Brisbane: Maria Sharapova says her target for 2015 is playing her best tennis rather than wrestling the World No.1 ranking back from Serena Williams.
Should World No.2 Sharapova win the Brisbane International, she will cut the ranking points margin between her and Serena to 685 points where the American holds a 1,435-point margin going into the first week of the season, reports news.com.au.
Asked on her arrival in Brisbane Thursday from a flight from Los Angeles whether a return to No.1 was a mission this year, Sharapova said: “I just want to focus on matches and competing well and being the best player out there."
“I want to start the year well. It's nice to come back to Brisbane. It was my first time playing here last year. It's one of the best tournaments and great preparation for all of us," the 27-year-old said.
Sharapova, who had her most recent and fifth tenure as world No.1 for four weeks in mid-2012, lost to Serena in the Brisbane International semi-finals last summer.
It was one match in a string of 15 straight match losses to Williams for the Russian superstar.
Sharapova's boyfriend Grigor Dimitrov, the world No.11, arrived with her and learnt that the Brisbane men's field had lost former US Open champion Juan Martin del Potro due to wrist injury.
Also arriving Thursday morning from Europe were two more women's seeds, Australian Open runner-up Dominika Cibulkova and Germany's world No.9 Angelique Kerber.