Former Russian world number one Maria Sharapova insisted on Thursday that she still has “motivation” to compete professionally, despite a year 2019 to forget, marked by shoulder problems.
Sharapova, dropped to 131st place in the world, was only able to play eight tournaments last season, for a total of fifteen games.
The five-time Grand Slam champion played an exhibition in Abu Dhabi on Thursday, which marked her return after the fall in August in the first round of the US Open.
In that match in the Emirati capital, Sharapova beat Australian Ajla Tomljanovic 6-4 and 7-5.
“Any chance I have to play competitively is a really good day for me, I haven’t played much,” Sharapova told reporters in Abu Dhabi.
«I am happy with this game. It was there again and from here it can only get better, “he said.
Sharapova did not elaborate on how he is doing from his shoulder injury, but said he was “fine” after the match against Tomljanovic.
The Russian player plans to travel to Australia in January to play the Australian Open.
“I’m thinking of traveling to Australia and seeing how things are going, seeing how the body responds,” he said. © Agence France-Presse