Maria Sharapova Takes U.S. Open

Maria Sharapova won her first U.S. Open title tonight, in a very well played match over Justine Henin Hardenne in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4. It was the 11th straight set final on the women’s side in the United States Open. It was her second grand slam win, having taken Wimbledon two years ago. Sharapova is the darling of the endorsement world, garnering and estimated 20 million plus a year. And she has game to back it up.

She defeated a very good Henin Hardenne, who has been in the final match of every grand slam this year. Maria came into the game having defeated the number one seed Amelie Mauresmo in three sets in the semi-final. Maria was hungry for the title, and it showed throughout the match with Justine. Sharapova spoke fondly of Billie Jean King in her trophy acceptance, shortly before dropping the top off of the trophy, to the laughter of the New York crowd.

Sharapova hails from Russia, where she first picked up a racket at the age of four. In 1992 at a match in Moscow, she was spotted by tennis legend Martina Navratilova, who recommend she attend a tennis academy in Florida, and the rest, of course, is history. But there was alot of family sacrifice on the way. Not seeing her mother for months (sometimes years) at a time. She put in the work and is now reaping the rewards. Maria is an example of what hard work-coupled with real talent, of course-can achieve. Congratulations!

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