Days after Maria Sharapova announced that she tested positive for meldonium during the Australia Open in January, she is thanking her fans for their support.
In a Facebook post, the 28-year-old tennis player wrote, "I woke up yesterday morning with an inbox, in full capacity of love and compassion. In this moment, I am so proud to call you my fans. Within hours of my announcement, you showed me support and loyalty, which I could only expect to hear when someone would be at the top of their profession."
"I wanted to let you know that your wonderful words put a smile on my face. I'd like to play again and hope to have the chance to do so. Your messages give me great encouragement. This message isn't anything else but to say thank you. Thank you very much," her post further read.
Sharapova also received much-needed backing from racket provider Head, who has extended its contract with the former world number one despite her failed drugs test at this year's Australian Open, Sky Sports reported on Thursday.
The 28-year-old Russian will be provisionally suspended from playing tennis this weekend after she admitted at a news conference on Monday taking the banned substance meldonium.
Swiss watchmaker TAG Heuer cut ties with Sharapova this week, while Nike and Porsche have distanced themselves from the five-time grand slam champion.
Head were not immediately available for comment.