SOCHI, Russia - From her breakthrough at Wimbledon to becoming No.1 and the Career Grand Slam, it's been an incredible journey - and it's still going, obviously. But just for a moment on Wednesday, Maria Sharapova had, well, a moment - in her hometown of Sochi for the Winter Olympics, the Russian was welcomed back to the court on which she first learned to play, and with a beautiful surprise.
To celebrate her rise to success and to mark her return to the city where she first learned to play, Sharapova joined Nike in re-opening her newly refurbished hometown court in Riviera Park. And not only is the court refurbished, but a beautiful mural was painted on the hitting wall at the back of the court, which illustrates Sharapova's journey from a young girl coming out of Sochi to World No.1.
The wall was dedicated to Sharapova in a ceremony on Wednesday, and with local girls from the Yevgeny Kafelnikov Tennis Academy present, she talked passionately about her early career, what the court means to her and what it means to be back in her hometown of Sochi for the Winter Olympics.
Check out more photos from Wednesday afternoon's unveiling event here in the photo gallery!