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Sexy Tennis Players
With the grass court season just about to start, attention turns towards Wimbledon. This is arguably the most famous tennis tournament with its rich history and somewhat old-fashioned values compared to most tournaments. Here are a few of the tennis players whose popularity may not be strictly down to their tennis skills.
Maria Sharapova (Russia)
She burst onto the scene in spectacular style, winning her first Grand Slam title at Wimbledon at the tender age of seventeen. This was no flash in the pan either, as she's gone onto win further Grand Slam titles at the Australian Open and gain the world number one ranking. A shoulder injury has hindered her progress in the last year or so and it's fair to say that she's only recently started to show signs of the old Maria Sharapova.
Biggest achievements: Winning Wimbledon 2004 at 17; winning 2006 US Open; winning 2008 Australian Open
Highest ranking: #1 in August 2005
Off-court: Sports Illustrated photoshoot (see video below for stills); was named one of People magazine's '50 Most Beautiful People'; named as one of the richest female athletes in the world by Forbes magazine
Ana Ivanovic (Serbia)
She's a former Roland Garros champion and a former world number one, but a lack of form and confidence means that the Serbian is no longer one of the favourites at Grand Slam level.
Biggest achievements: Winning Roland Garros (the French Open) in 2008
Highest ranking: #1 in June 2008
Off-court: Has featured in a range of magazines, including ELLE, Vogue, Vanity Fair, Cosmopolitan and TIME.
Maria Kirilenko (Russia)
She's never hit the big time but that didn't stop Stella McCartney choosing her to endorse her tennis clothing range, which had been personally designed with her in mind (that accolade has since passed to the more successful Caroline Wozniacki).
Biggest achievements: Won three WTA Tour titles in 2008 and has been a member of the Russian Fed Cup team
Highest ranking: # 18 in July 2008
Off-court: She has appeared in Sports Illustrated magazine (see video below).
Who is the hottest female tennis player right now?
Rafael Nadal (Spain)
He's not far into his twenties but Rafael Nadal has taken the tennis world by storm. Often referred to as "the King of Clay", he has lost just one match at Roland Garros going into the 2010 French Open (a fourth round defeat to Robin Soderling in the 2009 French Open) but he is much more than just a clay court specialist. He won Wimbledon in 2008, shattering Roger Federer's recent domination of the event and became the first player since Bjorn Borg to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon in the same year.
Biggest achievements: Won his first Grand Slam at Roland Garros in 2005 and won four straight titles there from 2005 to 2008; winning Wimbledon 2008; winning Australian Open 2009; winning a record-breaking 18th Masters title in 2010 at Madrid and became first player to win all three Masters 1000 titles on clay in the same year
Highest ranking: #1 in August 2008
Off-court: Has appeared in a music video for pop star Shakira
Fernando Verdasco (Spain)
Another tennis player who hasn't hit heady heights, but Fernando Verdasco has been able to establish an adoring fanbase on the strength of his pin-up looks. He's won two titles in 2010 but has yet to consistently break through at Grand Slam level despite being a top 10 player at the moment.
Biggest achievements: Being a finalist at the Monte Carlo Masters event in 2010 (l. to Rafael Nadal); helped Spain to Davis Cup wins in 2008 and 2009; semi-finalist at the 2009 Australian Open (l. to Rafael Nadal)
Highest ranking: # 7 in April 2009
Off-court: Has modeled for Calvin Klein (see video below); posed nude for Cosmopolitan magazine (UK) to raise awareness of male cancers