Injury-Dogged Maria Sharapova Commits To 2020 Tennis Return

Injury-Dogged Maria Sharapova Commits To 2020 Tennis Return

“I’m doing all the right things, but I might need a little more time. I might play next week. I’ll test the shoulder with a couple of practice sets.

“I’m not in a rush. The main goal is to get healthy, put in the work and play a good schedule in 2020. I want to work my way into 2020 and be healthy.”

The 32-year-old missed more than four months, in the wake of right shoulder surgery. She returned for the grass-court season but was then forced out of Wimbledon by a left forearm injury.

She won the last of her five Grand Slam titles at the 2014 French Open and served a one-year ban following a failed drugs test at the 2016 Australian Open.

“The shoulder has been weak link in body for many years. This year it got pretty bad. I didn’t play for most of the season,” she said.

“But those are the ups and downs an athlete goes through. I have the motivation to get better. I know there are no limits to what you can achieve.”

Sharapova has been attempting to strengthen her shoulder with a new coaching team headed by Italian Riccardo Piatti, spending the last three weeks at his training complex on the Italian Riviera, near the border with France.

“For a few months this year the shoulder felt quite good, during the lead-up on grass,” she said of her 2019 season.

“But I played a hard match on cement in Canada and that hurt me for the next few weeks.”

Sharapova flew to Austria from Nice for sponsor and tournament commitments, and said that — like 38-year-old icon Roger Federer — she has no timetable for ending her career.

“I’ve never had a certain goal of how long to play. When I was a young woman of 19, I’m sure I didn’t think I’d be playing past 30,” she said.

“I’m closer to the finish than the beginning or middle of my career — but who knows.”

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