Maria won't change schedule
Maria Sharapova (Getty Images)
Cincinnati - Despite losing to Sloane Stephens in the second round at the Cincinnati Masters, Maria Sharapova won't change a thing in her preparation schedule for the US Open.
The world number three lost a lead in her first match in nearly two months after an early Wimbledon loss was followed by hip problems, and eventually went down to the young American 2-6, 7-6 (7/5), 6-3 on Tuesday.
The defeat of the four-time grand slam winner was watched in some agony by new coach Jimmy Connors as he made his debut on Team Sharapova.
But despite bowing out at her first hurdle in Cincinnati, adding next week's WTA New Haven event to her schedule is not in the plans for the confident Sharapova.
"I'm planning on playing a lot of matches in New York.
"For the body it's tough to play a week before (a grand slam) if you're planning on doing extremely well in that event.
"I've just never done it in my career, so why start now?," she said.
Sharapova said that she will go to Florida for more training before travelling to New York for the start of the final grand slam of the year a week on Monday.
"My hip is feeling good.
"That's why I took a little extra time to come back, to make sure that I was healthy in that area."
The LA-based Russian said that, after working for a few weeks with former great Connors, once a coach for Andy Roddick, the partnership seems to be working well.
"It's great to have his support.
"I'm enjoying being part of his experience and him, just his understanding of certain situations.
"He's been there, done that.
"It's just nice to have.
"But when you're out on the court, if it gets to 5-all or 6-all in the third set, you're worrying about you and your opponent and, to be honest, not so much what's around you or your coach or the crowd.
"You're so into the match.
"That's how I always hope to be, is when I go on the court, everything that I did, just have to go out and trust that and not really think about anything else."