Tennis champ says her heart beats for her homeland and will continue to be a Russian citizen
London: Rah Rah Rasputin, Russia's greatest tennis machine. Maria Sharapova, says she is still very Russian, despite her move from Siberia to Florida as a seven year-old.
Maria Sharapova. Pics/Getty Images
World No 2 Sharapova, acknowledges that it was sunny Florida and the USA that started her journey to fame and fortune and what a fortune that has been, as one of the world's best-paid female athletes, Sharapova's pockets are as deep as her baseline shots.
The champion is actually living the great American dream, with reports state a USD32 million fortune in prize money alone, lucrative endorsements, a candy business and as icing on that cake, Grigor Dimitrov as boyfriend.
Maria Sharapova's boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov
Yet, Sharapova claims she is as Russian as Russian could be. "I would have if I wanted to (change citizenships) but it's never been actually a question in my family or in my team whether I wanted to change citizenships," the Russian told CNBC in an interview.
True to her roots
She claims it is her Russian roots that give her that family environment and rich culture. Those are the experiences, she claimed that have shaped her. She says her resilience and tenacity are quintessentially Russian.
If things go according to plan, she could face World No 1 Serena Williams in the Miami Open final. American Serena vs Russian-American Sharapova, two cultures, two champions.