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Sunday, January 16, 2005

How do you win an Open like Maria?

FEW teenagers carry the weight of expectation afforded glamour Russian and Wimbledon champion Maria Sharapova. The 17 year-old – one of seven Russians in the world's top 15 – has had all eyes on her since winning her first Grand Slam and the season ending championships last year. But with a maturity beyond her years, don't expect the fourth seed to buckle when the Australian Open hits off tomorrow. "Obviously a lot of people expected me to do well. But at 17, it is impossible to win everything you play and everything you compete in," Sharapova said.

Maria Sharapova

"I don't think that people really understand that I am only 17. I've always played the game because I've loved it. "I never thought that I needed to prove to the world or myself that I am good. I knew that I had a tremendous talent at what I did. But I was only 17 years old and I still am."
Despite the extra attention, Sharapova is still having fun. She enjoys being in the spotlight and dreams of ultimately snaring the world No. 1 ranking. "I get stopped a few more times than I did before – just a few more," she said.
"If I wasn't having fun I wouldn't be playing tennis. I'm an individual who if I don't like to do something I would just drop it and never do it again." A concerted effort to improve her fitness has Sharapova primed for a tilt at a second Grand Slam.
"I've been working on basically getting a little bit stronger," she said. "I've been running on a beach a lot, a lot of sprints.
"Just mainly I want to work on my endurance a lot more where, you know, I can stay out in the heat and play against top players for two weeks. I am very excited to get the new year underway and going finally. "I've had an amazing year. I've learned a lot. I feel ready mentally and physically."


At 24/2/05 01:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with the topic. But don't you thank that top is Kind of skimpy.

At 24/2/05 01:36, Anonymous Anonymous said...

But great shot for the camera guy.


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