Sharapova: I hope my shoulders are strong enough to have a longer season

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Sharapova: I hope my shoulders are strong enough to have a longer season

Maria Sharapova wishes to stay injury-free in 2019. Speaking in Shenzhen, the Russian said: 'Well, I think I had a year full of a lot of injuries last year and it kept me away from any tournaments. I think I mentioned in my previous press conference.

I’ve only played eleven tournaments which are not sufficient. And I hope that my shoulders are strong enough and can withstand a longer season to give myself the chance to to compete more and be a little bit more consistent.' Sharapova also commented on the generational change in the sport: 'I think it just reminds you that there's always a generation that will come behind you and will take your space and your spot and that's the evolution of not just tennis, but in every sport and life in general.

But I think it's beautiful because you do something for so many years of your life, you give so much effort and work. And you hope that you don't only create that legacy for yourself, but you inspire many other people.

My opponent today was very much inspired by the opportunity and the way that she played, I think she, as I said before, has all the right tools to be a champion. Of course, you have to play a lot of matches and you have to gain experience.

You have to stay healthy. So a lot of things have to happen in order for that to take care.' Sharapova was forced to retire down 6-1, 4-2 in her match against Aryna Sabalenka in Shenzhen on Friday. ALSO READ: Rafael Nadal: Worse players than David Ferrer won a Grand Slam title