Impatient Sharapova realistic on grand slam return

Fri Jan 10, 2014 11:46pm EST
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Simon Cambers

MELBOURNE (Reuters) - Maria Sharapova happily admits that patience is not her strongest trait but the Russian will temper her expectations as she begins her Australian Open title campaign.

The 26-year-old missed the last few months of the 2013 season, including the U.S. Open, with an injury to her right shoulder, the same shoulder that required surgery in 2008.

She made an impressive return to the WTA Tour last week by reaching the semi-finals in Brisbane before losing to world number one Serena Williams.

After another lengthy absence, Sharapova knows better than to expect to hit top form immediately.

"You obviously have to lower your expectations a little bit and be a bit realistic about maybe the first few matches," she said at Melbourne Park on Saturday.

"You have to grind, work through them, hope to get better as the tournament goes on."

The Australian Open champion in 2008, Sharapova begins her campaign this year against American Bethanie Mattek-Sands, an opponent who has given her trouble in the past.

Sharapova said she had spent so much time consulting doctors about her troublesome shoulder in recent years that she was contemplating a new career once she is done with tennis.   Continued...

Maria Sharapova of Russia blows a kiss to the crowd after her win against Kaia Kanepi of Estonia during their women's singles match at the Brisbane International tennis tournament in Brisbane, January 2, 2014. REUTERS/Jason Reed