Sharapova keen to talk down US Open chances
Maria Sharapova has been keen to brush aside suggestions that she could challenge for the title at the US Open which begins on Monday. Seeded 29th , if she progresses through the first couple of rounds she’ll be facing one of the title favourites in the last 32.
The Russian looked in fine fettle last week in Toronto, impressively defeating Vera Zvonereva and Nadia Petrova in straight sets, both players inside the top fifteen.
Sharapova is determined to return to the top and add to her collection of three slams. Her 2006 US Open final performance to defeat Justine Henin is arguably the best match she’s played.
"Justine was playing really well but my game had been building and it was one of those matches where I came in without a big game plan because I felt like if I was going for my shots I had a chance," Sharapova recalled.
A repeat in the next few weeks is unlikely. Although Sharapova’s groundstrokes are looking as sharp as ever, she’s been forced to change to a new abbreviated service motion to ease the strain on her shoulder tendons. As a result she’s not hitting the speeds which made that serve such a fearsome weapon on her rise to the top and lacking the timing to achieve consistency.
She also feels that she’s not quite ready yet for playing a series of long matches in a row, necessary to reach a grand slam final.
"I can do all the running or Pilates I want, work myself until I'm blue in the face but when you go on court for the first time after months on end your body isn't used to the whole thing."
Maria Sharapova is best priced 10/1 at Skybet to win the US Open