Maria Sharapova returns to action in 2020 Australian open

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Former world number one Maria Sharapova said Tuesday she still had “a lot of fire” as she attempts to resurrect her career after an injury-plagued 2019.

The five-time major winner will open her 2020 campaign in Brisbane after being awarded a wildcard by organizers in preparation for the Australian Open later in January.

“To be fair when I was younger I never saw myself playing past 30,” the 32-year-old Russian told reporters in Brisbane.

“But I still feel there is a lot in me to give. I still have a lot of fire in me and I am a big competitor.”

Sharapova has not played since a first-round loss to career-long rival Serena Williams at the US Open in August.

She has slipped to 133 in the world rankings after a 2019 season ruined by a shoulder injury which limited her to 15 competitive matches.

“As long as the shoulder stays healthy and my body allows me to, I hope there is a lot of time left for me,” she said.

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