Maria Sharapova

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova (Russian: Мари́я Ю́рьевна Шара́пова; IPA: [mɐˈrʲijə ˈjʉrʲjɪvnə ʂɐˈrapəvə]; born April 19, 1987) is a Russian professional tennis player. A United States resident since 1994,[4] Sharapova has competed on the WTA tour since 2001. She has been ranked world No. 1 in singles by the WTA on five separate occasions, for a total of 21 weeks. She is one of ten women, and the only Russian, to hold the career Grand Slam. She is also an Olympic medalist, having earned silver for Russia in women’s singles at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.

Sharapova became the world No. 1 for the first time on August 22, 2005, at the age of 18, and last held the ranking for the fifth time for four weeks from June 11, 2012, to July 8, 2012.[5][6] Her 35 singles titles and five Grand Slam titles—two at the French Open and one each at the Australian Open, Wimbledon, and US Open—rank third among active players, behind Serena and Venus Williams. She won the year-ending WTA Finals in her debut in 2004. She has also won three doubles titles.

Despite an injury-prone career, Sharapova has achieved a rare level of longevity in the women’s game. She won at least one singles title a year from 2003 until 2015, a streak only bested by Steffi Graf, Martina Navratilova, and Chris Evert. Several tennis pundits and former players have called Sharapova one of tennis’s best competitors, with John McEnroe calling her one of the best the sport has ever seen.[7]

Sharapova has been featured in a number of modeling assignments, including a feature in the Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue. She appeared in many advertisements, including those for Nike, Prince, and Canon, being the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan. Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme. In June 2011, she was named one of the “30 Legends of Women’s Tennis: Past, Present and Future” by Time[8] and in March 2012 was named one of the “100 Greatest of All Time” by Tennis Channel. According to Forbes, she has been named highest paid female athlete in the world for 11 consecutive years and earned US$285 million including prize money since she turned pro in 2001.[9][10]

In March 2016, Sharapova revealed she had failed a drug test at the 2016 Australian Open on January 26, 2016. She had tested positive for meldonium, a substance that had been banned, effective January 1, 2016 by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA). On June 8, 2016, she was suspended from playing tennis for two years by the International Tennis Federation (ITF).[11][12][13] On October 4, 2016, the suspension was reduced to 15 months, starting from the date of the failed test, as the Court of Arbitration for Sports found that she had committed “no significant fault” and that she had taken the substance “based on a doctor’s recommendation […] with good faith belief that it was appropriate and compliant with the relevant rules” .[14][15][14] She returned to the WTA tour on April 26, 2017 at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix.

Roger Federer

Roger Federer (born 8 August 1981) is a Swiss professional tennis player. He has won 18 Grand Slam singles titles, the most in history for a male tennis player, and held the No. 1 spot in the ATP rankings for a record 237 consecutive weeks and a record total of 302 weeks. In majors, Federer has won seven Wimbledon titles, five Australian Open titles, five US Open titles and one French Open title. He is among the eight men to capture a career Grand Slam. He has reached a record 28 men’s singles Grand Slam finals, including 10 in a row from the 2005 Wimbledon Championships to the 2007 US Open.

Federer’s ATP tournament records include winning a record six ATP World Tour Finals and playing in the finals at all nine ATP Masters 1000 tournaments. He also won the Olympic gold medal in doubles with his compatriot Stan Wawrinka at the 2008 Summer Olympic Games and the Olympic silver medal in singles at the 2012 Summer Olympic Games. Representing Switzerland, he was a part of the 2014 winning Davis Cup team. He was named the Laureus World Sportsman of the Year for a record four consecutive years from 2005 to 2008.

Many players and analysts regard him as the greatest male tennis player of all time.[a] Federer turned professional in 1998 and was continuously ranked in the top 10 from October 2002 to November 2016.[18] He is currently ranked world No. 5 by the Association of Tennis Professionals (ATP).[19]

Steffi Graf

Steffi Graf
Steffi Graf in Hamburg 2010 (cropped).jpg

Steffi Graf in 2010
Full name Stefanie Maria Graf[1]
Country (sports)  West Germany (1982–1990)
 Germany (1990–1999)
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada, U.S.
Born 14 June 1969 (age 48)
Mannheim, West Germany
Height 1.76 m (5 ft 9 12 in)
Turned pro 18 October 1982
Retired 13 August 1999
Plays Right-handed (one-handed backhand)
Coach(es) Peter Graf
Pavel Složil (1986–1991)
Heinz Günthardt (1992–1999)
Prize money US$ 21,895,277[2]
Int. Tennis HoF 2004 (member page)
Singles
Career record 900–115 (88.67%)
Career titles 107 (3rd all-time)
Highest ranking No. 1 (17 August 1987)
Grand Slam Singles results
Australian Open W (1988, 1989, 1990, 1994)
French Open W (1987, 1988, 1993, 1995, 1996, 1999)
Wimbledon W (1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 1996)
US Open W (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996)
Other tournaments
Tour Finals W (1987, 1989, 1993, 1995, 1996)
Olympic Games W (1988)
Doubles
Career record 173–72
Career titles 11
Highest ranking No. 3 (3 March 1987)
Grand Slam Doubles results
Australian Open SF (1988, 1989)
French Open F (1986, 1987, 1989)
Wimbledon W (1988)
US Open SF (1986, 1987, 1988, 1989)
Other doubles tournaments
Olympic Games SF (1988)
Mixed doubles
Career record 9–7 (56.25%)
Career titles 0
Grand Slam Mixed Doubles results
Australian Open 2R (1991)
French Open 2R (1994)
Wimbledon SF (1999)
US Open 1R (1984)
Team competitions
Fed Cup W (1987, 1992)
Hopman Cup W (1993)

Steffi Graf signature

Stefanie MariaSteffiGraf (German pronunciation: [ˈʃtɛfiː ˈgʁa:f]; born 14 June 1969) is a German former tennis player, who was ranked world No. 1 during her career. Graf won 22 Grand Slam singles titles.[3] Her 22 singles titles put her second on the list of Major wins by a tennis player (male or female) since the introduction of the Open Era in 1968 and is third all-time behind Margaret Court (24) and Serena Williams (23). In 1988, she became the first and only tennis player (male or female) to achieve the Golden Slam by winning all four Grand Slam singles titles and the Olympic gold medal in the same calendar year.[4] Furthermore, she is the only tennis player to have won each Grand Slam event at least four times.

Graf was ranked world No. 1 by the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) for a record 377 total weeks—the longest period for which any player, male or female, has held the number-one ranking since the WTA and the Association of Tennis Professionals began issuing rankings.[5] She won 107 singles titles, which ranks her third on the WTA’s all-time list after Martina Navratilova (167 titles) and Chris Evert (157 titles). She and Margaret Court are the only players, male or female, to win three grand slams in a calendar year five times (1988, 1989, 1993, 1995 and 1996).

Notable features of Graf’s game were her versatility across all playing surfaces, footwork and her powerful forehand drive.[6] Graf won six French Open singles titles (second to Evert), seven Wimbledon singles titles, four Australian Open titles, and five U.S. Open singles titles. She is the only singles player (male or female) to have achieved a Grand Slam since hard court was introduced as a surface at the US Open in 1978. Consequently, Graf’s Grand Slam was achieved on grass, clay, and hard court while the previous five Grand Slams were decided on only grass and clay. Graf reached thirteen consecutive Grand Slam singles finals, from the 1987 French Open through to the 1990 French Open, winning nine of them. She won 5 consecutive Majors (1988 Australian Open to 1989 Australian Open), and seven Majors out of eight, in two calendar years (1988 Australian Open to 1989 US Open, except 1989 French Open). She reached a total of 31 Grand Slam singles finals.

Graf is regarded by some to be the greatest female tennis player of all time. Navratilova included Graf on her list of great players. In 1999 Billie Jean King said “Steffi is definitely the greatest women’s tennis player of all time”.[7] In December 1999, Graf was named the greatest female tennis player of the 20th century by a panel of experts assembled by the Associated Press.[8] Tennis writer Steve Flink, in his book The Greatest Tennis Matches of the Twentieth Century, named her as the best female player of the 20th century.[9] In March 2012, Tennis Channel picked Graf as the greatest female tennis player ever in their list of 100 greatest tennis players of all time.[10]

Graf retired in 1999 while she was ranked World No. 3. She married former World No. 1 men’s tennis player Andre Agassi in October 2001. The couple has two children – Jaden Gil and Jaz Elle. Graf was inducted into the Tennis Hall of Fame in 2004.

Sania Mirza

Sania Mirza (pronounced [saːˈnɪaː mɪrzaː]; born 15 November 1986) is an Indian professional tennis player who was formerly ranked No. 1 in the women’s doubles rankings.[3][4] From 2003 until her retirement from singles in 2013, she was ranked by the Women’s Tennis Association as India’s No. 1 player, both in singles and doubles. Throughout her career, Mirza has established herself as the most successful female Indian tennis player ever and one of the highest-paid and high-profile athletes in the country.[5][6]

In her singles career, Mirza has notable wins over Svetlana Kuznetsova, Vera Zvonareva and Marion Bartoli; as well as former world No. 1s Martina Hingis, Dinara Safina, and Victoria Azarenka. She is the highest-ranked female player ever from India, peaking at world No. 27 in singles in mid-2007; however, a major wrist injury forced her to give up her singles career and focus on the doubles circuit, where she was ranked No. 1.[7] She has achieved a number of firsts for women’s tennis in her native country, including surpassing US$1 million in career earnings (now over $6 million), winning a singles Pro-level title, and winning six major titles (three each in women’s doubles and in mixed doubles), as well as qualifying for (and eventually winning) the WTA Finals in 2014 alongside Cara Black, defending the title the following year partnering with Martina Hingis.[8]

In addition, she is the third Indian woman in the Open Era to feature and win a round at a Grand Slam tournament, and the first to reach the second week. She has also won a total of 14 medals (including 6 Gold) at three major multi-sport events, namely the Asian Games, the Commonwealth Games and the Afro-Asian Games.

Mirza was named one of the “50 Heroes of Asia” by Time in October 2005.[9] In March 2010, The Economic Times named Mirza in the list of the “33 women who made India proud”.[10] She was appointed as the UN Women’s Goodwill Ambassador for South Asia during the event held to mark the International Day To End Violence Against Women on 25 November 2013.[11] She was named in Time magazine’s 2016 list of the 100 most influential people in the world.[12]

Mahesh Bhupathi

Mahesh Shrinivas Bhupathi (born 7 June 1974) is an Indian professional tennis player. In 1997, he became the first Indian to win a Grand Slam tournament (with Rika Hiraki).[a] With his win at the Australian Open mixed doubles in 2006, he joined the elite group of eight tennis players who have achieved a career Grand Slam in mixed doubles. He is also the founder of International Premier Tennis League. In December 2016, Bhupathi was appointed as India’s next non-playing Davis Cup captain and took over the reins from Anand Amritraj in February 2017. [2]