Maria Sharapova`s in it to win it at Wimbledon
Maria Sharapova has her steely gaze set on reclaiming the Wimbledon crown, saying her memories of lifting the trophy 11 years ago fuelled her desire to do it again.
London: Maria Sharapova has her steely gaze set on reclaiming the Wimbledon crown, saying her memories of lifting the trophy 11 years ago fuelled her desire to do it again.
And the Russian fourth seed said she had absolute belief in her ability to add to her haul of five Grand Slam titles.
Sharapova said memories of her 17-year-old self winning her first Grand Slam at the All England Club motivated her to reclaim the Venus Rosewater Dish.
"No doubt about that. That`s certainly something I think about every time I step onto the grounds," the 28-year-old said.
"The memories of being a champion, the experience of going through those two weeks not expecting myself to be the champion at that stage in my career, yet holding up the plate, always carrying those memories with me every time I step on the court here."
The world`s highest-earning sportswoman said she was in southwest London with her sights firmly fixed on the title.
"Every time I enter a tournament, I have to be ready mentally and physically to be the champion of the event," she said.
"If I don`t have that belief in me, I think it would be pretty tough to go through the two weeks and just go out there and go through the motions. It`s really not the type of player that I`ve ever been.
"You have to have the belief and I absolutely do.
"When you`ve had success for a long period of time and you`ve won Grand Slams, you expect yourself to be in that situation."The former world number one faces Zarina Diyas of Kazakhstan for a spot in the quarter-finals.
Since 2006, Sharapova has only made it past the fourth round once, when she lost in the 2011 final to Petra Kvitova. Last year she lost in the fourth round to Germany`s Angelique Kerber.
"It will be a new match and a chance to get to the quarter-finals, a place where I lost last year. I`ll definitely go out there and try to change that result around," she said on facing the unseeded Diyas.
Rather than hotel rooms, Sharapova and her support team are staying in a house in the Wimbledon area. She said the experience had its ups and downs.
"We get to share a home here, which is nice and not so nice. I`m surrounded by a lot of males in the house. It becomes a little challenging because we`re all on different rhythms," she said.
"It`s actually quite fun. We`re all different characters, but we all get along nicely. We`re all home bodies. We stay home and cook and enjoy our time. We have a nice garden. We play some games outdoors."
Sharapova has been playing bocce -- a type of bowls -- against her team, and is irritated by her lack of ability.
"I`m terrible. I`m not good at many other sports besides tennis. It`s actually frustrating because I`m so competitive. I`m getting better. It`s better than my bowling skills."
Sharapova saw off a late comeback to reach the fourth round with a 6-4, 6-3 win over Romanian 29th seed Irina-Camelia Begu on Friday.