After victory in the French Open, Maria Sharapova has turned her attention to football and the World Cup - before she begins her next major tournament.
Sharapova admitted that she has been unable to watch her home nation perform in this summer’s World Cup, due to the lateness of the games, but is already looking forward to the next World Cup, which is to be hosted in her home nation.
Speaking at a press conference at SW19, when asked about her thoughts on Russia hosting the 2018 World Cup, the Russian star said: “That’s really exciting. To see the excitement around such a big sport and the atmosphere in the stadiums, I think it would be a great opportunity for our country.”
RUSSIA IN BRAZIL
Russia currently sit in third place in Group H, after failing to beat Korea Republic in their opening game, coming from behind to secure a 1-1 draw.
They then suffered a 1-0 defeat to Belgium in their second game, after a moment of magic from Eden Hazard set up Divock Origi to score the only goal of the game after 88 minutes.
Fabio Capello’s men will have to win in their final game against Algeria in order to progress in the tournament.
DRIVE TO WIN
Sharapova begins her Wimbledon campaign on Tuesday against Samantha Murray and could face the world number one, Serena Williams, as early as the quarter-finals.
Since bursting onto the scene at Wimbledon 2004, defeating tournament favourite Williams in the final a decade ago – a memory that is still fresh in her mind - Sharapova has failed to claim the Wimbledon title again, but her desire is still there.
“The memory is quite fresh in my mind. I don’t think about that victory very often. Just sometimes when I need a little pick me up or when I look back at my achievements," she added.
“I certainly had that drive when I was 17 years old, and I’m proud that I still have that going into this age group, you call it. Still going out and competing and loving what I do so much.”
After exiting the tournament in the early rounds in the past two years, Sharapova has decided to put previous results to the back of her mind and focus on this year’s tournament.
“I don’t dwell on what happened last year. Every experience is different. There’s a reason that happened last year. You move on. I moved on.
“In the last couple years my results were certainly nowhere near I would have wanted it to be. That’s something that I hope to change this year around. I’m looking forward to that. I’m determined to do that.”