Sharapova older and wiser after Grand Slam comeback
Maria Sharapova said she had a better perspective on her career after returning to Grand Slam tennis with a win over Belarus's Anastasiya Yakimova in the French Open first round in Paris on Monday.
The Russian former world number one was playing in her first Grand Slam match since a second-round loss to compatriot Alla Kudryatseva at last year's Wimbledon before spending almost 10 months on the sidelines with a shoulder injury.
"I started pretty lousy and even though I was up a break, I wasn't doing the right things and I was letting her play well," Sharapova said after fighting back from a set down to win 3-6, 6-1, 6-2.
"I was playing sloppy but I turned it around. I started playing better and more aggressively."
Asked what she had learnt during her lengthy lay-off from the sport, she replied that she had become more reflective.
"For the first time in my life I couldn't practise for such a long period of time, three months or something.
"Everything about it was bizarre, like something had been taken away from your life. After going through this long process I think I'll treat losses less emotionally. I'll have more perspective on those things," she said.
Sharapova also said that, were it not for her famed battling spirit, she might never have returned to competitive action.