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January 1, 2013

Maria Sharapova


THE MODERATOR:  Maria has to unfortunately withdraw from the tournament with a right collarbone injury.  We'll open up to some brief questions now.

Q.  Tell us the diagnosis and prognosis.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, this is originally started like a couple weeks ago.  Maybe ten days.  Exaggerating a bit.  That's why I had to pull out of the exhibition match I had in Korea.
I had a bit of inflammation in my collarbone, and I sent it to y doctor in New York and he told me I couldn't really do much overhead training for about a week.  That week was actually on Monday.
So to be fair, I haven't really given myself a chance to pretty much hit any serves or anything over my head.  Just been practicing groundstrokes.  So I just kind of ran out of time here.
Yeah, I still have quite a bit of time to prepare for Australia.  I'm on the right track, been training really well, so I just don't want to jeopardize what I've gained in the off‑season so far.
Just have to make a smart move here.

Q.  So just icing?  You can still play?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I started practicing ‑‑ I had to take a few days off.  That's why I couldn't play in Korea.  I started practicing once I got here but couldn't serve much ‑  actually at all until yesterday.
Just a couple days of serving is not really enough to go out tomorrow and compete at a high level, which is unfortunate.  I tried to give myself a chance, like I said, I just ran out of time a little bit.

Q.  Will you try and play somewhere else next week then?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I don't think so, no.  I have my own fair share of experience, and know that it's much more important to be healthy to go into a big tournament like the Australian Open than go to into something big with a lot of matches and feel like you're not prepared health‑wise.

Q.  Did your doctor give you any sort of indication as to whether he or she thinks it'll be all right before the Australian Open?  Or how long it's going to take it heal?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it's feeling much better.  I've certainly been doing everything I had to, but it's just the amount of days I had to take off when I injured it that just didn't work out really well with my first round here, even though I got a last start here.

Q.  How are you rehabbing it?  Icing it?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, just inflammation, you know.  Yeah.

Q.  It was reported after the Korean pull‑out that it was your neck.  So it's in the vague region of the neck?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, it's a collarbone.  I guess they said it was a neck.

Q.  Was there anything you did in particular that made it sore a couple weeks ago when it first came up?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  You never know with these things.  I mean, there are so many parts of the body where I'm sure if every one of us did an examination we would find a lot things wrong with us.  (Smiling.)
But when it started getting a little too painful I had to do a few tests.  The doctor said‑‑ you always want to train.  It's its off‑season.  He said I just had to calm it down for like five days.
When I started back here I was feeling much better, but just like I said, couldn't do much overhead stuff.

Q.  Do you relate it all to your shoulder injury?

Q.  Have you had this type of injury before?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No.  But leave it up to me to find something new.

Q.  Will you head down to Melbourne very soon?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I think so, yeah.

Q.  When will you start doing all the overhead stuff and really be back to full fitness, do you think?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  I started a little bit yesterday.  I think I just gradually have to progress with the amount I do, because you can't just go from doing nothing for a week, you know, no serving and no overhead hitting, to going out and playing a match.  So it's just about gradual work.  I have plenty of time for that.
I'm feeling so much better.  I just don't want to jeopardize what I've built on.

Q.  Last year you went to Melbourne without match practice.
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  Yeah, I mean, it's much more important for me to be healthy and to be ready than to try to go out and play a few matches.
Last year was obviously a good example, but it wasn't the first time.  It's kind of the way that I've always built my career around the fact that it's very important for me to go into something like the Australian Open believing and knowing that I'm healthy, that I'm confident.
I don't exactly need to play five tournaments in order to feel that way.

Q.  We call this the Queensland curse.

Q.  Is it something about the state?
MARIA SHARAPOVA:  No, not at all.  I think it's just the circumstances.  Sometimes it just doesn't work that way.
I didn't go to Brisbane for many years because I always played a little tournament, an exhibition in Hong Kong.  After that got canceled I tried to make it to Brisbane.
Made it this time, but unfortunately I have to withdraw.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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