Sharapova savours sweet success of candy venture

PUBLISHED : Sunday, 10 March, 2013, 12:00am
UPDATED : Sunday, 10 March, 2013, 4:35am


Maria Sharapova says her business ventures have provided the education which her tennis career never allowed time to achieve.

And Sharapova, one of only two women on Forbes magazine's list of the world's 100 highest-paid athletes last year, said no venture had offered as steep or satisfying a learning curve as her Sugarpova candy brand that debuted last year.

"One of the things that I have really picked up over the many years I have worked with different brands and people is that I never really had a solid education in my career, but I have always liked to listen and I have liked to learn," Sharapova said after booking her third-round berth at the BNP Paribas Open.

"That was my way of learning, is through being in so many different types of meetings, whether they were creative ones, whether they were with advertisement agencies."

Sharapova, according to Forbes, made US$22 million in endorsements last year.

All of it helped prepare her for her own candy venture, Sugarpova, which she said was still growing. Sharapova said three new products were to be introduced in the next three weeks and new markets were being added.

She didn't need too much time out in the chilly wind at Indian Wells, sweeping into the third round with a 6-2, 6-1 victory over Francesca Schiavone.

The second-seeded Russian dropped her first service game as they traded breaks in the first three games, then settled in to seal the victory in just 61 minutes.

"Once I started being a little bit more aggressive I felt like I had an edge on her," Sharapova said.

Sharapova, runner-up last year to Victoria Azarenka, advanced to a third-round match against Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro, a 6-1, 6-1 winner over Silvia Soler-Espinosa.

Third-seeded Agnieszka Radwanska also booked her third-round berth, rolling past US wild card Maria Sanchez 6-2, 6-1.

In men's first-round action, Italy's Fabio Fognini advanced to a second-round clash with world No 1 Novak Dkjokovic with a 6-4, 6-3 victory over Slovenia's Aljaz Bedene.