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    Maria Sharapova still among world's top celebrities

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    Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova remained on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list despite poor performances at international tennis tournaments as a result of injuries.

    Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova remained on the Forbes Celebrity 100 list despite poor performances at international tennis tournaments as a result of injuries, the magazine said.

    Sharapova, 23, dropped from the 76th to 81st place on this year's Forbes ranking of the richest and most powerful actors, actresses, athletes and musicians.

    "Injuries have hampered Sharapova's game recently, but she maintains the most valuable endorsement roster of any female athlete, worth $22 million annually," Forbes said on Monday.

    Sharapova became an overnight tennis sensation at the age of 17 when she won Wimbledon in 2004, and quickly showed her business acumen by signing lucrative contracts with global brands Canon, Motorola, Tiffany, Land Rover, and Colgate-Palmolive.

    But her biggest deal is with Nike, which re-signed the Russian star in January to an eight-year contract worth up to $70 million.

    Sharapova also receives royalties from her own tennis line and a line of bags and shoes through Nike subsidiary Cole Haan.

    Forbes Celebrity 100 rankings are generated by combining earnings with other metrics such as Web hits on Google Blog Search, TV/radio mentions on LexisNexis, overall press mentions on Factiva and the number of times a celebrity's image appeared on the cover of 25 consumer magazines.

    Serena Williams, who beat Sharapova 7-6 (9), 6-4 on Monday to reach the Wimbledon quarterfinals, moved to the 61st place on the Forbes list as she finished 2009 ranked No. 1 for the second time in her career and won two Grand Slam titles.

    However, her 2009 earnings of around $20 million were lower than Sharapova's.

     

    NEW YORK, June 29 (RIA Novosti)

     

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