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Wednesday, January 11, 2006

Maria Sharapova Ready for Australian Open Start

Russian ace Maria Sharapova has revealed she nearly didn’t make it to Melbourne for the first Grand Slam tennis tournament of the year, the Age website reported Sunday.

Maria Sharapova

“I spoke to Maria and it was a bit of a race against time for her,” Open chief executive Paul McNamee said of last year’s semi-finalist.“She wasn’t certain to come, but she’s here and giving it her best shot.”Sharapova, the former world No. 1, practiced at Rod Laver Arena after arriving from the United States."

The Russian superstar, scratching from last week’s Australian Women’s Hardcourt title on the Gold Coast, laughed and joked her way through her first practice session, the Herald Sun added. Maria Sharapova did not over-extend herself while serving and struggled a little for touch, but showed that her renowned forehand has lost none of its venom.

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