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Photos: Maria Sharapova celebrates her 27th birthday in Germany

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Maria Sharapova poses with her team in Stuttgart, Germany.

Maria Sharapova poses with her team in Stuttgart, Germany. (Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Maria Sharapova celebrated her 27th birthday the way most 27-year-olds do: by wearing traditional a German dress while sitting on a Porsche with a costumed team of men in lederhosen. Celebrities, they’re just like us!

Has it really been 10 years since Sharapova won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old? She celebrated her big day in Stuttgart, Germany, where she is the two-time defending champion at the Porsche Grand Prix, which begins on Monday. Joined by her team, Sharapova decided to dress up in a traditional German dirndl for the kind of photo adventure you can only find in Germany, one that involves luxury cars, merry-go-rounds and enormous teddy bear mascots.

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  • Published On Apr 19, 2014
  • Maria Sharapova gives Andy Murray some fashion advice

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    Maria Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova discussed a variety of topics with her fellow pros. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    Maria Sharapova is used to being on the “answer” side of a Q&A, but rarely does she have to field any inquisitive questions from her colleagues. In the HEAD video below, a relaxed Sharapova talks Sugarpova, Paris and fashion while answering a few questions from her sponsor-mates Novak Djokovic, Andy Murray and Richard Gasquet.

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  • Published On Apr 07, 2014
  • Tennis players who appeared on Late Show with David Letterman

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    Serena Williams appeared on David Letterman after winning gold in both the singles and doubles tournament at the London Olympics. (Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage)

    Serena Williams appeared on David Letterman after winning gold in both the singles and doubles tournament at the London Olympics. (Jeffrey Ufberg/WireImage)

    Late-night talk-show host David Letterman has announced that he will retire in 2015 after 32 years. A number of tennis players have appeared on his New York-based show, which was an easy press stop before and after the U.S. Open. Through Letterman, several stars, both domestic and foreign, got an opportunity to introduce themselves to an American audience.

    Here are some of our favorite interview moments:

    Serena Williams

    Williams was on Late Show four times, once as a Top 10 list presenter and three times as an interviewee. But her most memorable appearance came in 2009. Let’s just say, Letterman really liked her dress.

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  • Published On Apr 07, 2014
  • WTA rankings: Maria Sharapova falls to three-year low of No. 9

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    Maria Sharapova

    Maria Sharapova is ranked as low as ninth for the first time since 2011. (Matthew Stockman/Getty Images)

    Maria Sharapova slipped to No. 9 in this week’s WTA Tour rankings, her lowest position in three years.

    Sharapova’s two-spot dip came after she lost to Serena Williams in the semifinals of the Sony Open, where the Russian was a finalist the previous three years. Petra Kvitova (No. 6) and Angelique Kerber (No. 7) both passed Sharapova, who has yet to make a final in five tournaments this year in her return from a shoulder injury that ended her 2013 season in August.

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  • Published On Mar 31, 2014
  • Serena Williams drops Maria Sharapova to advance to Sony Open finals

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    Serena Williams improved her career head-to-head record against Maria Sharapova to 16-2 with the win in the Sony Open semifinals. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    Serena Williams improved to 16-2 against Maria Sharapova. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    No. 1 Serena Williams defeated No. 7 Maria Sharapova 6-4, 6-3 on Thursday to advance to the Sony Open final for the ninth time. The six-time champion extended her winning streak over the Russian to 15 and now awaits No. 2 Li Na in Saturday’s championship match.

    Sharapova showed she’s getting closer to solving her Serena problem, building a 4-1 lead in the first set and coming within a point of a 3-0 lead in the second set. But once again, Williams reeled her opponent back in with steady baseline play and clutch serving. Williams served nine aces — most came when she was behind in the score or on game point — and hit 21 winners to 22 unforced errors; Sharapova hit 15 winners to 29 unforced errors.

    “I wasn’t playing my best,” Williams said. “I knew if I wanted to stay in the tournament and make another final, I just had to play better.”

    Sharapova fell to 2-16 against Williams and remains winless since 2004. She will slip to No. 9 or No. 10 on Monday, her lowest ranking since 2011.

    “Despite my results against her, I still look forward to playing against her because you learn so much from that type of level she produces,” Sharapova said. “You finish the match, and you know where you need to improve and the things that you need to work on.”

    Game-by-game analysis below:

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  • Published On Mar 27, 2014
  • Maria Sharapova cautions young WTA stars to ignore the hype

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    Maria Sharapova attends 'Porsche Media Night' (she's a Porsche brand ambassador) before the start of the Sony Open in Miami. (Getty Images)

    Maria Sharapova attends ‘Porsche Media Night’ (she’s a Porsche brand ambassador) before the start of the Sony Open in Miami. (Getty Images)

    Maria Sharapova knows a thing or two about the trappings of fame. Since winning Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004, Sharapova has become a marketing juggernaut. She has been the highest paid female athlete every year since she won Wimbledon, according to Forbes. She’s a regular at New York Fashion Week and owns her own company, and her high-profile, high-end global brands brought her $23 million in endorsements last year.

    But the four-time Grand Slam champion and former No. 1 says all the off-court perks are completely ancillary to her ambitions. She wants to be the best on the court, not necessarily off of it, and that means having to make sacrifices.

    NGUYEN: Would Maria Sharapova rather be considered pretty or tough? More quotes from Sony Open

    “I think as players we want to be known for our strength on the court, because at the beginning of our careers that’s what we started off as,” Sharapova told reporters at the Sony Open. “We didn’t start off with modeling agencies. We started off grinding on walls or in tough circumstances and tough situations where we had to grind out and become top professional players.

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  • Published On Mar 26, 2014
  • Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams to face off in Sony Open semifinals

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    Serena Williams continues to look strong as she enters her match with Maria Sharapova. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    Serena Williams continues to look strong as she enters her match with Maria Sharapova. (Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

    Maria Sharapova and Serena Williams are set to face off in the semifinals of the Sony Open on Thursday, their 18th career meeting. The high-profile matchup has gotten more competitive over the last two years, but once again Sharapova goes in as the underdog of all underdogs. She has not beaten Williams since 2004, losing 14 straight matches and winning just one of the last 22 sets. That one set came here at last year’s Miami final, which Williams came back to win 4-6, 6-3, 6-0.

    “It’s no secret that she’s been a big challenge of mine, an opponent that obviously I would love to beat,” Sharapova said after defeating Petra Kvitova 7-5, 6-1 in the quarterfinals.

    Williams’ presence has been a huge roadblock for Sharapova throughout her career. Though her signature win came against Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final, she has lost to her in six finals, including the 2007 Australian Open, 2012 Olympics, 2012 WTA Championships and 2013 French Open. That’s four significant titles Sharapova probably would have won if not for Williams.

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  • Published On Mar 25, 2014
  • Aces and Faults: Catching up after the first week of the Sony Open

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    Lucie Safarova and Maria Sharapova were possibly the most entertaining match-up of the first week. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    Lucie Safarova and Maria Sharapova were possibly the most entertaining match-up of the first week. (Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

    Aces and Faults recaps the week in tennis. Here’s where we stand as the second week begins at the Sony Open in Miami.

    Aces

    Rafael Nadal: After only one match, Nadal already looks to be in far better form in Miami than he did two weeks ago in Indian Wells. His 6-1 destruction of Lleyton Hewitt in the first set of their second-round clash was vintage Nadal, with his hyper-aggressive play off his forehand. That’s when you know he’s playing with confidence. Could this be the year he finally wins Miami?

    Maria Sharapova: Speaking of someone who has never won Miami, Sharapova was made to battle for nearly three hours to defeat Lucie Safarova, 6-4, 6-7 (2), 6-2 in the third round. This was the most hard-fought and entertaining match I saw in the first week. Sharapova is still playing herself into form, and she told reporters that despite high expectations for herself, she’s been trying to stay realistic about her form given her four-month injury layoff. Sharapova rebounded after squandering two match points in the second set, but not before Safarova kept saving match points in spectacular fashion.

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  • Published On Mar 24, 2014
  • Sony Open draw winners and losers

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    This year's Sony Open draw sets up favorably for Serena Williams to defend her title.

    This year’s Sony Open draw sets up favorably for Serena Williams to defend her title. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

    Serena Williams and Andy Murray are both defending champions at this week’s Sony Open in Miami. Only one drew a favorable course to repeat.

    While Williams will likely have two matches to round into form and faces an accommodating half of the bracket en route to the final, Murray will possibly have to go through Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal to defend his title.

    Despite Murray’s tough road, the Sony Open men’s draw is, on the whole, more balanced than that of Indian Wells, which is good for later-round matchups but could offer some snoozers early in the tournament. As for the women, there are definitely some problematic sections in the draw, with a number of quality players clashing early.

    Here’s a look at the draw winners and losers (qualifiers will be placed on Tuesday):

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  • Published On Mar 17, 2014
  • Maria Sharapova ousted by Camila Giorgi in third round at Indian Wells

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    Camilla Giorgi

    Camila Giorgi scored her second completed-match victory over a top-10 player. (Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)

    INDIAN WELLS, Calif. – No. 79 Camila Giorgi upset defending champion Maria Sharapova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 in the third round of the BNP Paribas Open on Monday.

    It was an error-strewn performance for the fifth-ranked Sharapova, who hit just 16 winners to a whopping 58 unforced errors, compared to Giorgi’s equally unimpressive 24 winners and 48 errors. Even more surprising, Giorgi was able to win despite serving at only 45 percent. The two combined for 15 service breaks in the two-hour, 36-minute match. Sharapova’s aggressive return game just didn’t come through and her footwork around the ball deteriorated as the match progressed.

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  • Published On Mar 10, 2014


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