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For Maria Sharapova, Competing in the Olympic Games Would Be a Dream Come True
For Maria Sharapova, competing in the Olympic Games would allow her to accomplish one of her biggest goals, she said.
The 24-year-old Russian tennis star has accomplished quite a bit during her career. She's won three Grand Slam titles and played in six Grand Slam finals. She's been ranked No. 1 in the world four times.
But Sharapova has never competed at the Olympic Games.
In 2004, Sharapova was not ranked highly enough to qualify for the Games. Only the top 60 players in the world can compete at the Olympic Games, and countries can only send four players.
In 2008, she had to undergo shoulder surgery, preventing her from playing in Beijing.
This year, though, everything appears to be lining up just right for the tennis star. She's currently ranked No. 3 in the world and seems to be a lock for the 2012 Olympic Games in London.
"Personally (the Olympic Games are) something I've been looking forward towards for a long time, and that's a big goal of mine. To have a long grass season will be really fun," Sharapova told The Australian on January 29, 2012.
The 2012 Olympic tennis tournament is scheduled to be held at Wimbledon, which has perhaps the most famous grass tennis courts in the world.
Sharapova is especially grateful for the Olympic opportunity, she said, because it allows her the chance to build upon the popularity of the sport in Russia.
"This year is a big year for me because I'll be playing in the Olympics, which has been a dream of mine since I was a young girl," Sharapova told The Mirror. "Growing up in Russia, tennis wasn't a big sport back then. It was all about being an Olympian, especially the winter sports. Fortunately we've been able to change that a little bit and tennis has become extremely popular back in Russia."
Sandra Johnson is former athlete and a huge fan of most women's athletics. Follow her on Twitter: @SandraJohnson46
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