Maria Sharapova Off Court and On
2010 may not have been the best year on court for Maria Sharapova but, off screen it is one of the best she has had.
On October she got engaged to her boyfriend of 12 months, Lakers basketball star Sasha Vujavic. He proposed to her on one knee at his Manhattan Beach home in California and presented her with a $250,000 diamond and platinum engagement ring.
The couple have been dating since 2009 and in the summer she invited him to join her for training at the IMG Sports Academy in Florida. At 6' 11" he is the ideal partner for Sharapova as she is 6' 2" herself.
Coming back from a crippling shoulder injury she was forced to adjust her explosive serve and she failed to reach the second week of all four Grand Slams. In the Australian Open she was beaten in the first round by Maria Kirilenko, the first time since 2003 she had lost in an opening match in a Grand Slam event.
But she bounced back straight away and won her 21st career WTA title when she won the cellular South Cup. She won her first title on red clay at the Internationaux de Strasbourg but at the French Open she lost to Justin Henin in the fourth round. It was her her 7th loss to the Belgian player in 10 meetings.
She was 16th seed at Wimbledon and made it to the fourth round before losing to World Number 1 and eventual Champion, Serena Williams. Despite losing, it was an encouraging performance by Sharapova and she said she felt she was in a much better place than in the previous year.
At the US Open she lost to number 1 seed Caroline Wozniacki through a series of unforced errors and she lost in the first round of her last two tournaments of the year at Tokyo and the China Open.
She is bringing in Thomas Hogstedt as a coach for the 2011 season who will join long-time friend and coach Michael Joyce. She will lead the Russian Federation Cup team against France in February 2011 in their first round match.
2010 has been a good year financially for Sharapova, in January she renewed her contract with Nike signing an 8-year deal for $70 million. It is the most lucrative deal ever for a sportswoman and in February 2010 Forbes Magazine named her the World's highest-paid female athlete earning $24.5 million. She was also voted the Sexiest Female on the Circuit in 2010.
At the 2010 CFDA Vogue Fashion Party she said she loves fashion (Maria Sharapova Collection) almost as much as she loves tennis. She is also a designer and has an Autumn line with Cole Haan. She says she gets her inspiration through travelling and lives street style. She's always stopping people in the street and taking pictures of them.