Maria Sharapova says that her right shoulder injury has fully healed and that she feels fit for the 2014 season. The four-time Grand Slam champion hasn’t played a match since early August in Cincinnati and has spent the off-season rehabbing her once surgically-repaired right shoulder.
“It's been really good,” Sharapova said at the Brisbane International, where she will face Caroline Garcia in the first round. “I've had a really healthy off‑season, something quite unusual, because in the last few years I always had a little injury here and there. So that was nice, because I gave myself time to recover and get better.
“I think as a team we structured it really good. I knew from the moment I withdrew from the [U.S.] Open that I was going to give myself the right amount of time that I needed. Whether that was a week, a month, a few months, I didn't know. Nobody really knew. I've played with an injured shoulder for a while, so it was really important for me to take that time.”
Sharapova sometimes travels to tournaments with her boyfriend of more than a year, ATP player Grigor Dimitrov, who is four years her junior. Former No. 1 Sharapova says that she does not mentor the Bulgarian on court, even though he is a far less experienced player.
“He's not going to like that question,” she said with a laugh when asked whether she was tutoring him. “Maybe I've been on the tour for longer, but he's played this sport for a very long time—since he was a little kid. He knows what to do probably better than I do.”
The 26-year-old Sharapova said that that two do occasionally discuss their sport.
“Of course we share a lot of the same things just because we have an elephant in the room that's called tennis,” she said. “But there are so many other things to life besides tennis, and there are a lot more things to discuss than forehands and backhands and strings and racquets, which we share similar ideas and things of. Yeah, that's been really nice.”