Shara­pova back on cen­tre court

NewsMail - - SPORT -

TEN­NIS: Maria Shara­pova is de­ter­mined to add to the tro­phy cab­i­net as she pre­pares for her 15th Aus­tralian Open as­sault.

The 2008 AO win­ner will open pro­ceed­ings on Rod Laver Arena to­day against Brit Har­riet Dart from 10am (AEST).

For 22-year-old Dart, it’s a gi­ant as­sign­ment against one of her ten­nis idols in only her sec­ond grand slam ap­pear­ance.

Shara­pova, 31, wants to im­prove her No.30 rank­ing but has had to over­come a re­cent thigh is­sue which forced her to re­tire from the Shen­zhen Open on Jan­uary 4.

Shara­pova en­dured an upand-down 2018 in her come­back from a 15-month dop­ing ban.

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