MELBOURNE – Former world number one Maria Sharapova shrugged off her failure to reach the Australian Open quarter-finals on Sunday, saying she still believes she can increase her tally of five Grand Slam titles.
The 31-year-old Russian was competitive during periods of her fourth-round clash with local hope Ashleigh Barty but ultimately lost in three sets after her serve fell apart mid-match.
Sharapova insisted she was still a Grand Slam contender, despite struggling with a shoulder injury and facing a new generation of players eager for success at the majors.
"I think it would be tough for me to be doing all the work and putting in all the effort if I didn't really believe that," she said. "I think I'd be kidding myself."
Sharapova was seeded 30 this year as she seeks to rejoin the game's elite after coming back from a 15-month doping ban in 2017.