Tennis

Sharapova pulls no punches while training for comeback

Maria Sharapova said she refused to feel sorry for herself during her doping ban, occupying her time by studying at Harvard, writing a book and even learning how to box.

The former world No. 1 and five-time Grand Slam title winner told a Russian chat show that she particularly enjoyed lacing up a pair of boxing gloves as part of her fitness regime.

"I tried boxing as I needed to keep myself in good form. It was great as I could imagine some particular people who I wanted to hit," said the 29-year-old on Wednesday, without elaborating on the identity of her imagined targets.

Sharapova tested positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

Her initial two-year ban was later cut to 15 months, and she will return to action at the Stuttgart clay-court tournament on April 26.

"I found out that I'm very good at resting," added Sharapova when she was asked what lessons she had learnt during her enforced absence.

"Formerly, I couldn't imagine what to do during such a long period of free time.

"I had almost 12 months to think, to read books, etc...

VACATION

"I also had a vacation in Croatia, I celebrated the New Year in Hawaii. I've never been in London as a tourist before.

"I've seen almost nothing there while playing at Wimbledon."

Sharapova, who studied at Harvard Business School to help expand her candy business, added she had written a book about her life. The book will be out in September.

Sharapova also told Russia's TASS news agency that it was "still unclear" if she would participate at the Tokyo Olympics in 2020.

"Now I'm focused on my comeback," the London Olympics silver medallist and 2008 Fed Cup winner said.

"I would really love to play (in the Tokyo Games). It was hard to watch people competing at (the Rio) Olympics, while I was unable to play." - AFP

Maria Sharapovadrugstennis