Sharapova Reaches Miami Final on Six Toes
Posted on April 1, 2006
MIAMI, FL -- Russian Maria Sharapova, the 2004 Wimbledon champ who on Thursday powered her way to the NASDAQ-100 Open final in Miami, revealed the secret, or perhaps hindrance, to her tennis success -- six toes on each foot.
Seen changing her shoes and socks Friday courtside before a practice session, Sharapova was caught and then spoke of the not-so-secret (at least in Russia) genetic abnormality that has propelled her to success, or is possibly the cause of her sometime-suspect movement during matches.
"It is an old story in Russia, there are a couple Russian players who have known since juniors," Sharapova was overheard talking to an astonished coach of a practice partner."They are quite cute little piggies."
Sharapova says her father Yuri also has the abnormality, but not her mother.
One of Sharapova's hitting partners, speaking on condition of anonymity, said the condition is not extremely rare, but failed to speculate on the added benefit of six digits.
"There are many reported cases," her male hitting partner said. "Not many people in America I'm sure know about it, but it is not that uncommon. Maria is not the quickest around the court, your question is does this make her slower? Ehhh...you be the judge."
Sharapova will bring her 12-digit attack to bear on fellow Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova in the Saturday final in Miami.