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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Maria has no green expectations

AEGON Classic - Day Six Former champion Maria Sharapova has very few expectations heading into this year's Wimbledon.

The Russian is battling her way back from a nine-month lay-off with a shoulder injury, which saw her tumble outside of the top 100 in the world rankings at one stage.

Sharapova is no stranger to success at Wimbledon, winning the tournament in 2004 and reaching the semis in 2005 and 2006.

Previous good displays at SW19, with the exception of last year where she suffered a second-round loss to Alla Kudryavtseva, mean she has been seeded 24th despite her low world ranking of 59.

But rather than worry about lifting a second All England trophy, the Russian is simply content to be taking part without thinking about how far she can progress.

"To be here is already an accomplishment in itself, because when I look back to where I was 10 or 11 months ago, or even three months ago, I'm definitely blessed to be here," she said.

"I think every single tournament right now is still a test and for me it's almost like the beginning of the season, whereas for many players it's already the second half of the season.

"I'm still testing out where my game is, where my body is, where my shoulder is.

"I think it's a little too soon to put (winning) in my mind. I certainly know that I'm capable of it, and if I do the right things and I play the right way there's always a little bit of luck involved, as well.

"But I will take it one match at a time. This is definitely a time in my career where I can't look into possible third round, fourth round, semis, whatever it is."

Sharapova will face Viktoriya Kutuzova of Ukraine in her opening-round fixture.

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