Tennis Sisters of Bulgaria with Star of Fame

Society | October 13, 2006, Friday // 00:00| Views: | Comments: 0
Bulgaria: Tennis Sisters of Bulgaria with Star of Fame Katerina, Manuela and Magdalena (from R to L) pose in front of the star of Maleeva Sisters, which was officially inaugurated Friday on the Walk of Fame in Sofia. Photo by Kameliya Atanasova (Sofia Photo Agency)

The three Maleeva sisters - Katerina, Manuela and Magdalena - received their glory star on the Walk of Fame in Sofia.

The solemn ceremony was organised a few months after the youngest among them, Magdalena, put end to her tennis career.

The recognition honoured several decades of numerous victories of the three sisters in the world of tennis, mentored by their mother and individual coach Yulia Berberyan.

The red-carpet ceremony took place in front of the Arena movie theatre on Friday evening.

The stars already shining on the Walk of Fame belong to football star Hristo Stoitchkov, folk singer Valya Balkanska, pop singer Lili Ivanova, violin virtuoso Vasko Vassilev, Bulgaria's first cosmonaut Georgi Ivanov and clarinet player Ivo Papazov.

Maleeva's mother Yulia Berberyan came from a prominent Armenian family, which found refuge in Bulgaria after the 1896 Armenian massacres in the Ottoman Empire. She was the best Bulgarian tennis player in the 1960s.

After retiring from professional tennis in the 1970s, Berberyan started on a coaching career. She trained all of her three daughters, Magdalena, Katerina and Manuela, each of whom eventually became WTA top six players.

Manuela, Katerina and Magdalena earned their place in the Top 6 of the world rankings and set numerous records that will remain in the sport's history.

From the first success of the 12-year-old Manuela at the 1979 "Orange Bowl" to the present victories of Magdalena, there is at least one Maleeva in the world's tennis elite for over a quarter of a century now.

In October 2005, Magdalena Maleeva retired from professional tennis, after 16 seasons in the tennis elite, ending the era of the Maleeva Sisters.
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