Brisbane, Australia • After pulling out of the Brisbane International with injuries in recent seasons, Maria Sharapova is aiming to use the season-opening tournament this time as a springboard for her comeback and to see how her new support crew works in competition.
Sharapova has played only one match since an early exit at Wimbledon due to a right shoulder injury and has spent months working with her new coach Sven Groeneveld. She arrived in Australia to prepare for the first major of the season with her boyfriend and fellow professional Grigor Dimitrov, who returns after losing the final here to Andy Murray last season.
Serena Williams won the last Brisbane title and is back to defend it, hoping she hasn't lost any of the momentum from a stunning 2013 season when she won 11 titles including the French and U.S. Opens, had 78 wins from 82 matches including a 34-match winning streak and collected more than $12 million in prize money.