CALIFORNIA: Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova made first appearance in the United States (US) on Sunday after serving her 15-month ban related to testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.
Sharapova, who is representing Orange Country Breakers at World Team Tennis (WTT), said prior to their match against defending champions San Diego Aviators that she hopes to regain her form, but adds it remains a difficult task as she prepares for future tournaments, especially the US Open 2017 which starts in August.
â€œIt’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,â€ Sharapova said.
The 5-time grand slam winner, when asked if she was given beneficial treatment after her initial 2-year ban was reduced to 15 months, said that thereâ€™s nothing more she could have done apart from serving the ban.
â€œI served the suspension period and I think there’s not much more that I could add to that,â€ she said.
The Russian also confirmed that she had no plans to retire, despite having achieved so much at a young age, as she plans to add more to her decorated resume.
â€œAs 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,â€ said the 30-year-old