Maria ready for Action in Indian Wells!
Defending champion Maria Sharapova is raring to get down to business at Indian Wells after spending the last four weeks on the sidelines because of a hamstring injury.
The Russian has not played since retiring at the semi-final stage of the Pan Pacific Open last month but says her hamstring problem has completely healed at this stage. "It's good," she replied, when asked by reporters how her injury is. "It was a little worrying after I got back from Tokyo because it wasn't really going anywhere. It stayed the same for a week or so.
"But then it started getting better and I've been training fully for about 10 to 12 days now," she added. Maria will have to come through a tough draw if she is to retain her title, however. One player who misses out is fifth seed Elena Dementieva, who withdrew from the tournament after a rib injury failed to heal in time. The Russian, who was runner-up at Indian Wells last year, expects to be out of action for up to six weeks. "I really wanted to play here having got to the final last year," she said."I did a lot of work before I came here but it's hard to breathe when you have a rib injury and you have pain even when you are not playing. "There's nothing they can do - pain-killers don't really help."