Maria Sharapova turns 29 today and you know I always celebrate players' birthdays by sharing their childhood pics. I've shown you a lot of Masha's old photos and videos so far, but now I'll enrich my archives with material I've come across recently.
This is little Maria with her childhood coach Robert Lansdorp, who helped her win her first Wimbledon at the age of 17.
Lansdorp is still standing by Sharapova, defending her in this meldonium saga, saying that she would never take prohibited substances on purpose, even going as far as stating that she's a victim of "witch hunt" by WADA and jealousy which is the root of all evil.
Our birthday girl Maria is now going through the toughest period of her career, but while waiting for the situation to resolve, she has many tennis successes to look back on, including 35 titles, five of which are Grand Slams, and the No.1 ranking which she first reached back in 2005.
Happy birthday, Masha!
MORE MARIA'S CHILDHOOD PHOTOS AND VIDEOS:
- Old times: Maria Sharapova's first photoshoot
- Little Maria Sharapova and tiny Eugenie Bouchard
- Little Maria Sharapova with Marcelo Rios on a tennis court
- Flashback: junior final between Maria Sharapova and Peng Shuai at Torneo dell’Avvenire
- Evolution of Maria Sharapova + photo with parents
- Times when Maria Sharapova was less eloquent