“Maria Sharapova is an exceptional athlete. She combines top performance in her sports with elegance and power. These are precisely the qualities that are embroiled in our sports cars,” said Matthias Müller, CEO of Porsche AG. According to Müller, it was not easy to find the right person to be Porsche’s ambassador. “Maria Sharapova is the perfect choice. Her profile and charisma are an ideal fit for Porsche. She is also highly respected around the world and enjoys an outstanding reputation.”

“I am very lucky in being associated with some of the world’s top companies,” said Maria Sharapova at the presentation in Stuttgart, “but for me the partnership with Porsche is a special honour.”

Maria Sharapova is well-acquainted with Porsche sports cars. Her prize for winning the 2012 Porsche Tennis Grand Prix was a 911 Carrera S Cabriolet and then she was given the keys to a 911 4S Carrera Cabriolet after triumphing at the 2013 tournament. Asked by a reporter whether her garage was big enough for a further Porsche she replied: “There’s always enough space for a Porsche.”

Porsche Panamera GTS „by Maria Sharapova“

To simply drive a Porsche is not enough for Maria Sharapova. In her home town Sochi at the start of February 2014, she presented her interpretation of an exceptional sports car in the luxury segment – the Porsche Panamera GTS by Maria Sharapova. This unique Panamera demonstrates how a standard production car can be transformed into a unique and bespoke masterpiece by adding exclusive custom options.

“Creating and specifying a very personal Porsche Panamera GTS was such an exciting undertaking,” said the world star. “It opens the door to a whole new design sensibility and allowed me to bring my own personal aesthetic. I see myself as not only being an athlete but also a designer. I have already designed collections for luxury accessories, clothing and even candies but I never thought I would be given the chance to add a car, and a Porsche at that, to the repertoire.”

Maria Sharapova, brand ambassador, Matthias Mueller, CEO, 2014, Porsche AG
Maria Sharapova next to Matthias Müller, chairman of Porsche AG

Maria Sharapova was born in Njagan, West Siberia on 19 April 1987 but soon moved with her family to Sochi. She was four-years old when she was given her first tennis racket by the father of the Russian tennis pro Yevgeny Kafelnikov. At the age of six, she took part in a Moscow clinic where she was discovered by the great Martina Navratilova who recommended her parents that they should send their daughter to the Nick Bollettieri Tennis Academy. One year later at the tender age of seven she duly arrived in Bradenton on Florida’s Gulf Coast. She played her first WTA tournament in Indian Wells in March 2002 where she lost in the second round against Monica Seles. By the end of the year she was No. 186 in the WTA world rankings.

Big breakthrough in 2003

Maria Sharapova’s big breakthrough came in 2003 when she qualified for the Australian and French Opens and won her first WTA title at the Japan Open in Tokyo. In 2004, now 17 and already the world No. 15, she surprisingly reached the Wimbledon final. Confident and with nerves of steel, the teenager defeated title-holder Serena Williams (USA) 6-1, 6-4 to become the first Russian woman to win the most important Grand Slam. The victory helped her qualify for her first WTA Championships in Los Angeles where she once again beat Serena Williams (4-6, 6-2, 6-4) in the final.

On 22 August 2005, she was the first Russian to top the world rankings. To date, she has held the position, with breaks in-between, as the world No. 1 for a total of 21 weeks. She added a second Grand Slam title by winning the 2006 US Open. Number three came another two years later when she won the Australian Open. Her triumph at the 2012 French Open, shortly after her first victory at the Porsche Tennis Grand Prix, completed her set of Grand Slam titles. A winner of 29 career singles titles, she, carrying the flag, led the Russian team into the stadium as the flag bearer at the 2012 Olympic Games Opening Ceremony. She later won a silver medal.

Maria Sharapova devotes a lot her time to her own Maria Sharapova Foundation and her role as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme.

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