She then was offered a deal from IMG which forced her to change academies.
Originally, she did train with Rick Macci, but after the deal with IMG, she could not see Rick Macci anymore.
Her parents, Yuri and Yelena, are from Gomel, Belarussian SSR.
Concerned about the regional effects of the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear accident, they left their homeland shortly before Maria was born.
In 1995, she was signed by IMG, who agreed to pay the annual tuition fee of ,000 for Sharapova to stay at the Academy, allowing her to finally enroll at the age of 9.
From 2003, Sharapova played a full season and made a rapid climb into the top 50 by the end of the year.
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.
Due to restrictions on how many professional events she could play, Sharapova went to hone her game in junior tournaments, where she reached the finals of the girls' singles events at the Australian Open and Wimbledon in 2002.
She was the youngest girl ever to reach the final of the Australian Open junior championship at 14 years and 9 months. 6 in the ITF junior world singles ranking on October 21, 2002.