7 Feb 2009

Sharapova eyes return

7:07 pm on 7 February 2009

The Russian tennis player Maria Sharapova is targeting a return to competition in March either at Indian Wells or Miami.

The 21-year-old former world number 1 has been on the sidelines since last August trying to fully recover from a shoulder injury that has dogged her for the last two years.

After giving the Australian Open a miss last month, she had been due to play in Paris next week followed by Dubai but has pulled out of both those tournaments and has now set her sights on the two top-tier US events.

Sharapova says she has been training in Florida the last few weeks and really working hard on getting the strength back in her arm.

Sharapova's absence at the Australian Open has seen her drop out of the world top 10 for the first time since her sensational Wimbledon title win in July 2004.

She is now ranked 17th.