Sharapova: female tennis clear

By Alex Steblinina. Maria Sharapova – one of the best World’s female tennis players – believes that women’s tennis remains clean amid allegations of match-fixing and illegal betting in the men's game.

Match fixing or game fixing in organized sports occurs when a match is played to a completely or partially pre-determined result. Where the sporting competition in question is a race then the incident will be referred to as race fixing. Games that are deliberately lost are sometimes called thrown games. When a team intentionally loses a game to obtain a perceived future competitive advantage rather than gamblers being involved, the team is often said to have tanked the game instead of having thrown it.

Ahead her exhibition match with Russian player Anna Chakvetadze Sharapova said "The women's game is very clean" and that WTA Tour chief executive and chairman Larry Scott "is doing all the things possible, from having meetings throughout the year to encouraging players to be safe and smart about their choices," the AP reports.  

Maria Yuryevna Sharapova is a Russian professional tennis player of Belorussian descent and a former World No. 1. As of November 19, 2007, she is the fifth-ranked female player in the world. At the end of 2006, she was the world's highest-paid female athlete.

Her family name in English is often stressed on third syllable, whereas the original Russian is stressed on the second syllable, and in other countries even on the first syllable.

Sharapova has won two Grand Slam singles titles. In 2004, she beat Serena Williams to take the Wimbledon title at the age of 17. Two years later, she defeated Justine Henin in the final of the 2006 U.S. Open. She also reached the final at the 2007 Australian Open.

In 2006 Sharapova signed a lifetime endorsment deal with Prince Sports, Inc., a longtime sponsor of Sharapova.

Photo: AP

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