Maria Sharapova co-hosted the unveiling of the draws at the Australian Open earlier this week with Roger Federer. Sharapova will return to the Australian open for the first time since 2016 and will be unseeded for a grand slam for the first time in more than ten years.
Sharapova was asked if she ever thought about retiring after she failed her drug test.
‘After being away for such a long time, there are adjustments. They haven’t come easily. I have to back off sometimes, and say this will take time. I never contemplated retiring’, she said
Sharapova also commented on the fact that she never thought she would compete at the highest levels at the age of 30 and how the times have changed.
‘But when I was a teenager I never thought I’d play past 30 years old. I thought I’d win a few tournaments and then have a family. And here I am in a sport that has given me so much – and I hope to have a family too.’
Sharapova who is unseeded for the Australian open is on a collision course with the former champion Angelique Kerber, whom she could meet in the third round. Angelique Kerber has had a perfect start to her season winning a title in Sydney earlier this week. However, Sharapova refuses to look that far ahead and expects every round to be just as difficult.
‘There’s no easy way to get to the top. You always have to beat the top players in order to get to the top.’ ‘The drive, I still have it. I certainly will hope I put myself in that position. I put a lot of expectations on myself because I have been there, and I have delivered in those moments. I expect to continue to do so.’