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Maria Sharapova insisted that she was happy to be playing tennis again after coming through a tough first round encounter against Ukrainian Viktoriya Kutuzova at Wimbledon.
Sharapova, who was sidelined with a shoulder injury in 2008, had to dig deep for a 7-5, 6-4 victory over the unseeded 20 year-old.
The Russian committed more unforced errors than her opponent but it was her determination that eventually saw her through.
While Sharapova is back on the courts of Europe, the 22 year-old believes that her fitness levels haven’t peaked.
“There’s still work to be done,” said Sharapova. “All the matches that I’ve been playing have really helped me, not just with my tennis but also physically.”
“I’m just glad I pulled through today. I played against a really solid opponent who went for many shots and who was just being really aggressive – playing like she didn’t have much to lose, which she didn’t.”
“Her game suits the grass pretty well. She can definitely be a really dangerous opponent.”
“I was only down a couple of breaks in the first and I knew that the set wasn’t over. I got it back and then just hung in there in the second.”