Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 30 July 2014

Sharapova eyes March return

Maria Sharapova is targeting a return to competition in March at either the WTA event at Indian Wells or Miami.

The 21-year-old Russian has been sidelined since last August with a shoulder injury that has hampered her for the past two years.

She had been due to play in Paris next week and then Dubai but pulled out of both events because of the problem.

"I have been training in Florida the last few weeks and really working hard," said Sharapova.

"It's really amazing how you can do all the exercises and rehab in the world, but nothing substitutes the time you spend on court running and hitting hundreds of balls.

"Right now I'm aiming for Palm Springs, or Miami, depending on how things shape up."

The former world number one has seen her ranking plummet to 17th during an absence that has caused her to miss the 2008 US Open, the Beijing Olympics and last month's Australian Open.

It is the first time she has been outside the world top 10 since her victory at Wimbledon in 2004

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