Maria Sharapova has dismissed speculation about an imminent retirement by saying she believes she still has plenty left to offer tennis.
Sharapova endured a wretched 2019 as she managed to enter just eight tournaments due to a persistent shoulder injury.
That saw her world ranking plummet to leave her outside of the top 100, leaving her requiring a wild card to enter the Brisbane International this month.
However, Sharapova insists that reports of any retirement plans are incredibly premature.
“I want a fresh start after a tough last season,” Sharapova told the Australian press.
“There were a lot of ups and downs in 2019; also times when I was ready but the shoulder wasn’t.
“But I have had a fairly good off-season and I am motivated to compete on a high level again. At this point in my career, it’s a good sign when I have that feeling.
“I never saw myself playing past 30 when I was younger but I still feel there is a lot in me to give.
“I still have a lot of fire and I am a big competitor; as long as the shoulder stays healthy and my body allows me to, I hope there is a lot of time left for me in tennis.
“The results are important, but for me, it is more about how I feel day to day, making sure my shoulder holds up.
“If everything goes well, I am definitely up for that challenge.”
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