Convalescing Sharapova sets eyes on French Open

Russia's Maria Sharapova is planning to return in time for the French Open in late May after undergoing surgery on her right shoulder last October. The former world number one has slumped to 53rd in the WTA rankings.


AFP - Former world number one Maria Sharapova, who had surgery on her injured right shoulder in October, is set to play in the French Open starting in late May, Russian tennis federation chief Shamil Tarpishchev said.

"I talked to Sharapova's father recently," Tarpishchev said. "He told me Maria (Sharapova) was preparing to play at Roland Garros."

"He also told me she was set to play one or two preparational tournaments on red clay before the French Open but had yet to decide which ones.

The Russian pin-up, who remains the highest earner in women's sport, had hoped to return to action after a seven-month layoff in the WTA Miami tournament last month having played a doubles match at Indian Wells, but she finally decided that the shoulder needed more rest.

Sharapova, who will turn 22 on Sunday, missed the US Open and Beijing Olympics in 2008 as well as this year's Australian Open.

She has slumped to 53rd in the WTA rankings but enjoys from the WTA a special injury ranking of four which she can use for acceptance into tour events. She has eight tournaments to use her special ranking including one Grand Slam event.

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