Sharapova has designs on fashion career

SANTIAGO Tue Dec 1, 2009 6:12pm EST

Maria Sharapova of Russia answers a question during a news conference in Santiago December 1, 2009. REUTERS/Ivan Alvarado

Maria Sharapova of Russia answers a question during a news conference in Santiago December 1, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Ivan Alvarado

SANTIAGO (Reuters Life!) - Tennis former world No. 1 Maria Sharapova is interested in trying her hand at designing clothing.

The Russian player, who left her fashion mark wearing gold tennis shoes in Wimbledon in 2005, doesn't want to be a model but plans to focus on design instead.

"I love designing. I love the fact that it's very creative," Sharapova told reporters on a visit to Santiago, where she will play an exhibition match against Argentina's Gisela Dulko called the "Beauty Challenge."

"The world of tennis has opened up many doors in my career and I've been able to experience many of them and fashion is certainly one of them and I definitely hope that after my career I'll be able to expand on that."

Ranked No. 14 in the world, Sharapova has attracted a huge online fan base, in part for her striking looks, and is often featured in magazines as a model.

(Reporting by Claudio Cerda; Writing by Alonso Soto. Editing by Simon Gardner)