Sharapova seeing double

2009-03-08 13:45

Paris - Former world number one Maria Sharapova is to make her comeback from injury by playing doubles at the top tier WTA tournament in Indian Wells next week.

The 21-year-old Russian has been sidelined since last August with a serious shoulder injury that has bothered her for the past two years.

In that time she has missed the US Open, the Beijing Olympics and this year's Australian Open while her world ranking has plummeted to 23rd.

She twice planned to play again earlier this year at the Paris Open and then in Dubai but on both occasions she decided she was not yet fully fit.

But by linking up with compatriot Elena Vesnina in California, Sharapova said on her official website she has found the best way of returning to action.

"The healing process takes time and requires things to move more slowly than I would like, but I am taking things one step at a time," she said. "I am excited to be playing competitive tennis again."

It will be the first time in four years that Sharapova has played a doubles event and the first time she has played with Vesnina.