Maria Sharapova will go into the year's final Grand Slam as Maria Sharapova, not Maria Sugarpova. The US Open starts next week and the world's highest paid sportswoman reportedly wanted to alter her name in order to promote her confectionary brand.
However, her agent Max Eisenbud clarified that the tennis star has dropped the idea. "We ultimately decided against it. Maria has pushed her team to do fun, out-of-the-box-type things to get the word out about Sugarpova," Eisenbud told ESPN.
"In Miami, we're going to fill a glass truck full of candy and drive it around town. This was an idea that fell along those lines. But, at the end of the day, we would have to change all her identification, she has to travel to Japan and China right after the tournament and it was going to be very difficult," he added.
It is also understood the United States Tennis Association, organisers of the US Open, would have been unlikely to sanction a name change for the Russian star.
For a name change, the 26-year-old green card holder would have had to go through a series of legal clearances. She would have had to file a name change petition in the state of Florida (where she stays), submit fingerprints, have a background check and have a hearing before a judge. The name change would have been made official had the judge signed the order.
Sharapova's brand, which she introduced last year, has reportedly sold 1.8 million bags of candy in just one year in North America, Europe and Asia with planned launches in South America later this year.
The World No. 3 earned an estimated USD 29 million from June 2012 to June of this year, according to Forbes Magazine.