Maria Sharapova Poised To Surpass Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer on Facebook

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By Lou Imperial | July 23, 2014 5:54 PM EST

Sports diva Maria Sharapova is in position to overtake Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal as the most popular tennis player on Facebook after reaching the 14 million like barrier few days ago.

REUTERS
Maria Sharapova of Russia blows a kiss after defeating Samantha Murray of Britain in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth

Sharapova, who collected another Grand Slam title at Roland Garros earlier this year, already racked up 14 million likes on Facebook to join Federer and Nadal in the exclusive circle. According to the latest trend on the social media site, the 27-year old Russian is even poised to surpass the like haul of the two future Hall of Famers in the coming days.

The increase in popularity of Sharapova is not surprising at all, given that she has been on the headlines on several sports media publications for quite some time. Last week, Maria and his boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov were spotted in their swimwear suit, enjoying their vacation in Mexico.

The World Cup also didn't spare Sharapova after a group of men showed marriage proposal signage while the camera is on them during a group match between the tennis star's home country Russia against Algeria.  

Then again, not all publicity is positive for Sharapova, as she received harsh criticisms from Indian cricket fans following her straightforward comment on Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

Tendulkar, hailed as the God of Cricket by majority of cricket fans and analyst, was spotted sitting alongside football great David Beckham, Stuart Broad, Ian Poultier and Andrew Strauss at the Wimbledon Open championships.

Sharapova said she knew Beckham and met him a couple of times already, but when asked if she also knew Tendulkar, the Russian star simply replied "I don't."  

Tendulkar immediately downplayed the buzz created by Sharapova's comment, saying the tennis star wasn't disrespectful by just being honest.

"Sharapova's comments were not disrespectful. She doesn't follow cricket," Tendulkar said in an interview with NDTV.

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US Open Joust at Hand

Sharapova is scheduled to participate in the upcoming Rogers Cup, where rising star Genie Bouchard, reigning Wimbledon Open champion Petra Kvitova and former world's no.1 Carolina Wozniacki are there as well to spice up the competition.

After the tournament, she's then set to compete at the US Open championship in Flushing Meadows, New York. Sharapova last won a US Open title in 2006. She failed to reach beyond the fourth round in four consecutive appearances until reaching the semis last year.

For more Maria Sharapova and Tennis news, read more at IBT Sports

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(Photo: REUTERS / Stefan Wermuth)
Maria Sharapova of Russia blows a kiss after defeating Samantha Murray of Britain in their women's singles tennis match at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, in London June 24, 2014. REUTERS/Stefan Wermuth
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