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Sharapova to Sugarpova? 3 odd celeb commercial deals

Tennis star Maria Sharapova is hoping to change her surname to Sugarpova for the US Open to promote a brand of sweets, according to The Times (£).

Here is a look at other celebrities who have been involved in bizarre commercial deals:

Gareth Bale trademarked his celebration the 'Eleven of Hearts'. Credit: Nick Potts/PA Archive

Gareth Bale: The Tottenham forward, who Real Madrid are interested in signing, trademarked his goal celebration - a move that could see him make an extra £3 million a year. The Welsh international can now use his 'Eleven of Hearts' celebration on merchandise.

Jimmy White: The snooker star changed his name to James Brown for the 2005 Masters as part of a sponsorship deal. He also donned a brown tuxedo - instead of his usual black attire - as part of his deal with a sauce manufacturer.

Victoria Beckham: The former Spice Girl and Peterborough Football club battled over the nickname 'Posh' in 2002. The club made an application to use the name on merchandise but Victoria Beckham came in with a counter-claim.

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Sharapova hopes to become Sugarpova for US Open

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova hopes to legally change her surname to Sugarpova for the duration of the US Open - to promote a brand of sweets, according to The Times (£).

The former world No. 1 has approached the Supreme Court of Florida about a “quickie” name-change, but would return to Sharapova after the two-week tournament, sources close to the 26 year old said.

Maria Sharapova's line of sweets is Sugarpova.
Maria Sharapova's line of sweets is Sugarpova. Credit: Jonathan Brady/PA Wire

Sharapova plans to wear the logo of the sweets brand - a pair of red lips - on her kit during the last grand slam of the year.

Should the court and the grand slam committee allow Sharapova to proceed, she could be introduced, addressed and have scores called out as Miss Sugarpova for as long as she remains in the event.

Sharapova: 'Falls just part of the game'

Maria Sharapova crashed out of Wimbledon after a shock defeat to world number 131 Michelle Larcher de Brito.

The Russian, who was the latest player to slip over on the grass, said falls are "just part of the game" after Wimbledon came under pressure to defend the courts.

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#Sharapova: "I've seen a few players take a few hits and a few falls and a few injuries. That's just part of the game." #Wimbledon

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#Sharapova: "She played really great tennis. All the credit to her she played really well from start to finish." #Wimbledon #LarcherDeBrito

Wimbledon loses high profile names on day three

Women's second seed Victoria Azarenka withdrew from Wimbledon. Credit: PA Wire

Wimbledon officials insisted their courts had been prepared the same way as in previous years as the grass continued to claim victims.

Seven players had already withdrawn on day three of the tournament when Maria Sharapova slipped during her clash with Michelle Larcher De Brito and went on to lose.

The Russian fell in a similar area to where Caroline Wozniacki had earlier fallen foul, and as she underwent eight minutes of treatment, a spectator was heard to shout "Sort the court out".

Caroline Wozniacki went to ground during her loss to Petra Cetkovska. Credit: PA Wire

That added to a growing train of thought that the grass of Wimbledon may be a factor in the unusual rush of injuries.

Tournament officials denied that, though, with an All England Club spokesman saying: "There has been no change to the way we prepare the courts."

Former British number one Tim Henman also defended the state of the surface, telling the BBC: "The courts are in the same shape they always have been. It's bizarre how all these injuries are happening this year.

"I'm as interested as everyone else as to why there have been so many injuries as the courts are in fantastic shape."

Victoria Azarenka, the women's second seed, pulled out this morning after hurting her knee in a first-day slip, while Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the men's sixth seed, called time after three sets of his meeting with Ernests Gulbis because of knee problems.

Steve Darcis (shoulder) had earlier made himself unavailable, while Maran Cilic (knee), John Isner (knee), Radek Stepanek (thigh) and Yaroslava Shvedova (arm) also either quit matches or could not start.

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Sharapova's 'grunt-o-meter' clash at Wimbledon

World number one Maria Sharapova, who is famed for her grunting on court, takes on Sabine Lisicki at Wimbledon today - the tennis player who accused her own second round opponent, Bojana Jovanovski, of grunting so loudly it was "off-putting".

Maria Sharapova has recently admitted that she won't change her grunting habits.
Maria Sharapova has recently admitted that she won't change her grunting habits. Credit: EMPICS Sport/EMPICS Sport

Lisicki, 22, from Germany, complained to umpire Mariana Alves about the noise during their match last week.

The Women's Tennis Association are currently reviewing plans to drive "excessive grunting" out of the game for future generations.

The pair will meet on Court One at 1pm this afternoon.

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