Sydney - Multiple grand slam champion Maria
Sharapova has declared herself fully fit and ready for next week's Australian
Open after having her preparations hampered by a forearm injury.
The Russian world No 5 was forced to
withdraw from the Brisbane International last week with the ailment, sparking
fears she might miss the first grand slam of the year which begins on Monday.
The 2008 Australian Open champion and last
year's runner-up opted to arrive in Melbourne early to practice rather than
seek matches at one of the other warm-up tournaments taking place across the
country this week.
"The injury was a bit of a roadblock
but the great thing is that I've been healthy the three days and everyone's
been away playing so I've had a lot of court time which has been really
beneficial," Sharapova was quoted as saying by Australian Associated Press
The 28-year-old, who missed the US Open
last year because of a leg injury, was among a quartet of top players who were
a doubt for Melbourne because of nagging ailments.
World No 1 Serena Williams (knee), Simona
Halep (Achilles) and Garbine Muguruza (foot) all pulled out of matches last
week but Sharapova said it was understandable for players to be wary ahead of a
"I think everyone sees the bigger
picture and that's one of the things that I thought about – you want to do what
you can to be healthy and be a part of the grand slam so sometimes that's a
decision you have to make."