Maria Sharapova: “I am a hundred percent.”
Maria Sharapova declared her surgically repaired right shoulder fully healed and that she was ready to return to the court for the first time since a disappointing performance at Wimbledon.
“I am a hundred percent. I mean, if I wasn’t at that point, I certainly wouldn’t be playing. That’s why I took my time and gave myself a chance to really go out there and to feel like I didn’t have any excuses.” said Sharapova
Sharapova played in three matches for the Breakers at the World Team Tennis, winning all three.
Maria Sharapova teamed with Julie Ditty to take women’s doubles, 5-2; combined with Kaes Van’t Hof to capture mixed doubles, 5-2; and defeated Meghann Shaughnessy 5-4 (5-1) in women’s singles.
She will compete in the Bank of West Tournament in Stanford, Calif., starting Monday and then test her shoulder by playing the following week in Los Angeles. After that, it’s the U.S. Open, which begins Aug. 31.
Sharapova said has never wavered in believing she would make a full comeback.
“By no means was it easy. Definitely I had ups and downs,” she said. “I had days where I had to push myself more than I’ve ever had to mentally than physically.
“It all pays off. Obviously just getting to be able to play tennis again is an achievement in itself. Now it’s about preparing myself, forgetting about what I went through, getting back into the form where I was-and even better.”
“At 22, you consider you’ve been playing on the Pro Tour that many years, (a comeback’s) definitely not a surprise,” she said. “It is a little surprising to see so many girls kind of coming out of the woodwork, and they’re so many years younger than you. You’re like, `Where did the time go?’
“But I enjoy every single year of it. As I get older, I become a much wiser person on the court. I learn a lot in life. A learn a lot from my profession, from what I do. I’m definitely not sad that the years are going by.”
Sharapova said keeping the shoulder strong will now have to be part of her life.
“It’s not something you just stop when it feels good,” she said. “You have to keep working on it. You have to keep getting it stronger.
“For the rest of my career I’ll be doing shoulder exercises. It won’t be as fun as I want it to be. It’s all a routine. But everyone has to do it. Everyone has injuries. It’s part of the game.”