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Maria Sharapova returns at Wimbledon.
Russian Maria Sharapova returns the ball in her match against Russian Anna Chakvetadze on the second day of the 125th Wimbledon Championships in Wimbledon,England on Tuesday, June 21, 2011. UPI/Hugo Philpott
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Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (born April 19, 1987) is a Russian professional tennis player and a former World No. 1. A US resident since 1994, Sharapova has won 24 WTA singles titles, including three Grand Slam singles titles at the 2004 Wimbledon, 2006 US Open and 2008 Australian Open. She has also won the year-end invitational WTA Tour Championships in 2004.

The Women's Tennis Association (WTA) has ranked Sharapova World No. 1 in singles on four separate occasions. She became the World No. 1 for the first time on Aug 22, 2005 and last regained this ranking for the fourth time on May 19, 2008. She is currently ranked World No. 2. She has been in 5 Grand Slam finals. Her Grand Slam final record is 3–2.

Sharapova made her professional breakthrough in 2004 when, at age 17, she upset two-time defending champion and top seed Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final for her first Grand Slam singles title. She entered the top ten of the WTA Rankings with this win. Despite not winning a major in 2005, Sharapova briefly held the number one ranking, and reached three Grand Slam semifinals, losing to the eventual champion each time. She won her second major at the 2006 US Open defeating then-World No. 1 Amélie Mauresmo in the semifinals and World No. 2 Justine Henin in the final. Sharapova's 2007 season was plagued with a chronic shoulder injury, and saw her ranking fall out of the top 5 for the first time in two years. She ultimately won her third Grand Slam at the 2008 Australian Open, defeating Henin in the quarterfinals and Ana Ivanović in the final. After reclaiming the number one ranking in May 2008, Sharapova's shoulder problems re-surfaced, ultimately requiring surgery in October and forcing her out of the game for nearly ten months. Sharapova returned in May 2009 and was ranked No. 126 in the world due to her extensive lay-off. Since her comeback, Sharapova has won 5 singles titles (bringing her career total to 24) and improved her ranking to within the top 5.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License.
It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Maria Sharapova."
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