Sharapova Wins Whirlpool Award
MADRID, Spain - Maria Sharapova has been named the second annual winner of the Whirlpool 6th sense Player of the Year, announced Thursday at the season-ending 2006 Sony Ericsson Championships.
The award, which honors the player who has demonstrated the most 6th sense intuition over the course of the year, was presented to Sharapova by Dino Olivetti, brand director of Whirlpool Europe.
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Maria was one of the three world's top players short-listed for the award via an online competition organised by Whirlpool, Premier Sponsor of the Tour. The competition ran from March 2006 to October 2006 on www.eurosport.com, www.sonyericssonwtatour.com and www.whirlpool.eu.com. Over 54,000 people participated with over 15,000 voting for the three players they felt best reflected 6th sense intuition sharp intelligence, unbeatable performance and pinpoint precision.
The three finalists chosen were Martina Hingis, Maria Sharapova and Amélie Mauresmo. From the finalists, Maria was chosen to receive the Award by an expert panel and the online voters from across Europe. The panel consisted of former World No. 1 and 14 time Grand Slam title winner Arantxa Sanchez; Co-President of the International Tennis Writers
"I'm thrilled to have won the Whirlpool 6th sense Player of the Year award for 2006," Sharapova said. "It completes a great year for me and it is an honor to win such an award against the world's best players. The significance of intuition in my game is that I try to anticipate my opponent so I can react faster and with greater precision. As the game gets faster and the competition stronger, intuition becomes even more important."
"Maria has had a fantastic season and I am delighted that our consumers across Europe along with the judging panel have recognized her outstanding abilities," said Giuseppe Perucchetti, vice president of brand marketing at Whirlpool Europe.
"This is a special award for our players, and one that truly captures of the essences of both the
Whirlpool and women's tennis brands," added Sony Ericsson WTA Tour CEO Larry Scott.
With 14,000 employees, a sales presence in over 30 European countries and manufacturing sites in seven countries, Whirlpool Europe is a wholly owned subsidiary of Whirlpool Corporation. The worlds leading manufacturer and marketer of major home appliances Whirlpool Corporation has annual sales of more than $19 billion, more than 80,000 employees, and more than 60 manufacturing and technology research centers around the world. The company markets Whirlpool, Maytag, KitchenAid, Jenn-Air, Amana, Brastemp, Bauknecht and other major brand names to consumers in nearly every country around the world.