Updated at 1 p.m. EDT with agent response
In what perhaps would be the greatest move since Ron Artest became Metta World Peace, Maria Sharapova reportedly is considering legally changing her name.
Sharapova’s motives are a little less altruistic than World Peace’s, though. According to the Times of London, she may legally become Maria Sugarpova for the two weeks of the U.S. Open in order to promote a candy company in which she reportedly has invested a half-million bucks.
As the report began to gather steam, Sharapova’s agent announced that she had changed her mind about changing her name.
“Maria has pushed her team to do fun, out-of-the-box-type things to get the word out about Sugarpova,” Max Eisenbud said (via ESPN.com). “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.”
Changing her name would have been complex for Sharapova, a Russian citizen who lives in Florida and has a green card. The plan, such as it was, called for Sharapova, named by Forbes as the world’s top-earning woman athlete, to petition the Florida Supreme Court for a “quickie” name change that would expire when the Open ends.
This may not be the worst idea she’s come up with lately. She hired Jimmy Connors as her coach, then fired him after 34 days when she lost in the first round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati.