Factbox on 2008 Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova
Born: April 19, 1987 in Nyagan, Russia
Lives: Bradenton, Florida, United States
Ranking: 5 (seeded fifth)
Plays: Right handed (two handed backhand)
Career titles: 17
Grand slam titles: Wimbledon (2004); US Open (2006); Australian Open (2008)
* Born in Siberia, moves to Black Sea coastal resort of Sochi aged two.
* Moves to Florida in 1996 to train at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy in Bradenton. Sharapova's father Yuri moves to US with her but mother, Yelena, has to stay in Russia due to visa restrictions.
* Turns professional in 2001.
* Wins first tour title at Tokyo in 2003. Finishes inside top-50 for first time.
* Becomes first Russian woman to win Wimbledon in 2004, beating defending champion Serena Williams in the final.
* In August 2005 becomes first Russian woman to reach the top of the world rankings.
* Wins her second grand slam after defeating second seed Justine Henin 6-4 6-4 in the 2006 US Open final
* Beaten in 2007 Australian Open final by unseeded Serena Williams.
* Injury-plagued season in 2007 and wins just one title (San Diego). Loses in third round of US Open, knocked out by Polish teenager Agnieszka Radwanska, her earliest exit from a grand slam since same tournament in 2003.
* Late entrant to season-ending WTA Players' Championship after injured Venus Williams withdraws. Makes final but loses to world number one Justine Henin.
* Acted as bid ambassador for Sochi's successful 2014 Winter Olympics bid.
* Defeats former world number one Lindsay Davenport in 2008 Australian Open second round and ends Henin's winning streak of 32 matches in quarter-finals.
* Jan 26, 2008 - Beats Ana Ivanovic of Serbia 7-5 6-3 to win her third grand slam title, and first Australian Open.
(Compiled by Greg Stutchbury; Editing by Ossian Shine)