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MARIA PULLS OUT OF HONG KONG

In a statement today, the Hong Kong Tennis Patrons' Association announced the withdrawal of Maria Sharapova from the Hong Kong event.

Sharapova has reluctantly withdrawn, as full recovery from a shoulder injury has allowed her to only start hitting balls just over two weeks ago. She's playing but has not had sufficient training to compete at the high level that Hong Kong demands. Maria announced:

"It's with much disappointment that I have to withdraw from Hong Kong. I've been using this event for the last five years to get match fit and ready for the new season, in fact Hong Kong has been successful in preparing me for the Australian Open. I am very sorry I won't be competing, and I deeply apologise to my fans and the sponsors that they won't see me there this year. I'm just not ready to play against the top class competition in Hong Kong, although I remain hopeful for Australia where I'm the defending champion. Believe me, it's been a very difficult decision, but I only started practicing 16 days ago. I love playing in Hong Kong, and the Organisers attract a world class field."

Max Eisenbud, Maria's agent at IMG commented, "I know how difficult this decision has been for Maria. Hong Kong is a special event for her, she's been competing there since she was 15yrs old and the event staff and team are like family, and there has been no better place to prepare for a Grand Slam. Maria needs to get "tennis fit" now and she's working hard."

Co-Tournament Director in Hong Kong, Mr. Terry Catton said, "We're hugely disappointed, who wouldn't be, but we've known Maria for over five years and we know what a tough competitor she is. She wouldn't give up her spot in Hong Kong lightly and we are terribly sad for her. We're particularly disappointed for our sponsors, our fans and all our different partners but we welcome Maria's comments about Hong Kong, we wish her well for the season and look forward to welcoming her back another year. Tennis needs a fit and competitive Maria."

The Tennis Patrons' Association will replace her with world class Russian, Anna Chakvetadze. Anna is currently World No 18 and came to Hong Kong for the first time in 2008. She has a career high ranking of No. 5, which she achieved last year, and Anna's presence will continue to make Team Russia a powerful contender for the JB Gold Group crown. Replacing Maria as Team Russia's Captain will be World No. 7, Vera Zvonareva. 

Organisers also revealed that they were in discussions with Martina Hingis, former World No. 1 in both Singles and Doubles, to come to the JB Group Classic to compete in the Doubles Event for Team Europe.

The JB Group Classic is a world team event featuring Europe, Russia, Team Americas and Asia Pacific. Heading up these teams are World No 1 Jelena Jankovic, Wimbledon Champion Venus Williams and crowd favourite Zheng Jie from China. A total of 12 players make up a star-studded field.

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MARIA: THE MOST SEARCHED ATHLETE ON YAHOO

It's official.  Maria is the most searched athlete on Yahoo.  Yahoo has published their annual list of most searched athletes and Maria comes in at #1.  Maria is the only tennis player in the top 10.

Here is the top 10 list:

1. Maria Sharapova

2. Gina Carano

3. Danica Patrick

4. Cristiano Ronaldo

5. Amanda Beard

6. Michael Phelps

7. Kimbo Slice

8. Leryn Franco

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A doodle from Maria...Finally!!!

MARIA HEALED, BACK ON THE TENNIS COURT

Hello Everyone!

I am finally back on the court hitting tennis balls again! It is such a relief to be out there enjoying every second of it.

Let me tell you how I got to this point. As you know from my last doodle, I went to see the top shoulder specialist in NY and he sent me to work with a shoulder rehab specialist in Phoenix, Arizona. I was in Phoenix working on my shoulder for 10 weeks. We were working hard on my strength and building up all the muscles around my shoulder. Since I can only do that for 2 hours a day, I also worked really hard on working on other parts of my body. Unfortunately after my 10 weeks of shoulder rehab, I started hitting and serving again and I still felt the same exact pain that I have had in my shoulder since March. I went back to NY to see Dr.Altcheck on October 14 and we went to plan B. On the morning of October 15 Dr. Altcheck performed a minor arthroscopic surgery that lasted 22 minutes on my right shoulder.

The procedure was successful and very simple. I left the hospital a few hours after the procedure and flew to my home in Florida for 3 days and then I flew back to Phoenix to start working on my shoulder. The 10 weeks of shoulder strength before the procedure really helped the shoulder heal quicker. Dr. Altcheck thought my recovery would be very fast and he was right. I had full range of motion after 14 days, after 6 weeks I was throwing a foot ball and after 8 weeks I was back on the court where I belong. I know this entire process has made me stronger and more hungry. I miss competing so much. I am trying to do everything possible to be ready for Australia, but I have promised my doctors, coach and family that I will not rush back. Since I only started practicing 16 days ago,  I have only been able to practice so many hours at a time which is why I don't feel like I am ready to compete at a high level right now and this is why I need to pull out of the exhibtion in Hong Kong. But the great news is that we have taken care of the problem that has been bothering me so much over the last couple of years, and now is the time to get into what I call 'match shape'. I know my shoulder will be 100 percent by Australia, I just need to see if I have enough tennis training to be ready for that level. I want to thank all my great fans for their support, it meant so much to me during these tough weeks. I hope everyone has a great holiday.

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GRAND SLAM WINNING STREAKS

When Maria has won a Grand Slam, she has posted an impressive winning streak of at least 14 wins around the win.  Maria's biggest winning streak was 19 wins after she the US Open in 2006.

Here is a detailed summary of each winning streak:

BIRMINGHAM 2004 - SAN DIEGO 2004

Maria started this winning streak on the grasscourts of Birmingham.  Maria won her 1st ever grasscourt title and posted 5 wins including wins over Patty Schnyder and Tatiana Golovin.  Maria then headed south to Wimbledon to play her 3rd Grand Slam of the year in London as the 13th seed.  Maria looked very impressive in the opening rounds as she dropped only 11 games and faced her first test in Amy Frazier but still managed to win in straight sets.  Then the work began in the quarters as she defeated Ai Sugiyama of Japan in 3 sets and scored a victory of Lindsay Davenport in the semis.  In the final Maria was playing the 2-time defending champion Serena Williams and Maria looked like she was the defending champion as she scored a 6-1 6-4 victory to take her 1st Grand Slam victory at the tender age of 17.  To complete the streak Maria scored 2 wins at San Diego in reaching the quarters.

Maria results in this period

Birmingham - Champion

Wimbledon - Champion

San Diego - Quarters

2 top 10 wins - Davenport (5) and S Williams (10)

14 match wins

US OPEN 2006 - WTA CHAMPIONSHIPS 2006

Maria entered the US Open as the #3 seed and one of the favourites for the title following her impressive hardcourt season.  Maria encountered her first test in the quarters against Tatiana Golovin of France and then defeated world #1 and #2 Amelie Mauresmo and Justine Henin in the semis and final to win her 2nd Grand Slam.  Maria then took some time off and headed to Moscow and she won 1 match but had to pull out of her quarter-final with a foot injury.  Maria scored 2 straight tournament wins in Zurich and Linz and went to play the WTA Championships in Madrid and had a 100% win in the group stage and lost to eventual champion Justine Henin in the semis.

Maria's results in this period:

US Open: ChampionMoscow: Quarters (injury withdrawal)

Zurich: Champion

Linz: Champion

WTA Championships: Semis

7 top 10 wins: Mauresmo (1), Henin (2), Kuznetsova (4), Petrova (5), Clijsters (6), Dementieva (8) & Schnyder (9)

19 match wins

AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2008 - INDIAN WELLS 2008

Maria headed to the Australian Open after having a near perfect off-season and her results and form proved this.  Maria was ready from the 1st match and she wasn't going to lose this tournament after putting up some of her impressive matches of her career.  Maria didn't drop a set and defeated world #1 Justine Henin 6-4 6-0 in the quarters and followed this up with wins over the rising Serbs Jelena Jankovic and Ana Ivanovic.  A week after the win, Maria headed to Israel to play her first Fed Cup tie and scored a perfect 2-0 record in difficult conditions.  Maria won Doha in 2005 and won it again as she kept up her unbeaten streak in that city alive with 5 straight wins including a win over Vera Zvonareva in the final.  Maria travelled all the way east to play Indian Wells and reached the semis losing to Svetlana Kuznetsova in 3 very tough sets.

Maria's results in this period:

Australian Open: Champion

Fed Cup: 2 wins to put Russia in the semis

Doha: Champion

Indian Wells: Semis

4 top 10 wins: Henin (1), Ivanovic (3), Jankovic (4) & Hantuchova (8)

18 match wins

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Tennis player Maria Sharapova watches a game from courtside between the New Orleans Hornets and the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center on January 6, 2009 in Los Angeles, California.

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post-5116-0-1446069272-2497_thumb.jpgpost-5116-0-1446069272-26329_thumb.jpgpost-5116-0-1446069272-28687_thumb.jpg

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Is that really her boyfriend? He looks like he could be her hairdresser... :whistle:

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Is that really her boyfriend? He looks like he could be her hairdresser... :whistle:

Haha yeah he could be :laugh: There is alot of speculation on wheather he is Maria's new BF or not. But like with most of these speculations..there is noty much substance to go with it. :p what i find wired how Yuri was one minuite there the next he was gone ;)

Anyways here is another nice pic of her during xmas holidays..Maria with her beloved dog dolce

th_73166_picsrv.mariasharapova_122_1047lo.jpg

...loving the picture behind her, I think it's somehere like regent street

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Her boyfriend is hot!! she doesn't realy look happy at the match :sleep:

the last pic is super cute she looks great on

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Maria Out Of Aussie Open 09

NEXT week's Australian Open has been rocked by the withdrawal of defending champion Maria Sharapova.

Sharapova's management contacted Melbourne Park officials today with news her right shoulder injury had not fully recovered.

Australian Open tournament director Craig Tiley confirmed Sharapova's battle for fitness had been lost.

"I'm obviously disappointed for Maria because she's extremely disappointed," Tiley said.

"We've been in constant contact with Maria and she's decided to withdraw because she's not ready in her rehabilitation process.

"She's loves the Australian Open and she loves Melbourne - she's bitterly disappointed."

Sharapova, 23, has not played since Montreal in August because of chronic soreness in her shoulder.

Sharapova had been desperate to defend the Melbourne Park title.

But she last week withdrew from a Hong Kong exhibition, triggering fears she would have to bypass the Open.

The decision comes as a massive blow to the Russian, who spent 10 weeks in Arizona rehabilitating.

"We were working hard on my strength and building up all the muscles around my shoulder," Sharapova said on her website.

"Since I can only do that for two hours a day, I also worked really hard on working on other parts of my body.

"Unfortunately after my 10 weeks of shoulder rehab, I started hitting and serving again and I still felt the same exact pain that I have had in my shoulder since March."

Sharapova then underwent arthroscopic surgery - but believed she would recover in time for the next week's Open.

"I miss competing so much. I am trying to do everything possible to be ready for Australia, but I have promised my doctors, coach and family that I will not rush back," she said.

"I have only been able to practice so many hours at a time which is why I don't feel like I am ready to compete at a high level right now and this is why I need to pull out of the exhibtion in Hong Kong.

"But the great news is that we have taken care of the problem that has been bothering me so much over the last couple of years, and now is the time to get into what I call 'match shape'."

Sharapova joins Lindsay Davenport (pregnant) and Nadia Petrova (viral meningitis) as high-profile absentees.

Russia's world No. 5 Nikoloay Davydenko (foot) is the most notable casualty on the men's side.

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Her new doodle:

OUT OF AUSTRALIA

1/11/2009 2:53:00 AM

I am very very sad to report that I am just not ready to compete at the level required to win a Grand Slam. I have been working very hard over the past few weeks and my shoulder is doing great, but there is way more preparation and training needed to compete to win my fourth grand slam and I have just ran out of time. If they can move the Australian Open back another 3 weeks, I think I could be ready!! I have very mixed feelings, I am so disappointed and sad that I can't defend my title from last year and at the same time, I am so excited to be back on the tennis court training.

After spending a majority of the last few months in Phoenix/ Scottsdale, it's been nice to spend some time at home with a normal regime of waking up and going

to practice. I know that I'm working pretty hard when I need to take little power naps in between practices.

If I may say so myself, I was the official Santa Claus of 2008. I set up little worker shop in my hotel room in Phoenix and one at home for the weekends. I don't know how many presents I wrapped but I never thought I would come to a point when I didn't want to do it anymore. So that lead to a quick stop at Papyrus and a stack of Christmas bags. The shopping on the other hand, I never get tired of. I was helping out all of my guy friends and their shopping lists. Shopping with or around men is a nightmare to begin with, but during X-mas time its a complete disaster. They're constantly complaining about the prices at the checkout. Their go-to is usually gift certificates which I have a problem with because there is absolutely no thought or meaning behind it. Others just walk around the stores saying Bahh Humbaa..

My grandmother was in town for quite a bit which led to a few things...cooking and doing non-stop jigsaw puzzles. There is only one thing that separates my cooking and my grandmas. You see when she's in the kitchen it seems like no one is there. When I'm cooking, I let the whole world know! There's flour all over the kitchen counters and ten feet away on the floor, I call everyone to let them know I'm cooking, and I finish that off with a mass email to my friends with a picture of what I cooked. And its always around the time the cleaner comes in. I guess I'm also leaving out one minor difference between the two: her tastes A LOT better.

Quote goes to Natalie when the paparazzi were following us around in NY. 'Do they always make conversation with you like that?' Yep, there's a very open dialogue when they're snapping your picture and no it's not normal.

As far as music I have a new favorite..Michael Franti...you have to check out his songs 'Say Hey' and 'Never Too Late'. The Killers new album is amazing! Song four is my fave on the album.

On another note, I wanted to let everyone know that I started working with a new Nike design team end of last year and have been working very hard on this years dresses. I cannot wait to play in them and unfortunately will have to debut the Australian dress a little later. There will be six of them altogether, changing colors in between the grand slams. The color palette is stunning and starting in 2010 you will see some really cool graphics.

Gutted that she is out. Was so looking forward to seeing her play once again.However on the other hand im glad she is taking her shoulder very seriously now and hopfully will cure it for good...been like 4yrs now!

I want to thank all my fans for their support, especially all my fans in Australia, I promise I will be there next year.

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I just read this. I am so disapointed.

poor Maria I hope she can play in Paris in February

I very impatient to see her on a court

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It's been too long since I've visited this thread, thanks to all for the pics and info :)

I hope these are new -

th_11046_MS_122_184lo.jpg post-20523-0-1446069277-90223_thumb.jpg

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