On the tennis court, she has other things to worry about besides her appearance as she puts her all into her game. And despite being known as one of the more glamorous female tennis players, Maria Sharapova admits she doesn't spend much time focused on her appearance. As she poses for a stunning shoot with US magazine Self, the Russian athlete, 27, speaks about her body confidence and her changing attitude to fashion.
She tells the September issue: 'I have a competitive drive. It’s ferocious and powerful, and it’s about winning. 'When I’m on the court, I’m not thinking about how I look. I do my ponytail in two seconds, and I’m not wearing a stitch of make-up. I’m confident in my skin, and I’m there to play the game.' Reflecting when she first started out on the international tennis tournaments, she admitted her court style was a lot more colourful than it is now.
She explained: 'I was a teenager. Of course I loved pinks and patterns! 'Those one-off pieces were great for entertainment value.' To celebrate her SELF cover, Maria met fans in New York City on Monday. Dressed in a LBD, the athlete looked elegant and stunning as she hosted a Q&A about being a SELF Made Woman at the Sugarpova Pop Up Store in Manhattan.
The world number 61, who knocked out U.S. Open semi-finalist and 13th seed Ekaterina Makarova in the second round, prevailed again in the battle of baseliners to notch arguably the biggest win of her career. Sharapova was defeated by Timea Bacsinszky in a tight game, losing the first set at the tie break and the second 7-5 -- a result which broke the hearts of the local crowd who were supporting the Russian world number four.
"There were a lot of, you know, times in the match where I did everything right for the first few balls and then didn't execute in the points," Sharapova said. "I think I always allowed her to get another ball back and to make me play another ball. Then obviously that didn't help me, because I was making more mistakes."
The tournament has already suffered the loss of a string of seeds, including world number one Serena Williams, and local hero Li Na announced her retirement days before it started. Switzerland's Bacsinszky will go on to play either Casey Dellacqua of Australia or Denmark's world number eight Caroline Wozniacki in the quarter-finals.
Beijing. Scream if you wanna hit harder! It's Maria Sharapova's ad for greatness and tennis achievements, a lesson and rule she endorses all around the World in continuous fashion. The China Open of Beijing was no exception, with the blonde Maria shouting out loud her aggressiveness and drive to conquer the quarterfinal match played against her compatriot Svetlana Kuznetsova.
One of Sharapova's best matches of the year, probably her best performance on hard courts in this 2014 season. Solid with her baseline shots, a perfect mix of power and accuracy, especially on her forehand side, allowed the French Open champion to sail into the China Open semifinals in great fashion, to set up a "beautiful" clash with Ana Ivanovic in the semifinals tomorrow.
Things did come out as easy for the Russian in the second set. When the contest started to become a loud contest of screams, shouts and shots, the French Open champion tumbled under pressure and was broken for the first time in the match in the 7th game, when a series of unforced errors and a wide forehand on the break point allowed Kuzetsova with a chance to lead for once.
Up 4-3 on her serve, Svetlana screamed a sigh or relief and fist pumped her way to the changeover. The momentum however, was soon to switch again. With the rallies becoming longer, Maria managed to keep her unforced errors down a notch and with a winner conquered the break to level the set at 4-4. Some of the best rallies were seen in those games, with both players hitting full power and full loudness, hardly missing a ball, almost every point decided with a winner.
World number four Maria Sharapova reached the China Open final with a 6-0 6-4 win over Ana Ivanovic in Beijing. The 27-year-old Russian, a beaten finalist in 2012, powered ahead by taking the first seven games. Ivanovic began to find her touch in an entertaining second set but fourth seed Sharapova sealed victory in an hour and 28 minutes with her fourth match point.
She will play third seed Petra Kvitova on Sunday after the Czech player overcame Samantha Stosur 6-3 5-7 6-2. Kvitova reeled off five games in a row to close out the match in two hours and 21 minutes. Having triumphed in last week's inaugural Wuhan Open, Kvitova will move to world number two if she wins the final.
Ivanovic had won the two most recent encounters with Sharapova, but trailed 8-4 overall in their matches dating back to 2006. Sharapova, who also won the first set 6-0 in her quarter-final victory over Svetlana Kuznetsova, refused to let Ivanovic settle into the match, securing the third game when 40-0 down on her opponent's serve.
In a 10th game containing six deuces, in which Sharapova mixed four double faults with three aces, it seemed Ivanovic had levelled the set at 5-5. But a challenge that had been missed by many amid the noise from the crowd showed the ball had clipped the outer part of the baseline and the Russian went on to complete victory.
World number four Maria Sharapova captured the China Open with a thrilling 6-4 2-6 6-3 final win over third seed Petra Kvitova in Beijing. Sharapova, the beaten finalist in 2012, was broken in the opening game but took the first set in 49 minutes as Kvitova, 24, was guilty of 17 unforced errors.
It was Sharapova's fifth successive victory over Kvitova, who would have risen to world number two had she taken the title, following her triumph in the inaugural Wuhan Open last week. After Kvitova fell three games behind in the third, she won the next two games.
Sharapova had a match point on the Kvitova serve, but the Czech Republic player, who won her second Wimbledon title this year, held to force the Russian to serve for the match. Unlike in her semi-final with Ana Ivanovic, when her final service game contained six deuces, Sharapova won it to love to record the 33rd title of her career.