Birthplace: Nyagan, Russia Born: April 19, 1987 Height: 6’2″ Weight: 130 lbs. Turned pro: April 19, 2001 Known as an aggressive baseliner, Maria Sharapova started playing tennis at the age of 4 when her father began teaching her the game at a local park in her home country of Russia. Five years later, at the age of 9, Sharapova enrolled in the legendary Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy in Florida. From there, it took the talented Russian only 6 years to reach the finals of the Australian Open and Wimbledon. Sharapova’s career highlights include winning Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006, and the Australian Open in 2008. The powerful right-hander also achieved a world No. 1 ranking in 2005 and again in 2008. So how does the beautiful tennis star stay in such great shape (aside from hours and hours of practice)? For starters, Sharapova believes in changing up her workouts. She recently told our sister magazine, Shape, that she loves to bike and do yoga on a regular basis. She also adds a fun element to working out by incorporating salsa dancing into her schedule—perfect for helping her maintain her motivation. As for dieting, Sharapova won’t even think about it. “Nothing makes me happier than having an amazing meal,” she says. “But I never diet because I need to be strong.”
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