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Sharapova: I didn’t care and I didn’t listen

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Originally published on: 10/06/12 00:00

It’s almost three years since Maria Sharapova plummeted to world No.126 in the rankings after undergoing career-threatening shoulder surgery. But though she admits it has been a long journey to complete her career Grand Slam, the 25-year-old Russian says she has plenty more to achieve.

“It’s not over yet, you know,” she told a press conference in Paris. “I’m not sitting here and saying I’m done, because I’m far from it.

“I have a lot more in me to achieve. I believe in my game. I think that's one of the reasons that that's why I'm sitting here with my fourth one and winning Roland Garros, is because I always believed I could be better, I could be a better player, whether it was on clay, whether it was on grass, whether it was on cement, anything, I always strive to be better.”

Sharapova suggested that her fourth Grand Slam triumph was even more special than winning Wimbledon as a 17-year-old, largely because of the fact that many people believed she didn’t have it in her.

“This is what I've always wanted to achieve. No matter how tough it was, no matter how many people didn't believe in me, didn't think that I could get to this point, I didn't care and I didn't listen,” she said.

“I always listened to my own voice, and it always told me that for some reason I'm meant to be better.  I'm meant to succeed again. And I did.”

The new world No.1, who has over $20million in prize money to her name, said that it’s her love for the game that gets her up in the morning.

“I have a tremendous amount of belief and pride in what I do. I love my work. I've always said this:  I love playing tennis.

“I had so many outs in my career. I could have said, I don't need this. I have money; I have fame; I have victories; I have Grand Slams.  But when your love for something is bigger than all those things, you continue to keep getting up in the morning when it's freezing outside, when you know that it can be the most difficult day, when nothing is working, when you feel like the belief sometimes isn't there from the outside world, and you seem so small.

“But you can achieve great things when you don't listen to all those things.”

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