Maria Sharapova takes inspiration from Venus Williams

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Maria Sharapova takes inspiration from Venus Williams

A few months ago, Maria Sharapova's agent Max Eisenbud revealed that the Russian player would have called it a career probably this year if she didn't get a 15-month ban. But now that Sharapova missed a season-and-a-half, she doesn't want to stop here and at 30, the five-time Grand Slam champion may play until 2020 Olympics, or at least that's what she hopes for.

She takes inspiration from Venus Williams, who reached her ninth Wimbledon final this month at the age of 37. 'Just take an example from Venus, who’s able to do what she did at Wimbledon - to perform at the level that she’s able to perform at is an incredible example,' Sharapova said at a press conference during the World Team Tennis event in California.

'She’s definitely set the bar high.' The former world no. 1 was particularly happy with her performance as she won a match in straight sets and helped Orange County Breakers to beat San Diego Aviators 22-19. Sharapova, who has not been competing for more than two months due to a left thigh injury, said: 'I played much better than I did a week ago.

That was an improvement and one of the main reasons why I wanted to come out here and play.' Maria will play Stanford and Toronto in the next weeks before the US Open qualifiers, unless she gets a wild card for the main draw.

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