By Hannah Wong , FashionnStyle Reporter | Aug 27, 2012 10:11 AM EDT
Maria Sharapova may be under the spotlight for the U.S. Open startingMonday, but has the blonde tennis star been able to focus on tennis at all?
While heading to the first round of the 2012 US Open Championship on Monday, former World No. 1 Maria Sharapova has recently debuted a new candy business "Sugarpova," and is going down the road rather as a multi-talented fashion icon than a mere tennis superstar.
The 25-year-old beauty said that Sugarpova has taken 18 months from concept to launch.
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"It's like I've been pregnant twice," Sharapova said jokingly, according to ESPN.
Sugarpova, featuring 12 types of gummy, is "the most exciting project that I've ever done ... because it's my own business, my own investment, my own money," said the the four-time Grand Slam-winning tennis player.
The colorful candies sport fancy names and shapes.
“Flirty: lips like sugar” are lip-shaped gummies, while "Sporty: The taste of victory" is a miniature of tennis balls. "Chic: Some style for your smile" gummies are shaped like handbags and dress shoes.
The luxury candy line was launched at Henri Bendel in New York on August 20, just a week before the U.S. Open.
The benefits will be partially donated to the Maria Sharapova foundation, which serves children around the world.
"I've seen enough of all these athletes endorsing the latest energy drink or organic health product," said Jeff Rubin, CEO Of It'Sugar.
"We all know that everyone, including athletes, love candy, so what's wrong with endorsing what we all eat?"
Sharapova's agent Max Eisenbud hired Dentsu America to paint her image as a sex symbol and fashion icon, ESPN reports.
"Making it too much about tennis was predictable," said Eisenbud.
"She's so much bigger than that."
The Russian tennis star recently graced the cover of Hamptons magazine, and appeared on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" in a sexy black mini dress with sheer paneling.
Sugarpova was another step of diversifying Sharapova's brand, according to Eisenbud.
"We looked at a lot of things over the last 18 months that she can focus on in her life after tennis," Eisenbud explained.
"We met with Jeff and found that candy was different, fun and unexpected."
"We found out that the gummy category specifically had no real name recognition and that something like 400 million bags were sold in the U.K. alone," Eisenbud said.
With all of the above squeezed into her life, Maria Sharapova is playing against Melinda Czink in the first round of the U.S. Open on Monday. The match is set to begin at 2:35 p.m. (EDT) at Arhur Ashe Stadium in New York.
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