Maria Sharapova has received a wildcard from the Brisbane International organizers and she’s already in town getting ready to leave a tough last season behind her and open 2020 with high hopes of enjoying an injury-free year.
The 32-year-old Sharapova, who won Brisbane in 2015, has been frustrated by a persistent shoulder injury that limited her to just eight tournaments and 15 matches in 2019. Not to mention that just a few days ago she made a last-minute withdrawal from the Hawaii Open exhibition. Still, the Russian is confident in her motivation and her off-season preparation:
There were a lot of ups and downs, there were times when I was ready but the shoulder wasn’t. But I have had a fairly good off-season and I am motivated to compete. At this point in my career when I have that feeling, it’s a good sign.
Despite these health issues and the fact that she had never planned to play past her 30th birthday, the five-time Grand Slam champion assures us that retirement has never been on her radar.
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.
Sharapova’s current WTA ranking is No.133. The Premier-level Brisbane International runs from January 6th to 12th at the Queensland Tennis Center. Results in Brisbane may determine whether she’ll also get a wildcard for the Australian Open. (source: The Guardian)