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NEED TO KNOW: SHARAPOVA RETURNS

Sharapova makes Finals return

Maria Sharapova's dominant clay court season, highlighted by a second French Open triumph, helped secure a spot at the WTA Finals for a seventh time.

1) Seven up
This October, Maria Sharapova will compete in the WTA Finals for a seventh time. She made her debut at the season-ending showpiece, then held in Los Angeles, in 2004, defeating Serena Williams on her way to the title.

2) Since then…
Since her triumphant introduction to the Finals, the Russian has tried in vain to repeat the feat, coming closest in 2007 and 2012, when she finished as runner-up.

3) Queen of clay
The bulk of the 5,575 points that took Sharapova across the finishing post came during the European clay court season, during which she won the Stuttgart (470 points), Madrid (1,000) and French Open (2,000) titles.

4) Welcome return
Last year, a shoulder injury brought Sharapova’s campaign to a premature end, forcing her to miss the Finals. The same injury and subsequent surgery also contributed to the Russian’s absence from the event in 2008 and 2009.

5) What’s To Come
Sharapova’s next outing on tour comes in Wuhan followed by Beijing, which is likely to be her last tournament before heading to Singapore.




 

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