MARIA Sharapova is four matches away from winning Warrnambool its own tennis party.
And Warrnambool youngster Danielle Higgins will win a cool $10,000 if the Russian gun can claim the Australian Open women’s singles title.
Sharapova is Warrnambool’s representative in the Australian Open Blitz, an interactive online competition involving clubs across Australia.
Her link with Warrnambool is thanks to tennis fans completing challenges listed on the AO Blitz website and earning points for the city.
Danielle was Warrnambool’s top points scorer with 482,020 and will win $10,000 should Sharapova take out her fifth grand slam tournament.
Lauren Higgins said her daughter had spent “hundreds of hours” uploading videos on YouTube as part of the AO Blitz.
“She’s earned a lot of points for Warrnambool as well, not only for her individually,” she said.
“She had Merrivale Primary School down at the courts for their end-of-year activities. She got all of them involved.
“That earned points for Warrnambool and the school. They finished quite high up in the schools’ rankings as well.”
Sharapova will play Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova in a round-of-16 match at Rod Laver Arena today.
Lauren Higgins said Warrnambool Lawn Tennis Club would screen one of Sharapova’s matches at its courts this week should she play at night.