Maria Sharapova and her tribute to Chernobyl
On her website, Maria Sharapova has posted a very personal message detailing her feelings about the 25-year anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, one that affected her parents directly, as well as how the recent tsunami-caused nuclear crisis in Japan brought similar emotions to the forefront for the tennis star.
Sharapova's parents fled Chernobyl, where they were living, and moved to Siberia, where Sharapova was born, after the Ukraine power plant suffered a partial meltdown. Eventually Sharapova and her father, Yuri, came to the United States will little money to further Sharapova's tennis career.
Now the 24-year-old is ranked ninth in the world and has won three Grand Slam titles in her career, including Wimbledon when she was only 17.
There is also a story on the WTA site detailing Sharapova's emotional and financial commitment to Chernobyl.
-- Diane Pucin
Photo: Maria Sharapova watches the New Jersey Nets play the Charlotte Bobcats on April 11. Credit: Julio Cortez / Associated Press