Sharapova: 'I achieved enough and could call it a day, but I love tennis'- View: 7501 by Gatto Luigi
Maria Sharapova is back to compete although not officially on Sunday in the World Team Tennis event, where, playing for Orange County Breakers, she lost to women's singles match to Shelby Rogers, for San Diego Aviators, 5-3.
In press conference before the match, the former World No. 1 spoke about the rest of the 2017 season where she will play, in the next month and a half, Stanford, Toronto and US Open qualies. The World No. 171 admitted it won't be easy, as she played her last event in Rome where he suffered a left thigh injury.
'I think no road is easy. It's nice to have a schedule again and something that I really miss, having a tournament on the schedule and a calendar and knowing what I have to prepare for', said Sharapova, who received seven wild cards so far this year.
Speaking about criticism, the Russian commented: 'I served the suspension period and I think there's not much more that I could add to that. I think just by doing what I do, and that's playing tennis.
That's what I wanted to do from the very beginning. I've done it. I've always had the choice of not doing it. I have had a lot in my career. I've had the support. As someone who is 30 years old, I achieved enough to call it a day.
But there's something deeper. It's more than just the sport. It's something I've done all my life and my career. I wanted to continue that. That's where my focus is and not much else.' In Flushing Meadows she will play qualies unless organizers award her a wild card.
About expectation for what will be her first Grand Slam event since 2016 Australian Open, she added: 'It's not something that I think about; it's not part of my job. Just because I have to be realistic that I haven't played in a long time.
With the injury, it was almost like a two-year break for me. The importance and significance of every tournament is much more in my mind than what I can or cannot do at the U.S. Open.' Before Stanford, Sharapova will play another match at the WTT on Sunday 22 July. 'This was a great little addition to my schedule.
I hadn't actually planned on playing World Team Tennis but I just thought I could use the bonus matches as I like to call them. Play in front of the crowds and come back to places that I've competed at before.' ALSO READ: WTA Cincinnati - Entry List: Sharapova, Azarenka are very unlikely to play .