It’s been a great summer for tennis, and fans are gearing up for the last Grand Slam of the season, with the start of the U.S. Open today in New York. Unfortunately they won't see five-time Grand Slam champ Maria Sharapova on the court: yesterday she withdrew from the U.S. Open because of a leg injury, but at just 28 years old, Sharapova still has a lot to keep her busy. In addition to her Grand Slam wins, she was recently dubbed “The World’s Most Marketable Female Athlete” by Forbes magazine, and has become a philanthropist and savvy businesswoman off the court. Her premium candy collection Sugarpova, was launched in 2012; she is also the first female brand ambassador for Porsche, has endorsement deals with Nike and American Express among other brands, and she has acted as a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations Development Programme since 2007. She also recently announced her plan to create a new tennis event — “Maria Sharapova & Friends”— in Los Angeles.
Larry King sat down with the tennis powerhouse to chat about her humble beginnings, life as a professional athlete, and her business ventures. Here are a few facts we learned during Maria’s interview:
1. One of the most fun matches Maria ever played was when she lost against Justine Henin after a three and a half hour battle at the 2007 Year End Championships in Madrid.
2. Her favorite place to be when she’s not on the tennis court is at the beach off the coast of Italy.
3. She finds playing the tournament to be the easiest part — it’s the hours and hours of preparation on the court and in the gym that are more taxing.
4. "Something’s Gotta Give," starring Jack Nicholson and Diane Keaton is Maria’s favorite movie.
5. City with the best fans? New York City, of course.
Watch the clip below from Maria’s interview with Larry to find out just how much this world class athlete trains. To see Maria’s full length interview with Larry King, head over to ora.tv/larrykingnow.