Lawn Tennis, Australian Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Note To Maria Sharapova: Tennis Needs A Glamor Girl

By Burton Vanderfliet, Lawn Tennis Correspondent, Posted: Tuesday, January 13, 2009 6:26pm PST USA
Note To Maria Sharapova: Tennis Needs A Glamor Girl, Australian Open, Lawn Tennis Magazine MELBOURNE--(lawntennismag.com) Last year Wimbledon champion Venus Williams of the USA released a high end oversized photo book filled with glossy images of herself. Then this year world number one Jelena Jankovic of Serbia announced she'd signed with a modeling agency after starring in a film documentary about herself.

Not to be outdone, Venus's sister, Serena Williams is sporting a $3.5 million diamond necklace around the Sydney, Australia tennis courts this week.

Serena earlier in her tennis career oftentimes applied lip gloss after a match before her post match press obligations.

2008 Australian Open champion Maria Sharapova
Australian Open, Melbourne, Australia, Lawn Tennis Magazine
Sharapova won more matches than Kournikova and took all-important grand slam singles titles and was pretty enough from the start to soon become the world's highest paid female athlete for several years running.

Jankovic applies lipgloss during some matches and smiles at herself on the overhead big screen.

And while Jankovic and the Williams sisters are glamorous enough in their own rights, what tennis needs right now could be a fullfledged glamor girl.

Before Anna Kournikova's departure from professional tennis in 2003 due to a back injury, the Russian enjoyed crossover success arguably never before seen in the world of tennis. Thousands of Kournikova fan websites flooded the internet; each packed with hundreds of images of their camera-friendly subject. Some Kournikova websites never bothered to post oncourt tennis images and choose to focus only on more seductive offcourt images.

Kournikova ranked number one on all the major internet search engines without ever winning a singles professional tennis tournament.

I can't change my face, Kournikova snapped in a press conference after another tiresome question about her looks.

Kournikova continues to make millions of dollars from tennis endorsements today despite no longer playing the professional tennis tour.

Other talented female tennis players oftentimes deemed glamorous by the tennis media and public include Ana Ivanovic of Serbia, Mary Pierce of France, Gabriela Sabatini of Argentina, and Chris Evert of the USA, but perhaps none of them combined tennis prowess and physical marketability in such a manner as Sharapova.

Marketed heavily in the USA as the girl next door although originating from Russia, half a world away, Sharapova lacked the stunning photogenics of her Russian counterpart, Kournikova. But Sharapova won more matches than Kournikova and took all-important grand slam singles titles and was pretty enough from the start to soon become the world's highest paid female athlete for several years running.

Sharapova, sidelined since August of last year due to a shoulder injury which later resulted in shoulder surgery, is expected to make her comeback in February of this year after she withdrew from this month's Australian Open citing not enough recovery and practice time.

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