Maria Sharapova ready to return to best ahead of Brisbane International

Maria Sharapova ready to return to best ahead of Brisbane International

January 1, 2020

Her troublesome right shoulder may never be 100 percent, but former World No.1 Maria Sharapova is convinced she can bounce back to her best ahead of her latest tennis comeback. The 32-year-old has been frustrated by the ongoing shoulder complaint that has plagued her since serving a doping ban, limiting her to just eight events and 15 matches in 2019.

But the five-time grand slam champion said retirement had never been on her radar as she prepared to launch her 2020 campaign in Queensland after accepting a wildcard for next month’s Brisbane International.

“To be fair when I was younger I never saw myself playing past 30,” Sharapova said. “But I still feel there is a lot in me to give. I still have a lot of fire in me and I am big competitor. As long as the shoulder stays healthy and my body allows me to, I hope there is a lot of time left for me.”

The Russian’s world ranking has plummeted to No.133 due to her injury woes. And she faces arguably the ultimate fitness test at the Brisbane International starting on Jan.6. It features a stacked field including Australia’s World No.1 Ashleigh Barty, reigning Australian Open Champion Naomi Osaka, defending Brisbane International Champ Karolina Pliskova and Venus Williams. However, Sharapova, who won her last Grand Slam in 2014, said she was up for the challenge.


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