Maria Sharapova arrived in the US at age 7 with $700 but is retiring from her 17-year professional tennis career with millions. Here’s how she made her fortune.

Maria Sharapova announced her retirement on Wednesday, February 26th, in an emotional column for Vanity Fair.

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Maria Sharapova announced her retirement on Wednesday, February 26th, in an emotional column for Vanity Fair.
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Zak Kaczmarek/Getty

When she was 7, Maria Sharapova left Russia for the US with her father and $700 in savings. At age 17, Sharapova snagged £560,500 ($723,000) and her first Grand Slam title by upsetting Serena Williams at Wimbledon in 2004.

At age 32 and four more Grand Slam titles later, Sharapova announced her retirement from professional tennis in an emotional column for Vanity Fair. For 11 years, she was the highest-paid female athlete in the world. Upon her retirement, she was the third highest-paid female tennis player and eighth highest-paid tennis player overall, and that only includes her on-court winnings worth $38.8 million.

Over the course of her 17-year professional career, Sharapova was able to build a multimillion-dollar brand by partnering with major names like Nike and Evian, and even creating her own candy company. While there is no verifiable net worth figure for Sharapova, she’s certainly retiring in style – Forbes estimated her career earnings to be $325 million.

Here’s a look at how Maria Sharapova amassed millions.


Maria Sharapova announced her retirement from professional tennis as the third highest-paid female player in the sport behind the Williams sisters.

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Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


Since beginning her professional career in the early 2000s, Sharapova’s on-court earnings total $38.8 million.

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Lintao Zhang/Getty

Source: Business Insider


According to Forbes, Sharapova made a total of $27.1 million between mid-2011 and mid-2012. Only about $5 million of that came from on-court winnings.

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Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Source: Forbes, WTA


The majority of her income has always come from high profile brand endorsements. At one point, a ballet flat she had designed was Cole Haan’s best selling shoe.

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Junko Kimura/Getty Images

Source: Forbes, Forbes


In 2010, she signed an 8-year deal with Nike that was estimated to bring in more than $70 million …

Source: Forbes


… and it let her design her own apparel and shoes.

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Sharapova in a custom Nike dress and sneakers during the Paris WTA tournament in February 2012.
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Jacques Demarthon/AFP via Getty Images

Source: Nike, Nike


Other major brands she has had long-term partnerships with include Porsche, Tag Heuer, and Evian. She has also had partnerships with Land Rover, Samsung, Head rackets, and Canon.

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Angela Weiss/Getty Images

Source: AdAge


Sharapova, in addition to serving as a brand ambassador for many companies, also runs her own business. She launched Sugarpova, a candy company, in 2012 with $500,000 of her own money and no outside investment.

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Julian Finney/Getty Images

Source: Sugarpova, CNBC, Entrepreneur


In 2013, she flirted with the idea of renaming herself “Maria Sugarpova” to promote her artisan chocolates and sweets shaped like tennis balls but ultimately decided against it.

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Ronald Martinez/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider


The candy brand is carried in major grocery stores like Lowes Foods and in Hudson News spots in airports across the country.

Source: Entrepreneur


Sharapova’s earnings most likely dipped following her 2016 doping scandal.

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Sharapova at her 2016 press conference, addressing her failed drug test.
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Kevork Djansezian/Getty

Source: Business Insider, AdAge, Sports Illustrated


She failed her drug test at the Australian Open — she had been taking meldonium, a heart medication that had been added to the International Tennis Federation’s list of prohibited substances at the beginning of 2016. She maintained it was an oversight, and her two-year ban was reduced to 15 months.

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Sharapova at her 2016 press conference, addressing her failed drug test.
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Reuters

Source: Business Insider


Some brands, like Nike and Porsche, initially distanced themselves from the tennis player but ultimately stuck by her. Evian continued its relationship without issue. Tag Heuer ceased contract renewal negotiations with her immediately.

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Sharapova modeling an Evian bottle at the Evian & Virgil Abloh Collaboration party during New York Fashion Week on February 10, 2020.
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Donell Woodson/Getty Images

Source: AdAge, Sports Illustrated, Forbes


In 2016, Sharapova was estimated to have earned $21.9 million, making her the 88th highest-paid athlete that year according to Forbes. By 2017, the year following the ban, she had dropped off the list. Separately, Sugarpova was estimated to have sales between $10 and $12 million in 2017.

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Joe Maher/Getty Images for Sugarpova

Source: Forbes, Forbes, Entrepreneur


Since stepping back on the court in 2017, Sharapova had difficulty overcoming a chronic shoulder problem and only took home one WTA tour win.

Source: Business Insider


Sharapova announced her retirement in an emotional Vanity Fair column on Wednesday, February 27, saying “tennis has been [her] mountain,” and after 28 years of playing, she’s “ready to scale another mountain — to compete on a different type of terrain.”

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Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images

Source: Vanity Fair


During her career, she was ranked as the No. 1 player in the world multiple times. She retired at No. 373. Her overall career earnings are estimated by Forbes to be $325 million.

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Quinn Rooney/Getty Images

Source: Business Insider, Forbes