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Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Maria Sharapova Withdrew from Hong Kong Exhibition, but Hopeful about Australian Open 2009

(This entry was originally published on Saturday, January 3rd, 2009)

Maria Sharapova pulled out of upcoming Hong Kong exhibition tournament, starting from next week. The Russian tennis star feels that she is not yet ready for the top class tournaments like Hong Kong exhibition. Sharapova started practicing for the new season just about 16 days back after a long rehabilitation process followed by a surgery on her shoulder in last October. Sharapova had to miss Beijing Olympic Games 2008 and US Open 2008 due to the surgery. Though she withdrew from the Hong Kong exhibition, defending Australian Open champion is hopeful for the upcoming Australian Open 2009 tournament, starting from 19 January 2009.

The Age reported:

“It’s with much disappointment that I have to withdraw from Hong Kong,” she said. “I’ve been using this event for the last five years to get match fit and ready for the new season. In fact, Hong Kong has been successful in preparing me for the Australian Open.

“I’m just not ready to play against the top-class competition in Hong Kong, although I remain hopeful for Australia, where I’m the defending champion. Believe me, it’s been a very difficult decision, but I only started practising 16 days ago.”

Maria Sharapova won her second ever grand slam title in last year’s Australian Open. However, she failed to build on the success of other tournaments. Another important thing is Sharapova’s consistency. No doubt, she is a naturally gifted player and possesses huge talent, but the Russian star could not yet show enough consistency in her career so far. Now, let us if Maria Sharapova can retain her form back and defend the Australian Open title in 2009.

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