Vol. 5 Num 215 Fri. December 31, 2004  

Sharapova so generous

Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova, due to play an exhibition match in Thailand against Venus Williams, will donate 10,000 dollars to help victims of the killer tsunamis that hit the kingdom, a minister said.

Deputy Prime Minister and tennis association head Suwat Liptapanlop said the Russian starlet, scheduled to arrive in Bangkok late Wednesday, had notified him about her generosity.

"She informed us that she wanted to donate 10,000 dollars of her own money to the government's victim relief fund," Suwat told AFP.

The fund, launched on Tuesday, had already received donations amounting to 108 million baht (2.77 million dollars), according to media reports.

Although a gala dinner to be held for Sharapova and Williams would be cancelled out of respect for the unprecedented loss of life, the match scheduled for January 2 in the northern city of Chiang Mai was due to go ahead.