Maria Sharapova has recently come out of an embarassing and difficult 15 month doping ban, only to see her ranking plunge deep into the abyss. Although Sharapova maintains her stand that she is not looking too far ahead at this point of time, she is certainly eager to return to the centre stage, with the best of the best, to hunt for glory again.
After her emphatic 6-4, 6-2 victory in the opening round of the Rome Open over Christina McHale , the former world No. 1 cemented a spot in the Wimbledon qualifying tournament. Life has been tough for the Russian after her return in April following a 15 month doping ban over the use of heart drug, Meldonium. Her prolonged absence has, unsuprisingly, taken its toll on her game and she is hopeful for a miraculous improvement in her ranking so as to gain a ‘rightful’ spot in the upcoming grass extravaganza in London. Having a rank too low for consideration in the tournaments preceding Roland Garros, she was given wild cards for Stuttgart, Madrid and Italian Opens.
After making a meal of her title shot at Madrid in the second round itself, Sharapova has started on a strong note in Rome. She said, “Having been among the elites and the No.1 once, I have high expectations from myself. Once you have raised the bar for yourself, you always want to stay there. I would love that experience once again. But i know it is difficult currently, so I have to concentrate on the present and try to play my best game week in and week out.
Sharapova also expressed her ignorance about the Wimbledon qualifying rankings and said, “Honestly I don’t pay attention to the the qualification rankings, even though you feel I do, because I want to play well and improve every week. Since I am making a come back after 15 long and dreary months, the only thing of importance is getting the form back, the feel back. ”
The expectant Russian will find out later about the Wild Card for the French Open.
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