The five-time Russian Grand Slam champion, Maria Sharapova has been included in the Russian National Tennis team for the year 2019 by the Russian Sports Ministry. The former World Number one, Sharapova will commence her season at the St. Petersburg Ladies Trophy. The Career Slam recipient has also bagged a silver medal at the London Olympics. In the 2018 season, Sharapova re-entered the top 25 rankings on the WTA list. Also, she reached the last eight at the French Open and surrendered a straight-set loss to the Spaniard, carbine Muguruza. Also, she reached the semifinals at the Shenzhen Open. Also, she reached the last four of the WTA event in Rome, where she was stopped by Simona Halep.
The team also includes two dozen other Russian tennis players namely, Ekaterina Aleksandrova, Anna Blinkova, Elena Vesnina, Natalia Vikhlyantseva, Margarita Gasparyan, Irina Glimakova, Vitalia Dyachenko, Sofia Zhuk, Vera Zvonareva, Anna Kalinskaya, Ekaterina Kamenetskaya, Daria Kasatkina, Ekaterina Kirgizova, Veronika Kudermetova, Svetlana Kuznetsova, Ekaterina Makarova, Polina Monova, Lyudmila Nikoyan, Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, Anastasia Potapova, Yevgeniya Rodina, Irina Khromacheva, Yulia Chubarova and Daria Churakova.
In Shenzhen this year, Sharapova will be opening against the injury-prone Swiss player Timea Bacsinszsk. They will be playing each other for the fifth time in their career on the new year’s eve. They last played in 2015 in Madrid, where Sharapova won against the Swiss. Sharapova seized her last title during the 2017 season in the month of October at the Tianjin Open. Since then, nothing has dropped in the Russian’s pocket. At Shenzhen, Aryna Sabalenka is expected to be Sharapova’s opponent. She faced Sabalenka at the final in Tianjin. This year, she is also gearing up for the Melbourne major where last year, the Russian star reached the third round. The 31-year-old Russian is expected to win a title this year in order to conserve her glory on the WTA circuit.