Maria Sharapova Is Happy To Be Fit And Back On The Court
by Tom Gainey | December 27th, 2013, 10:31 am
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With boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov in tow, Maria Sharapova has arrived in Brisbane and says she’s finally back to good after missing the end of 2013 with a shoulder injury.

“I gave it enough time to recover and get better, that was extremely important for me that’s why I had to miss a big chunk of the end of the season but in order to come here feeling strong I had to do that,” Sharapova told the website for the Brisbane International, site of her first event of 2014.

“I feel like I’I’ve had a really good off season, I started way ahead of schedule – I started practice when the last tournament was on for the girls – it’s just really fun for me to be back on court because I’ve really missed it.”

During her recovery, the 4th-ranked Sharapova added new coach Sven Groeneveld to the mix.

“I think new people give a new perspective on things,” said Sharapova. “When you’re at a certain level in your career there’s only a few percentages that can change a lot of things and we’ve had a lot of fun in the last couple of months – we’ve done great work and this is going to be a long year but I’m looking forward to it.”

Sharapova jettisoned Tomas Hogstedt last summer before a quick, 1-match stint with Jimmy Connors who saw her lost to Sloane Stephens in Cincinnati in her most recent match.

Sharapova, who hasn’t won a title since April when her shoulder first flared up, has had success in Australia winning in Melbourne in 2008 and twice finishing runner-up.

Last year she lost in the semifinals at the Australian Open to Li Na.

Joining the Russian at the event will be her main rivals Serena Williams and Victoria Azarenka.

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