• Australian Open

Sharapova 'happy to be playing a grand slam'

ESPN staff
January 11, 2014
Maria Sharapova lifted the trophy back in 2008 © Getty Images

After spending over four months nursing a shoulder injury, Maria Sharapova is happy to be playing at a major event once again.

The four-time grand slam champion missed last year's US Open with the problem, and spent four-and-a-half months on the sidelines as she was ruled out for the rest of the 2013 campaign.

But now, Sharapova is back on the circuit, and has already made an impact after losing to Serena Williams in the final of the Brisbane International last weekend.

And is pleased to be returning to the venue where she triumphed at back in 2008.

"I'm happy to be back playing a grand slam. I'm happy to get myself back in form and really start well here," she said, playing down her hopes of adding a second Australian Open trophy to her cabinet.

"You obviously have to lower your expectations a little bit and be a bit realistic about the maybe the first few matches," she explained. "You have to grind, work through them, hope to get better as the tournament goes on."

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