Sharapova closer to elusive title

Updated: March 28, 2013, 12:00 PM ET
By Greg Garber | ESPN.com

MIAMI -- This time every year, Yuri Sharapova would pack up his young daughter Maria and drive the four hours down from Bradenton, Fla.

It never went as fast as she wanted it to.

Maria fondly remembers watching fellow Russian Yevgeny Kafelnikov. She particularly loved the atmosphere in the stadium when the festive late-night Latin crowds lived and died with every shot of Marcelo Rios.

Only a few years removed from living in the remote oil town of Nyagan -- in Siberia, of all ...

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