Maria Sharapova appears in a determined mood heading into 2014, with the Russian confident hard work can help her return to top form.
The former world number one has been plagued by injury problems in recent years missing the last two months of the 2013 season with a recurrence of a shoulder injury, first sustained back in 2008 which ended up needing surgery. It has been a difficult few months for the Russian however Sharapova has admitted there have been more testing times in her career regarding injuries.
"I've been there in much tougher times, and I came back and I got through it," she said "I know this is far from as serious as it was before, so that's a huge thing." Sharapova, who has won all four Grand Slam titles, is back to somewhat of an underdog after dropping to number four in the world and is now being questioned due to a suspected weak shoulder, which has plagued her service game.
Despite the questions and doubts regarding the fitness of the 2004 Wimbledon Champion, the 26-year-old is appearing in confident mood ahead of the season opening Australian Open next month.
"It's a lot of work, a lot of work, and I wouldn't be doing it if I didn't feel strongly about what my goals are and what I feel I can accomplish."
The Australian Open gets underway in Melbourne in January where Sharapova will be aiming to repeat her success back in 2008, when she defeated Ana Ivanovic in the final.