Sharapova needs challenge to beat boredom
Maria Sharapova says challenging herself to beat the odds is the only way to prevent her from getting bored.
She won the French Open for the second time in her career last month by defeating Simona Halep in three sets, with the victory marking yet another successful return from shoulder injury, and Sharapova admits she likes it when life is tough.
"What I'm most passionate about is going against the odds, against myself because I need to have challenges that I present to myself, that I bring to my mind and place on the table every day because if I don't, I get bored instantly," she told The Times.
"I need new goals and challenges and it is very important to carry those within. And when I felt the French was always difficult, I needed to work on it, no matter how many times I fell down or the number of bruises on my knees. I've got to keep going."
Sharapova is in London preparing for Wimbledon, the tournament that kick-started her career 10 years ago when she was crowned champion at the age of just 17, and she still enjoys recalling the moment.
"Sometimes I think that Wimbledon happened so long ago, but when I do have a flashback, a time in my career when I need to reflect on it, the memory seems very fresh in my mind," she says.
"It was the very beginning of my professional career and such a learning experience. It was an incredible process for a very young girl in that atmosphere."
Sharapova's bid to reclaim the SW19 title will begin against Lancashire-born wildcard Samantha Murray in the first round.
However, it is the potential quarter-final match against American powerhouse Serena Williams that really gets the mouth-watering after both were paired in the same half of the draw.
Williams herself opens against fellow American Anna Tatishvili who is currently No. 114 in the world.