’Focused on immediate goals’

17-05-2017
DH

The 30-year-old beat Christina McHale 6-4, 6-2 in the first round of the Italian Open on Monday to guarantee herself a spot in the Wimbledon qualifying tournament.

She faces a battle to raise her ranking enough to qualify for the grasscourt Grand Slam by right and spare organisers the dilemma of whether to award her a wildcard into the main draw of the tournament she won in 2004.

The Russian is returning from a 15-month doping ban after testing positive for the heart drug meldonium at last year’s Australian Open. Sharapova said that she was unaware of this week’s rankings deadline for the Wimbledon qualifying draw.

"Oh, is it? See, I think maybe you guys assume that I know these things, but I genuinely want to take care of each and every single week, and every single match is a priority for me," Sharapova said. "When you’ve been out of the game and haven’t played competitively in 15 months... The fact that I’m back and playing three weeks in a row now and three events in a row for me is a big deal. That’s my focus." 

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