Sharapova hoping to claim hat-trick of Stuttgart titles

Johannesburg: Russian tennis ace Maria Sharapova is hopeful of claiming a hat-trick of Stuttgart titles and her 30th WTA career trophy as she starts her clay-court season in Germany this week.

Sharapova, who starts the season as the defending champion, is reportedly unbeaten at the indoor tournament and has won both the 2012 and 2013 trophies during her two previous appearances.

According to Sport24, Sharapova said that she has competed at Stuttgart for the last two years and won both times, so she has only positive memories.

The tennis ace said that she does not want to miss out on an experience such as this one.

Sharapova also said that she is a person who loves the challenges and that she does not go out of her way to avoid anyone, as the tennis star will battle seven of the world`s top 10 in order to reach the finals.

Sharapova, who lost to World No. 1 Serena Williams in the French Open final, said that Williams has been playing her most successful tennis in recent years and her aim must be to learn from the defeats against her and work to get to her level.

Sharapova, who suffers from injury to her right shoulder, said that due her success at Grand Slams, she expects a lot out of herself, but she has to be realistic as after an injury like the one she got, one needs time to get back to their best, the report added.