World No. 4 Maria Sharapova is set to make her return to action next week in the Colombian capital of Bogota on December 6. The Russian star will meet World No. 16 Ana Ivanovic in an Exhibition match as they prepare for the upcoming season on the tour.
While Sharapova has been sidelined since withdrawing from the US Open in August, she is not the only one who has had bad luck with injuries. Ivanovic has also suffered from a variety of injuries this season that have hampered her performances. Due a string of injuries in 2013, Ivanovic is hoping for a fresh start in the 2014 season.
“Unfortunately injuries are a part of being a professional athlete and I have had my fair share, like any other player,” Ivanovic said.
The 2008 French Open champion does not want to use her injuries as an excuse for her performances this season, as she did finish the year with a high year end ranking but intends on returning to the top ten next season.
“But I can’t blame them for my performances. In some ways last year was a good year – my highest year-end ranking for some years, and I reached a grand slam quarter-final for the first time in so long. But I still haven’t reached my goal of getting back to the top 10. There is a lot of work to be done.”
The Serb said that she tries not to pressure herself after winning her only Grand Slam title six years ago in Paris.
“I feel that I still have the game to do it, and my match against (Victoria) Azarenka at the US Open (where she won a set) showed that I am not too far away from being able to compete against the very top players. It was a nice feeling, being in an intense Grand Slam match against a top player, and I want to experience it a lot more.”