World No.4 Maria Sharapova said she was as hungry as ever to add to her trophy cabinet in her injury comeback at the Brisbane International.
Being spoiled with plenty of Christmas bling has not stopped four-time grand slam winner Maria Sharapova looking for some more trinkets at the upcoming Brisbane International.
The world No.4 would have been forgiven for having her fill of all things shiny after admitting Santa had come good with plenty of jewellery as she put the finishing touches to her tennis comeback.
“I was very spoiled this Christmas,” Sharapova laughed in Brisbane on Friday.
Asked what kind of jewellery she received, Sharapova said: “All of it – I am just a lucky girl.”
Still, Sharapova was as hungry as ever to add to her trophy cabinet in Brisbane ahead of next month’s Australian Open.
Despite contesting her first tournament since a shoulder injury cut short her 2013 campaign in August, Sharapova backed herself in a Brisbane International tournament boasting six of the world’s top 10 including headliner and arch rival Serena Williams.
“I feel like I have had a really good off season,” she said.
“I have started way ahead of schedule.
“It is just really fun for me to be back on court – I have certainly missed it.”
Brisbane’s third seed has only had an exhibition match against Ana Ivanovic in Bogota, Colombia – which she lost in three sets – ahead of the season opening tournament in Queensland.
And it marks the first time in four Brisbane campaigns that Sharapova has confirmed she will play after injury sabotaged her previous stays.
Then again Sharapova has proved that warm-up tournaments aren’t all they are cracked up to be ahead of the season-opening grand slam.
Only once in 10 previous Australian Open appearances has Sharapova played a full tournament prior to Melbourne and she’s still managed to win the title once, reach two finals and the semi-finals three times.
And armed with new coach – and Monica Seles’ former mentor – Sven Groeneveld, Sharapova is ready to launch another Australian assault.
“I love this game. I have achieved a lot but I feel I have a lot left in me,” she said.
“There are a lot more to do in the grand slams but events like these are quite important.
“It’s the lead-up to the big ones that you want to capture.
“I can’t wait to get on the court.”
The tournament starts on Sunday.