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By Quazi Zulquarnain Islam

Name: Maria Kirilenko
Birth date: January 25, 1987
Birthplace: Moscow, Russia
Height: 5'8'' (1.73 m)
Weight: 127 lbs. (57.6 kg)
Plays: Right-handed
Status: Pro (Oct. 7, 2001)
Ranking Singles: 22
Ranking Doubles: 27
Prize Money: $857,316
WTA Singles Title: 1
WTA Doubles Title: 2

Maria Kirilenko, another of the almost continuous breed of tennis players spewed out by Russia, started playing tennis at the tender age of seven when her father introduced her to the game at the Dinamo Moscow Central Stadium.

Her parents are Olga and Yuri, and her father also doubles as her coach. She speaks both Russian and English and enjoys classical music like Mozart and also likes reading books, O Henry being one of her many favourite authors. Reading and music are the things that help her relax other than watching movies, fishing and cooking. She also enjoys other sports, especially soccer.

Admires tennis players Roger Federer and Jennifer Capriati for their styles and attitudes on the court. Considers herself "nice" and "outgoing."

2005 was Maria's breakthrough year in the game as she captured her first career singles title and went on to capture her second doubles title. Her singles title came in Beijing and was due in part to Maria Sharapova backing out of a semifinal showdown with an injury. She won her second doubles title in Tokyo and was consistent throughout the year. She played all the Grand Slams and made the second round in three of them. She cracked the Top 50 in March and the Top 30 in September of that year.

She continued on a rich vein in 2006 as she made the third round of the Australian Open and Roland Garros and cracked the Top 20 in June of this year.

As usual I can be reached at ( zulquarnain. Islam@gmail.com )


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