Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Birthdate: Jan. 25, 1987
Height: 5’ 8”
Weight: 127 lbs.
Coach: Father, Yuri Kirilenko
Food Favorite: Baked Potatoes
Off-court Interests: Fishing, Dance, Music, Computer Gaming, Basketball, Football and Reading
Some Favorite Books: The Three Musketeers, White Fang
Favorite Players: Jennifer Capriati, Yevgeni Kafelnikov
Good Friends on Tour: Maria Sharapova, Victoria Azarenka, Ana Ivanović, Agnieszka Radwańska and Nadia Petrova
|Photo courtesy of Olympicgirls.net|
At seven years of age, Maria Kirilenko arrived at Moscow’s Dinamo tennis school with her father, a tennis aficionado and recreational player. In less than a year, she began to win competitions, and at the age of 12 she was “discovered” by Elena Brioukhovets – an Honored Master of sports who began to work with her.
Kirilenko’s parents brought her daily to Dinamo and TsSKA sport grounds from Yubileyny – a small town in the Moscow region. In less than three years, she became # 1 in her age group. During this time, Maria received help from well-known tennis professionals Yevgeni Kafelnikov, Andrey Olkhovsky and Maxim Mirny – the creators of an organization to support young, up-and-coming players.
Maria Kirilenko’s hard work paid off - in 2002, she became one of the youngest winners of both the Canadian Open and US Open junior tournaments. In 2005, she won her first title on the WTA Tour, ousting Anna-Lena Grönefeld in the China Open. Kirilenko reached her career-high ranking of # 16 in May of 2012, and she currently stands at # 19 in the world.
← Who looks THIS good playing tennis?
Game Style: Aggressive baseliner
Favorite Shot: Forehand
Best Singles Result: Quarterfinals of the Australian Open - 2010
Best Doubles Result: Final of the French Open with partner Nadia Petrova - 2012
Maria was chosen in 2006 to be the face of Adidas Stella McCartney tennis line, but she was replaced by Caroline Wozniacki in 2009 - in our opinion…a big mistake!