After a 15-month suspension for drug use, Maria Sharapova returned to the U.S. Open for the first time in three years on Monday night. The 30-year-old put on a memorable performance under the lights of Arthur Ashe Stadium, downing No. 2 seed Simona Halep. Today, she'll face Timea Babos in the second round of the major.
It's been over a decade since Sharapova clinched her first Grand Slam championship. At age 17, she defeated Serena Williams in the 2004 Wimbledon final. It was her first of what would be five Grand Slam titles, and it came with a sizable paycheck: £560,500, or about $724,000.
That's a lot of money for any teenager, particularly for one who grew up poor: At age seven, the Russian-born athlete and her dad arrived in the U.S. with just $700. While training at Nick Bollettieri's Tennis Academy, she slept on a pullout couch next to her dad in a $250-a-month apartment.
And, when 17-year-old Sharapova secured her six-figure check, she headed straight to TJ Maxx.