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Last Updated: Wednesday, 19 May, 2004, 14:06 GMT 15:06 UK
18 Maria Sharapova
Maria Sharapova
Born: 19/4/87
Nationality: Russian
Seeded: 18
World ranking: 19
French Open best:
1st round (2003)
Recent record:
2003: 1st round
2002: n/a
2001: n/a
The meteoric rise of the 17-year-old Russian that began last year has continued more steadily in the early part of 2004.

She goes to Roland Garros ranked higher than ever before and with a game that even the very best in the world will have to respect.

With glamorous looks that have won her a modelling contract and the inevitable attention of the wider press, Sharapova could be the latest 'burn-out' waiting to happen.

But she has shown a steely determination to focus purely on tennis so far in her career and an ability to deal with the surrounding hype.

Her tennis itself is impressive - a powerful serve backed up by thumping groundstrokes and terrific speed around the court - but so far lacks the variety of the world's best.

And after winning two titles at the end of 2003 she has only once made it past the last 16 this year, albeit losing mainly to top-10 players.

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