Sharapova ready for Venus test
Originally published on: 17/01/13 00:00
Any concerns over Sharapova’s fitness levels ahead of the Australian Open were quickly dispelled once the Russian took to the court for her opening two matches in Melbourne. Sharapova, who was forced to pull out of a pre-season exhibition in South Korea and the Brisbane International with inflammation in her collarbone, became the first woman since Wendy Turnbull in 1985 to win 24 consecutive games at a Grand Slam, seeing off both Olga Puchkova and Misaki Doi without dropping a game.
“My focus is always on the next point and to try to win as many of them as possible,” said Sharapova. “I try to play every single point like I really need to win it. Without looking at the scoreboard, I don't want anyone to know what score it is just by looking at my face or my attitude.”
The French Open champion went on to admit: “I want to be known for winning Grand Slam titles, not that I won two matches 6_ѥ0, 6_ѥ0. You know, I'm just happy that I won the match and I get to go through and I'm in the next round.”
Next up for Sharapova is world No.24 Venus Williams. The world No.2 holds a 4-3 record against her American counterpart, winning three times on hard courts and once on clay.
“Well, you certainly know what she's capable of,” Sharapova said of Williams. “But when you're out on the court, you're not thinking how many titles she's won or how experienced she is. You're thinking about what you need to do to step it up in a certain situation and win as many points as you can.
“There are certainly no secrets coming into that matchup. We've played against each other many times. You know, despite the fact that she might not be seeded high or didn't play for a little bit, she's still a very experienced player and a tremendous athlete. I hope for it to be a great match.”