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In 1993, at the age of six, Sharapova attended a tennis clinic in Moscow run by Martina Navratilova, who recommended professional training at the IMG Academy in Bradenton, Florida, which had previously trained players such as Andre Agassi, Monica Seles, and Anna Kournikova.With money tight, Yuri Sharapov borrowed the sum that would enable him and his daughter, neither of whom could speak English, to travel to the United States of America, which they finally did in 1994.In all, she won three junior singles tournaments and was runner-up at five, including two junior Grand Slam events.Her win-loss record in junior competition was 47–9.In 1995, she was signed by IMG, who agreed to pay the annual tuition fee of ,000 for Sharapova to stay at the Academy, allowing her to finally enroll at the age of 9.
Originally, she did train with Rick Macci, but after the deal with IMG, she could not see Rick Macci anymore.
She appeared in many advertisements, including those for Nike, Prince, and Canon, being the face of several fashion houses, most notably Cole Haan.
Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme.
In 1989, when Sharapova was two, the family moved to Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia.
There her father Yuri befriended Aleksandr Kafelnikov, whose son Yevgeny would go on to win two Grand Slam singles titles and become Russia's first world No. Aleksandr gave Sharapova her first tennis racquet in 1991 when she was four, whereupon she began practicing regularly with her father at a local park.