It’s the start of the clay season for men, and for the women’s side it has already started. In fact Sharapova captured her very first clay title courtesy of the Bausch and Lomb Championships after she defeated Cibulkova. She also entered the Family Circle Cup and ended losing to Serena Williams in the quarters. Serena was the eventual champion of the said clay court event. This was the fourth straight time that Serena defeated my fave Sharapova, and the first time that they played on clay. This isn’t a sad ending for her, in fact her season is beyond average. Winning the Australian Open, getting a Tier 1 event then getting her first clay title is an achievement. Another great thing to celebrate is her birthday. April 19 is her birthday- Happy Birthday Maria. She’s one of my fave players in the women’s tour. Just one of the few that I truly like.
Sharapova is a success story not just on the courts but off the court as well. After winning the Wimbledon Championships at the age of 17, Maria garnered sponsorships deals that will eventually surpass her earnings off court! She is often considered as one of the highest paid female player in the world- I think she’s number one for 2005, thanks to the numerous sponsorships tucked under her belt. Nike, Canon and Land Rover are just some of the top-shelf names that picked Sharapova as one of their endorsers. The endorsement that was signed by Sharapova for the Land Rover brand is a multi-year contract that was signed in 2006.