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Sharapova Marches to the Semifinals

Posted January. 25, 2007 03:35,   


Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova is a sports millionaire.

According to a recent Forbes report, Sharapova earned $19 million (about 17.8 billion won) between June 2005 and June 2006. Calculated based on playing time, some argue that it only takes her six minutes to make $1,000.

Her major source of income is sponsorship by large corporations. In Korea as well, one often bumps into large billboard ads plastered with her photo. She is a valuable model in that not only does she have good looks but also the world-class tennis skills. This point is a sharp contrast with Anna Kournikova (Russia) whose competence as a player wasn’t equivalent to her appearance. In the Australian Open, the season’s first major tournament, Sharapova has advanced to the semifinals.

Clashing with Clijsters-

Although currently second in the world rankings, Sharapova will certainly move to first when the new list is updated next week. In the women’s single quarterfinal match held in Melbourne, Australia, on January 24, Sharapova defeated Anna Chakvetadze (Russia, 13th in world rankings) 2-0 (7-6, 7-5). Despite six double-faults and 41 errors, she won due to her brilliant crisis management skill.

Proceeding to the semifinals for three straight years, she is aiming at two consecutive major titles after winning the U.S. Open last year. Her opponent in the semifinals scheduled on January 26 will be Kim Clijsters (Belgium, ranked fifth in the world rankings), who beat Martina Hingis (Switzerland) 2-1 (3-6, 6-4, 6-3). Even though Sharapova is behind Clijsters in head-to-head competition with two wins and four losses, the two wins occurred in the most recent matches.

In the men’s doubles, Lim Yong-kyo (Andong Middle School) and Cho Sung-jae (Mapo High School), up-and-coming Korean youngsters sponsored by Samsung Securities, had a 2-1 (0-6, 6-1, 7-6) victory over Johnny Hamui and Dennis Lajola (USA) and proceeded to the semifinals.