New Delhi: Ten year ago after her stunning triumph at Wimbledon Maria Sharapova barely managed to reply to barrage of questions asked by the mediapersons, so shy was she. Today the same shy girl has become so articulate and confident that potential sponsors at times out number the fans seeking her autograph.
After Sharapova won Wimbledon, her life changed. She was offered everything.
Sharapova, while not able to add to her Wimbledon tally, is still winning Grand Slam titles but has also acquired riches beyond most athletes' dreams.
Only two weeks ago, Sharapova was posing with her second French Open title in front of the Eiffel Tower. She couples this with topping the Forbes list of highest earning female athletes.
The 27-year-old Russian's net worth is estimated at $150million (£88m) and her annual earnings at around $27m (£15.9m). Her dual success on and off the court is a phenomenon. As Sharapova admits, she had little idea what that 2004 triumph at the All England Club would bring.
‘At 17 you're not too business- savvy.My parents helped me and their support and understanding kept me realistic,” says Maria.
‘I lived in a very real world. I had just won Wimbledon but you go back to Florida and the barista is still making the coffee. One of the reasons I have been able to keep that success and carry on with all the things I do is that I love going on the court and love competing.