The Russian Olympic Committee has announced that tennis star Maria Sharapova will become Russia's first female Olympic flag-bearer when the London Games open on July 27.
On July 10, Russian Olympic Committee President Aleksandr Zhukov praised Sharapova as "the most worthy candidate" among all Russian athletes.
Sharapova was ranked number one in the world earlier this year and won the French Open.
Since Russians first took part in the 1900, 1908, and 1912 Summer Olympics, and then again in 1952 as part of the Soviet Union, the honor of flag-bearer has been given to male athletes.
Sharapova, 25, is among a small group of tennis players who have won all four tennis Grand Slam titles -- she won Wimbledon in 2004, the U.S. Open in 2006, the Australian Open in 2008, and the French Open last month.
Based on reporting by Reuters and Interfax