Maria Sharapova is a world-renowned expert tennis player from Russia who was born on April 19, 1987, in Nyagan, Siberia, Russia. Aleksandr Kafelnikov, a buddy, introduced Maria with her very first tennis racket in 1991 and she began to practice frequently with her father in a neighborhood park. She had her first tennis lessons with veteran Russian coach Yuri Yutkin. Back in 1993, she moved into a tennis clinic in Moscow run by Martina Navratilova. She suggested her to take professional training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida. After learning how to play tennis as a youngster, she moved to Florida with her father, receiving a scholarship at the age of nine to receive training in the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy, however was unable to enter there because she was too young for this.
Her father worked in various low-paying jobs so that she would take her tennis lessons. Before she was accepted into the International Management Group (IMG) Academy, she had been trained by Rick Macci in the Rick Macci Tennis Academy. Back in 1995, Maria was signed by IMG. Roku sticks not working on TV IMG declared paying an yearly tuition fee of $35,000 to get Maria to stay with the academy, where she eventually enrolled at age 9. In November 2000, she won her first competition at the Eddie Herr International Junior Tennis Championship from the girls' 16th division. She was later bestowed with all the Rising Star Award.
When she was 15, she played in the final of the Australian Open Junior championship, making her the youngest man to get to the closing, and proceeded to compete among her peers, finishing second in the Wimbledon and hitting the next round of French Open (Junior) in 2002.