimbledon, the pressure on her will be intense over the next month.

But that is something she revels in and she added: "I have never really taken pressure too seriously. It is always part of the sport.

"As I am the defending champion here and at Wimbledon I will have that extra pressure.

"But pressure drives me on. I enjoy it and people expect the best from me. I want to do my best even though it is not possible all the time.

"With success comes a lot of things. I am still working hard and trying to improve every day.

"I have to commit to a few off-court appearances as well. But it has been a fun time for me and I have enjoyed every second of it.

"I have got an opportunity to meet many amazing people in different industries. It has been really fun."

Sharapova also admits that she cannot wait to get back to playing on grass after the clay of Roland Garros.

"I am really happy to be back playing again on grass," admitted Sharapova. "It is am amazing surface. It puts a smile on my face.

"The ball jumps weird and I am laughing. It makes me want to work harder and give that extra effort. It is really special for me.

"I think that I have a better chance than anyone on grass as it suits my game really well."

Sharapova is seeking to continue to an impressive collection of results that was started by her Edgbaston success.

As well as winning Wimbledon last summer she has also triumphed at events in Seoul, Tokyo, and at the WTA Championships in Los Angeles.

This year she has won the Toray Pan Pacific Open in Japan and the Qatar Total Open in Doha.
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Old Jun 4th, 2005, 04:29 PM   #126
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Sharapova hopes to win Wimbledon again

By ROBERT MILLWARD

Russia's Maria Sharapova, May 31, 2005 in Paris. (AP/Francois Mori)




BIRMINGHAM , England (AP) - Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova says she wouldn't mind missing out on all the other Grand Slam titles if it meant she kept on winning at the All England Club.

The Russian, who produced a stunning performance last year by winning Wimbledon as a 17-year-old, said she was happy to be labelled a grasscourt specialist.

"If I could win 10 Wimbledons and not another Grand Slam I'd take that," she said Saturday. "It's amazing. It's the best tournament in the world."

On Monday, Sharapova returns to the low-key grasscourt tournament that served as a warmup to her winning performance at the All England Club.

Last year's triumph at the DFS Classic was a just a glimpse of what was to come at Wimbledon as Sharapova - the tall Russian teenager with the looks of a model - outplayed two-time defending champion Serena Williams 6-1, 6-4 in the final to become the third youngest winner in the 127-year history of the championship


In two years, the 18-year-old Russian has gone from promising teenager with a headline-making on-court grunt to the best grasscourt player in the world.

Back then, she was asked about her dreams as a rising tennis star. Now the questions are about whether she fears burnout.

"It's been a year and I haven't seen myself burn out yet," she said. "There's 365 days in a year and that's a long time to get burned out. I'm still here fresh as a daisy. If you see fire coming out of me let me know."

It was here at the Priory Club two years ago that Sharapova was warned by tournament officials to reduce the noise of her on-court grunting whenever she hit the ball. Her high-pitched shrieks brought complaints from the players on the next court.

Eventually it was the standard of her play that took over and now she is one of the most recognized faces in the sport.

"I have gotten so used to being recognized that I don't have time to think about it because it's normal now," she said. "Before, it might have been a bit of a surprise that people recognized me but now it has become a part of my life that I have to deal with.

"But, if I wasn't winning, then people wouldn't be recognizing me and you people wouldn't be writing about me. When they don't write about you you know you're in trouble."

Sharapova's height and power makes her a natural on grass and she has joined the likes of Lindsay Davenport and the Williams sisters - also tall players - on the list of winners at the All England Club.

"I think I have a better chance than anybody on grass because it's my favourite surface and because it suits my game and I love it," she said.

"I think (the DFS Classic) is just a really great warmup for Wimbledon because it's a low-key tournament. It still has great competition. I have played well here for the past two years so I'm glad to be back."

She has lost just once at the Priory, in the semifinals two years ago to Japan's Shinobu Asagoe, and that was after a third set tiebreak. None of her big rivals are here and the biggest danger is second-seeded Alicia Molik of Australia.

Sharapova was beaten in the French Open quarter-finals by Justine Henin-Hardenne, who went on to win the title at Roland Garros on Saturday.

The Russian said she was confident she could deal with the extra pressure of being Wimbledon champion. "I have really never taken pressure too seriously because it's always part of the sport," she said. "I'm the defending champion here and at Wimbledon so there is extra pressure. But pressure drives me and I enjoy it."
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 05:02 AM   #127
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Awsome, i also cannot comprehend and believe its been a year!
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 08:24 AM   #128
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great article, thanx !!
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 08:29 AM   #129
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Great Article lets hope for another unbeaten year on grass this year
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Old Jun 5th, 2005, 04:20 PM   #130
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Sharapova - reigning champion in SW19.
SHARAPOVA STILL IN SHOCK

Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova has labelled the last year "amazing" as she launches the preparations for the defence of her title.

The 18-year-old starts the countdown to her return to Wimbledon in Birmingham this week when she will be seeking to retain the DFS title she won at the Edgbaston Priory 12 months ago.

It was the form she showed at The Priory that sparked her Wimbledon triumph and Sharapova said: "It has been a pretty amazing year.

"I look at what has happened and I can't quite believe it. But it is real, the statistics are there to prove it, and I have to keep moving on, appreciate everything and try to improve."

While she may still be basking in the glow of events 12 months ago, Sharapova also has a steely determination to ensure she retains her Wimbledon crown.

She believes she is most at home on grass and added: "It is the best tournament in the world.

"It just gives you that extra-special feeling and I want to win it as many times as I can."

Despite the success at Wimbledon which has made her one of the most recognisable faces in the world, Sharapova shows a maturity beyond her teenage years.

She has taken the sudden rise to stardom in her stride and, despite the rewards the sport has given her, claims tennis is not the most important thing in her life.

She said: "I don't consider it my life. If I was not enjoying it I would not be here.

"It is my career and I enjoy it but a lot of other things are more important to me than tennis.

"It is my job but it is not my life. Health and family are the most important things in my life.

"Being able to have your mum and dad supporting you is important as well as your health and with that comes happiness.

"It is really not about tennis or money. It is about the people around you."

Sharapova has also come to accept that she cannot go anywhere in the world now without being recognised.

"Being recognised wherever I go is something I have had to get used to," admitted the Russian-born Sharapova.

"It is part of my life now. I can't change it. But I realise if I was not winning people would not recognise me and would not be writing about me.

"When you are not being written about you know you are in trouble."

Her feet are firmly on the ground, to such an extent that she is still continuing her education to ensure she graduates from high school in America.

She said: "It takes up a lot of time. I have five more credits to get until I finish high school. Right now I am only doing mathematics and I have a deadline to finish it."

Sharapova also knows just how lucky she is to be travelling the world following her humble beginnings in Russia.

She had time on her hands in Paris after being knocked out of the French Open at the quarter-final stage by Justin Henin-Hardenne and took the chance to tour the shops and sights of the French capital as any normal teenager would do.

Sharapova said: "It was fun. I had a free day in Paris so I went to some boutiques. I love designer shops.

"Then I went to the Louvre. I wanted to see the old Italian and Spanish paintings and the Mona Lisa. I went there about four years ago and I wanted to go again.

"I drank hot chocolate at Angelo's, which is the most amazing hot chocolate in the world, and after that had a really nice dinner. It was fun being a tourist in Paris.

"It is amazing to be able to visit these places. Not many people in the world have an opportunity to travel.

"Most of the time when you are playing you don't get a chance to see the places where you are. But when you lose you find a day for some retail therapy and cultural therapy to take the worries away."

Sharapova has a bye in the first round at the DFS and will face either Tatiana Perebiynis of the Ukraine or Anne Kremer of Luxembourg when she launches her campaign in the second round on Tuesday.
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Old Jun 6th, 2005, 03:55 PM   #131
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Sports
Sharapova to play for Russia in 2006


18:01





MOSCOW, June 6 (RIA Novosti) - At a Moscow press-conference on Monday, Russian Tennis Federation President Shamil Tarpischev expressed hopes that Maria Sharapova, one of the world's leading tennis-players and the Winbledon-2004 winner, will perform next year with a Russian national team at the Federation Cup competitions.

"The mass media are busy speculating about when Maria will apply for American citizenship. I think that if she had wanted this she would have already taken relevant steps - it is too late now," said Tarpishchev. In his opinion, Sharapova's constant pronouncements about her Russian roots speak of her intention to continue playing under the Russian colors.

Asked by newsmen about the feasibility of Sharapova's emerging Wimbledon winner for the second time after last year's success, Tarpischev said that Sharapova had all chances to capture the title in case of a favorable seeding - one could even give a percentage-precise forecast then.

He mentioned her other problem connected with her swift rise. "She is not quite fit for ground courts and is likely to show a better performance in Wimbledon," concluded Tarpishchev.
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Old Jun 8th, 2005, 08:10 PM   #132
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Hi guys

With Wimbledon just around the corner it will soon be Masha Mania in the media all over again (not that it has subsided any in the past year. lol).

First up is Maria on the cover of ESPN magazine (June 20, 2005 issue)! Huge article on her. It looks to be a great issue for tennis because there's also an article about Roger Federer, as well as some stuff about Rafael Nadal.

It must have just come out because it's not even up on ESPN's website yet.
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Old Jun 10th, 2005, 03:16 PM   #133
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This is a previous ESPN interview. The new article should be on www.espn.go.com/magazine, in a few days

*DP= Dan Patrick
*MS= Maria Sharapova

DP - Who's the greatest female tennis player of all time?
MS - I'll tell you in a few years.
DP - Good answer. Give me the male tennis player you'd like to face.
MS - There are a few who I would equally want to kick their ass, but first is Roddick. I would love to return that serve of his. I just want to show him that, you know, his serve is not that good after all.

DP - Better tennis outfits - you or Serena?
MS - Me, come on! Mine are more classy and more elegant.
DP - Outfit that Serena has worn that you just couldn't see yourself in?
MS - All of them.

DP - Ever eaten off the silver plate you won at Wimbledon?
MS - No, because you don't actually get the big silver tray. I got a smaller version.
DP - Those bastards. They didn't give you the bigger one?
MS - No, I got a little replica. It's just too small - I eat too much.

DP - Any difference between European and American tennis fans?
MS - American fans really like it when you hit the line or close to the line. They like to scream, "Yeah! Ooh! In, come on, in!" because the harder the ace, the better for them. They like controversy. For the Europeans, they like it when you show your game, and you don't hit aces all the time. It becomes too boring for them.

DP - Biggest purchase you've ever put on your credit card?
MS - I spend more money on shoes than anything else.
DP - Most you've ever spent on a pair?
MS - A thousand dollars.
DP - That's not bad.
MS - For a pair of shoes? It's just a piece of material and a heel!
DP - You get your tennis shoes for free. You can spend all your money on dress shoes.
MS - Well, that's my excuse, you know.

DP - TV Show that you'd like to appear on - and are you a good girl or a bad girl on it?
MS - The OC. I'd have more fun playing a bad girl. Or 24, because I could be a spy criminal.
DP - You could speak Russian to Kiefer Sutherland!

DP - Favorite movie?
MS - My all-time favorite is Something's Gotta Give, with Jack Nicholson. I love to laugh, and that was really, really funny.
DP - When's the last time you cried at a movie?
MS - I cried at The Notebook.
DP - But that's a chick flick, Maria.
MS - Well, I'm a chick. What do you expect?
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Old Jun 11th, 2005, 05:19 PM   #134
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Retail Therapy for Sharapova

By Ian Laybourn, PA Sport



Maria Sharapova will take in some retail therapy as she starts to prepare for the defence of her Wimbledon crown.

The 18-year-old Russian will have a week off in London as she seeks to shake off a cold and ease the aches and pains caused by the transition from French clay to the grass of Birmingham, where she is on course to successfully defend her DFS Classic title.

“I’m going to take a few days off,” she said. “I’ll rest a little bit and do some shopping in London and definitely hope for better weather in London.

“Then I’ll starting practising hard again.”

Before her week off, though, Sharapova will attempt to retain her WTA tour title in Birmingham against third seed Jelena Jankovic, of Serbia and Montenegro, in tomorrow’s final.

The world number two, whose victory at Edgbaston last year set the platform for her astonishing Wimbledon triumph, gained a 7-5 6-1 victory over last year’s runner-up Tatiana Golovin in today’s semi-finals.

The 17-year-old Golovin threatened to avenge last year’s Edgbaston defeat until a nagging foot injury began to take its toll.

Sharapova appeared to sense her opponent’s Achilles heel and, after having to fight for the first set, raced through the second in just 25 minutes to secure her fourth final appearance of the year.

The pivotal moment came in the last game of the first set in which Golovin double-faulted on game point. She managed to save three more set points thanks to some booming serves but Sharapova succeeded at the fifth attempt to wrap up the set after 51 minutes.

He concentration broken, Golovin dropped her serve at the start of the second set in which she crucially did the splits on a slippery baseline.

A rush to the net in an abortive attempt to retrieve a Sharapova drop shot further tested her dodgy ankle and she was forced to call for a medical time-out to have treatment on the injury she sustained in Paris last month and aggravated in Birmingham.

The French player failed to win another game as Sharapova went for the kill to wrap up a 15th win in 16 matches on the Birmingham grass she likes so much.

“The ankle is fine but the cut I have on my foot is not too good,” said Golovin.

“It held up in the first set, which could have gone either way, but then I slipped.

“The bandage started to come off and it hurt even more. I had my chances out there but she played some good points.”

Sharapova, also under the weather, was encouraged by today’s performance after being taken to three sets in each of her previous two matches.

“Everything is sore but it’s just normal because it’s grass,” she said.

“My butt’s sore and my thigh’s sore with the bending and changing direction suddenly. Once I warm up, I’m fine.

“Energy-wise, I didn’t feel 100% but tennis-wise I’m playing better. I was really relaxed. I made a few sloppy errors but I fought it out.

“I’m still not serving great but there is something left to improve for Wimbledon. I’m still adjusting on the grass but I’m starting to feel much better.”

Golovin, who learned her tennis skills alongside Sharapova at the Bollettieri Academy in Florida, expects the champion to be the favourite at Wimbledon.

“She’s number two in the world and she won last year so she’s obviously the favourite,” she said.

“But I think all the girls are playing great tennis now so it’s going to be tough for anybody to win.”

Jankovic, who took just 55 minutes to beat surprise semi-finalist Laura Granville 6-2 6-2, will be aiming to make it third time lucky when she meets Sharapova tomorrow.

The world number 20, who is another Bollettieri product and now lives in Florida, is undaunted by her defeats in both the US Open and in Beijing last year.

“Every match is different,” she said. “You never know what is going to happen. Obviously, I’m going for a win.”
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Old Jun 12th, 2005, 01:18 AM   #135
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Sharapova pretty peerless in pink

Jamie Jackson
Sunday June 12, 2005
The Observer

Under a dour Birmingham sky, Maria Sharapova's pink singlet and her opponent's lime green two-piece were similar neon sartorial choices, but for women separated by 17 ranking places, there were scant playing parallels, writes Jamie Jackson.

Sharapova had too much hunger for a player she defeated in last year's final in this event, before she won the Wimbledon title three weeks later. Tatiana Golovin's courage was evident, but this was a mismatch in class.

Having saved a set point at 5-2 down, Golovin won the next three games. But, as has been true throughout the DFS Classic, the world number two moved up a gear to win the set 7-5. Then, it was punishment time as Sharapova closed out proceedings with an emphatic 6-1 second-set win.

Earlier in the week, Sharapova had been made a honourary life member of the Priory Club. The MC noted that it allowed her the freedom to play any time and had saved her £600, before quipping: 'It's the thought that counts.'

It was acknowledgement of the fact that Sharapova had jumped 150 places in a year and is now highly rewarded for her string of off-court endorsements. She has also become more guarded.

Who are the main threats to her Wimbledon title? 'I don't like to think about that,' she said, before confirming that she is not 100 per cent fit. 'I don't have too much energy and I have a sore throat, sore thigh and sore butt. That's normal on grass. I'll take a few days off, maybe go shopping in London and then start practising for Wimbledon.'

Her opponent in the final today is Jelena Jankovic, a fellow Nick Bollittieri stablemate. 'We used to hit together when we were 12,' the Serb said after her 6-2 6-2 win over the American Laura Granville.

Jankovic's display featured precise groundstrokes and heavy serving. 'It was very important to start well,' she said. 'I put a lot of pressure on her, especially early on.'

The former junior Australian champion and world junior number one has always had potential, but this year she has moved up the rankings to 20. Why? 'I'm quite lazy, really,' she said. 'I live in Florida and I used to prefer the beach and jet skiing. This year I'm practising harder.'

Jankovic, 20, lost to Sharapova in the second round of the US Open last September, having taken a set off the 18-year-old. 'That will count for nothing,' she said. 'This a different match.'

If she is to win, Jankovic will have to dominate early on and hope Sharapova crumbles for the first time here.

· The glorious drama of a Melbourne evening in late January could be reignited when Marat Safin and Roger Federer meet in the final of the Gerry Weber Open in Halle, Germany, writes Chris Bowers.

Although Safin goes into the final today a distinct underdog against a man unbeaten in his past 28 matches on grass, he has shocked himself and the tennis world this week by turning a distrust - if not hatred - of grass into an acceptance that has made him one of the least likely number-two seeds to reach a tour final.

He is also one of only three men to have beaten Federer this year, in a five-set victory in the semi-finals of the Australian Open.

With the mercurial Russian having kept his cool in a 6-3 4-6 6-2 victory over Guillermo Cañas yesterday, the knowledge of a win over the world number one could add to his new-born confidence on grass.

Yet he could be hitting Federer at just the wrong time, with the Swiss returning to something like his best form when beating local favourite Tommy Haas 6-4 7-6 yesterday. 'Of all my matches so far, I think I played my best today,' said Federer. 'That's definitely how you want to feel just before Wimbledon.'

· Big servers Andy Roddick, the 2004 Wimbledon runner-up, and Ivo Karlovic, all 6ft 10in of him, will meet in the Stella Artois final at Queen's today, writes Jon Henderson. 'The guy serves out of a tree,' said Roddick, who will be attempting to win his third title here. 'It's hard to get a lot of rhythm against him.'

In the semi-finals, Roddick's heavyweight hitting carried him through against Radek Stepanek's deft strokemaking, the American seeing off his Czech opponent 6-3 2-6 6-2. The unseeded Karlovic, who hit 19 aces, then upset Thomas Johansson, conqueror of Britons Andrew Murray and Tim Henman, 6-4 7-6.

Stepanek gambols and skips about the court, a style that has been known to irritate opponents. Roddick showed that he found it a tad annoying when he did a passable imitation of the Czech player's bounding antics to mark reclaiming control of the match with a break in the third game of the deciding set. 'I didn't want to miss out on all the fun - the hopping and skipping and all that stuff,' said Roddick after the match.

Stepanek turned the match around when he won 21 successive service points. In the second set, he dropped none on his delivery, bar the first point of the set. But Roddick cranked up his game to regain command and post a victory that suggested he is moving into prime grass-court form for Wimbledon.
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