Age is not a factor. That's what the young Russian tennis player, Maria Sharapova, proved to the world when she became the third youngest Wimbledon women's champion in 2004 and World No.1 in 2005. "A great tennis career is something that a 15-year-old normally doesn't have. I hope my example helps other teens believe they can accomplish things they never thought possible."
The 20-year old athlete is definitely a hot and sexy celebrity figure in and out the court. Currently the fourth-ranked female player in the world and top endorser of Nike accessories, apparel, and footwear, she was also listed as the world's highest-paid female athlete at the end of 2006.
Sharapova reached the fourth round of the prestigious Wimbledon as a wild card in 2003 and eventually won the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) Newcomer of the Year. By becoming the third youngest Wimbledon women's champion (after Lottie Dod and Martina Hingis), she was the first Russian to win the tournament. She even defeated established athletes such as Lindsay Davenport and Serena Williams.
Having 22 straight wins on grass matches, consecutive Birmingham titles, and the Wimbledon title under her belt, hot and sexy Sharapova rose to the No.1 ranking on August 22, 2005, dethroning Davenport. Her reign was cut short when Davenport ascended to the top again after a week.
Sharapova's second reign was on September 12, 2005, which she held for six weeks. Up to now, her career is still going strong. The hot and sexy athlete is very determined and focused on her path and direction - and that is to be at the top of the game again. "When I was working my way to the top of tennis, I didn't say I was number two, I said I wanted to be number one."