Tennis: Sharapova returns to roots as Sochi broadcaster

AFP, Thursday 14 Nov 2013

Maria Sharapova will work for US broadcaster NBC during the Sochi Winter Olympics in February

Maria Sharapova
Tennis player Maria Sharapova (Photo: Reuters)

Four-time Grand Slam tennis champion Maria Sharapova will return to her roots working for US broadcaster NBC during the Sochi Winter Olympics in February.

"Thrilled to be part of the NBC Olympic Broadcasting team at the Sochi 2014 Winter Olympic Games," Sharapova said via Twitter on Wednesday.

NBC said the 26-year-old Sharapova would bring a unique insight to Russia's first Winter Games.

"Maria transcends sports as one of the world's most recognizable stars," Jim Bell, Executive Producer of NBC Olympics, said in a statement.

"Growing up in Sochi until she was six years old and with family and friends still living in the area, Maria will offer a unique and personal perspective on a place she knows so well.

Sharapova was the flag-bearer for Russia at the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Summer Olympics, where she won the women's singles silver medal.

She is one of 10 women to achieve the career Grand Slam with her four major titles coming at Wimbledon (2004), the US Open (2006), Australian Open (2008) and French Open (2012)

Currently ranked fourth in the world, Sharapova has endured an injury-plagued 2013 season, withdrawing from the US Open with a right shoulder injury that also kept her out of the season-ending WTA Championship in Istanbul last month

Nevertheless, she remains one of the game's most popular figures and in August topped Forbes magazine's list of the world's 10 best-paid women athletes

Forbes estimated her earnings at $29 million (£18.9 million, 21.9 million euros) between June 2012 and June of 2013, thanks in large part to an array of endorsement deals.

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