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Sharapova: I_Ñém feeling really good

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Originally published on: 12/01/13 00:00

Sharapova has been depending on some of Australia’s top junior boys to get her ready for the Australian Open after a collarbone injury forced her to pull out of both an exhibition in South Korea at the end of 2012 and the Brisbane International two weeks ago. While her preparations haven’t been ideal, the reigning French Open champion feels that she can adjust to the situation she finds herself in.

“I would have loved to come in with a few matches,” the Russian said. “But sometimes circumstances don’t allow that, and that’s okay. To me, I’d rather be going onto the court knowing that I’m healthy. Yes, I might be a bit rusty, but I’ll work my way through it. I’m experienced enough to know the adjustments I have to make in those types of circumstances.”

Sharapova underwent scans on her right collarbone on Christmas Eve after waking up with some discomfort in that area. The inflammation around the joint prevented her from hitting overheads and serves until the beginning of the year but the 25-year-old says she is feeling really good as she aims to go one step further at this year’s event.

“Obviously, I would have loved to have gone into Brisbane and played,” said Sharapova, who did manage to play some practice matches with former junior world No.1 Luke Saville and other promising Australian juniors. “I wish I would have had maybe two, three extra days to be able to practice some more overhead stuff and serve and whatnot. Yeah, but I came here a little earlier than I would have wanted to. I’ve been able to get a lot of good practice in.”

Last year’s beaten finalist will play fellow Russian and world No.105 Olga Puchkova in round one when the action gets underway on Monday.

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