I am hungry for more success: Sharapova
Maria Sharapova knows she must break the pattern of recent history as she begins her Wimbledon campaign.
But the Russian, runner-up last year and a remarkable Wimbledon champion as a 17-year-old in 2004, is determined it is possible to follow up French Open glory with grand slam success in London.
Not since 2002 when Serena Williams performed the feat has a player on the women’s side of the game achieved the double of Roland Garros and Wimbledon titles.
Sharapova’s triumph in Paris came just a fortnight ago, and from the high of that moment, when she became just the 10th woman to complete the career grand slam of titles at all four majors, she has gradually turned her focus to another grass-court campaign.
The 25-year-old has spent the last week in London reminding herself of the demands of the surface, cutting out the sliding and putting in the long strides while building towards her first-round clash with Russian-born Australian Anastasia Rodionova.
The transition has not been handled well by recent French Open champions, with 2010 winner Francesca Schiavone losing in the first round at Wimbledon two weeks later and Li Na, who landed the French title in 2011, surrendering in round two in London.
“I think it’s the toughest back to back grand slam-wise, no doubt,” Sharapova said.
“Especially if you’re coming off a French Open win or a final it’s the toughest turnaround.
“As much as you want to celebrate and enjoy, you come here and it’s like a whole new ball game.
As far as the success I had in Paris is concerned, my first time getting to the finals and winning it and coming here, I think it’s not really what has been achieved before, I think it’s going out there and trying to achieve something that you want to do.”
Such an attitude has helped Sharapova return to the number one ranking, recovering fully from a shoulder injury which appeared to be ruining a bright career.
“I’m certainly very happy with what I achieved, but that doesn’t make me less eager to want to achieve more,” she said.