Maria started hitting tennis balls at the age of four. At the age of six, Maria Sharapova participated in a exhibition in Moscow that featured Martina Navratilova. So, at the age of nine, she began training at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy located in Bradenton, Florida, USA. Therefore, during those two years, she was separated from her mother for two year due to visa restrictions and finances. Maria occasionally travels with her father and works with tennis coach managers Michael Baroch and Robert Lansdorp. During her leisure time off court, Maria's interest includes modeling in fashion, singing, jazz dancing and movies (Pearl Harbor (2001)). Maria enjoys reading books of her interest in the "Sherlock Holmes" and "Pippi Longstocking" collection series. Basically, Maria's favorite dessert is 'anything'. Maria favors Russian music and food, but except for Italian bread.