If reports are true, and tennis superstar Maria Sharapova actually goes through with a proposed name change, it could be one of the greatest (and most bizarre) marketing ploys in the history of sports.
A story in the British newspaper The Times indicates that Sharapova has inquired with the Florida Supreme Court about a temporary name change.
The 26-year-old reportedly wants to change her surname to Sugarpova, the name of her line of candy, for the duration of the upcoming U.S. Open.
Sharapova, who fired coach Jimmy Connors last week after just one match together, will reportedly also look to wear the logo for Sugarpova, a set of red lips, on her attire at the U.S. Open. Sharapova is currently the third-ranked player in the world, behind Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.
Thanks in part to Sugarpova and her other business ventures, Sharapova has become the highest paid female athlete in the world.
UPDATE: Sharapova's agent, Max Eisenbud, told ESPN that Sharapova has decided not to pursue the name change.
"Maria has pushed her team to do fun, out-of-the-box-type things to get the word out about Sugarpova," Eisenbud said. "In Miami, we're going to fill a glass truck full of candy and drive it around town. This was an idea that fell along those lines. But, at the end of the day, we would have to change all her identification, she has to travel to Japan and China right after the tournament and it was going to be very difficult."
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