SOCHI, Russia — Maria Sharapova is visiting the town of her childhood, which also happens to be one of Russia’s warmest spots — and the host of the Winter Games.

Siberia-born Sharapova spent six years in Sochi before her family moved to the United States, and she had her first tennis lesson there. The 26-year-old Russian inaugurated the refurbished court in central Sochi where she once played.

Search photos available for purchase: Photo Store →

She said Wednesday she has “very fond memories” of Sochi. She recalls telling American friends about this place in Russia where people can swim in the Black Sea and go up in the mountains and ski on the same day.

She says she hopes “everyone will be able to experience it on their own.”