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Total revival on Maria's mind

 

As Maria Sharapova posed with the French Open trophy against the breathtaking backdrop of the River Seine and the Eiffel Tower, the Russian's thoughts turned from her stunning surroundings in Paris to a small patch of grass in south-west London where she hopes to cap her remarkable return to the top.

 

Sharapova’s gruelling journey back to grand slam glory, and the world No.1 ranking she now holds for the first time since 2008, is a testament to Sharapova's fierce competitive instincts, but she has never been one to rest on her laurels.

And so, while the flashblubs and champagne corks were still popping in Paris, Sharapova was already plotting a Wimbledon revenge mission.

 

Just 12 months ago, Sharapova suffered one of the more surprising defeats of her career as Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic romped to a 6-4, 6-3 Wimbledon final victory.

 

Now she is determined to make amends. “I felt like I really deserve the French Open win because I worked so hard and I went through so many tough days to get here. Now I'll start to think about Wimbledon.”

 

Big-three affair

Any men's competitor not named Novak Djokovic, Rafa Nadal or Roger Federer might as well stay clear of the All England Club for the next six weeks as the tennis world gears up for a double blockbuster smash at Wimbledon.

 

Dozens of bit-part players will be determined to break up the domination enjoyed by title holder Djokovic, double winner Nadal and six-times former champion Federer, but the evidence suggests the challengers will be left nursing sore egos and broken dreams, not once but twice.

22/6/2012



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