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London Olympics is my biggest goal, says Sharapova

Last updated on: February 3, 2011 11:27 IST

'The Olympics is my biggest goal in tennis'

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Former world number one Maria Sharapova, who is still looking to rediscover her best form after shoulder surgery, is excited at the prospect of competing at next year's London Olympics.

"The Olympics is my biggest goal in tennis and my dream is to represent Russia in London," Sharapova told reporters on Wednesday.

The US-based Russian missed the 2008 Beijing Games due to a shoulder injury.

Photographs: Reuters


Image: Maria Sharapova

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Sharapova has struggled for form since a nine-month lay-off

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Sharapova, 23, is in Moscow for this weekend's Fed Cup first-round tie against France, making her eligible to compete for Russia in London.

She won three Grand Slam titles before turning 21 but has struggled for form since a nine-month lay-off following a shoulder operation at the end of 2008.

Sharapova is ranked 13th in the world and was knocked out in the fourth round of last month's Australian Open, a tournament she won three years ago.


Image: Maria Sharapova

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'It was very tough playing in Israel'

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The Russian is especially excited about the 2012 Olympic tennis event because it will be played on the grass courts of Wimbledon where, as a virtually unknown 17-year-old, she captured her first Grand Slam in 2004.

Sharapova also said she is eager for her Fed Cup home debut after making her first and only other appearance for Russia in the women's team competition against Israel three years ago.

"It was very tough playing in Israel because the crowd was really noisy and didn't behave very well," added Sharapova who led Russia to a 4-1 victory in February 2008 by winning both her singles matches.

"I'm sure we'll have the crowd on our side here in Moscow and they won't throw nuts and other things at us during matches like we had in Israel."


Image: Maria Sharapova

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