BANGKOK, Thailand – Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova (search), here to play an exhibition match against Venus Williams (search), plans to donate $10,000 to victims of the tsunami disaster in southern Thailand, a Thai tennis official said Thursday.
The world no. 4 and Wimbledon champion is scheduled to play Williams, the former world no. 1, in the northern province of Chiang Mai Sunday. Williams arrives in Thailand later Thursday.
"Sharapova and Venus come here not only to show their tennis talents but to help rebuild the reputation of local tourism. Their presence in Thailand could render moral support to victims of the tragedy," said Suwat Liptapunlop, president of the Lawn Tennis Association of Thailand, Wednesday.
More than 1,900 Thais and foreign tourists are confirmed dead and to toll is expected to rise.