Maria Sharapova & Ellen DeGeneres: Then & Now

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A very tan Maria Sharapova recently returned to Ellen DeGeneres' chair for a conversation about grunting (groan) and Sugarpova (the flavor names of which the host referred to as remindful of yesteryear's spice Girl personalities). DeGeneres also revealed a spunky outfit for Sharapova to wear on court Down Under, as she won't be home for Christmas this year. "That's not going to fit my bottom," Sharapova quipped. See the full clip here:

But that's not all. This wasn't Sharapova's first rodeo, as it were, with the daytime talk-show host. She previously participated with Ellen DeGeneres in her "12 Days of Christmas" series in December 2007, giving away—what else?—Canon cameras to audience members and literally dwarfing her host. Roll footage:

The two even play Ping-Pong, and of course DeGeneres can't help but bring grunting into play.

What's great about the latter clip is Sharapova's retelling of Martina Navratilova's note to her father, Yuri Sharapov, about Maria's talent. That came on the heels of Navratilova's exhibition match in Russia attended by their family. And Sharapova's poise on stage was amazing even then, six years ago at age 20, even as the comedienne asked her about her relationship status.

Says here there's something about Sharapova and DeGeneres yukking it up together ahead of the holidays that's quite warm and inviting.

Got a thought, a tip, or a point to make? Hit me on Twitter @jonscott9.

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