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Russia's Sharapova buys luxury pad in Israel

TEL AVIV, February 14 (RIA Novosti) - Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has bought a luxurious penthouse in Israel's popular tourist resort, the Haaretz newspaper said.

The apartment is located in Ir Yamim, south of Netanya and has a total area of 350 square meters. It also has three balconies "that offer a panoramic view over the Mediterranean Sea," the newspaper said.

Russia's Sharapova, who currently lives in the United States, will have a 350-square-meter rooftop which will allow her to have a swimming pool.

The secret deal was signed last week and cost the tennis star 7.5 million Israeli shekels ($2 million).

The Australian Open champion visited Israel around two weeks ago as part of the Russian Fed Cup team, during the tournament she beat Israel's Tzipi Obziler, making up for a poor start by her team mates in their first round match.

Sharapova, 20, world number five, was named the highest paid female athlete last year with estimated earnings of $23 million a year and the second most searched for sporting name on Yahoo's Internet search engine.

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