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In 1989, when Sharapova was two, the family moved to Sochi, Krasnodar Krai, Russia.
There her father Yuri befriended Aleksandr Kafelnikov, whose son Yevgeny would go on to win two Grand Slam singles titles and become Russia's first world No. Aleksandr gave Sharapova her first tennis racquet in 1991 when she was four, whereupon she began practicing regularly with her father at a local park.
Since February 2007, she has been a United Nations Development Programme Goodwill Ambassador, concerned specifically with the Chernobyl Recovery and Development Programme.Sharapova's father took various low-paying jobs, including dishwashing, to fund her lessons until she was old enough to be admitted to the academy.