Maria Sharapova has held her first training session in Moscow ahead of Russia's Fed Cup quarter-final with Spain, which will get underway at the weekend.
The 24-year-old has only played in three Fed Cup matches in her career, but is looking forward to helping her team this time.
After a couple of injury-plagued years, the world number three reached the Australian Open final last week before losing in straight sets to Viktoria Azarenka.
And ahead of the Fed Cup quarter-finals, the Russian spoke exclusively to RT.
“It’s always great to be in a Grand Slam final. I always want to be down to the last two,” the Russian said, admitting though that coming to Moscow in a few days was obviously a tough challenge for her in terms of “transition from the heat to the cold” (currently, the temperature in the Russian capital stays far below -20 C).
Speaking about her last appearance with the Russian team during last year’s Fed Cup match against France, where Maria lost her only match, she stressed: “I didn’t have a good first day, but then the whole team raised their level losing 0-2. It’s such a different environment than we are used to. When you normally lose a match you are out. When you lose a match here, you still have a chance.”
This year’s Fed Cup matches are regarded as preparation for the London Olympics. Sharapova says she has always dreamed of being a Olympian, and is waiting impatiently for summer to arrive.
“I missed out in Beijing with a shoulder surgery, and this year I’m really looking forward to it,” she said.
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