Sharapova returns from injury, Pennetta set for farewell at WTA Finals

Sharapova returns from injury, Pennetta set for farewell at WTA Finals
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Published October 24th, 2015 - 17:54 GMT via SyndiGate.info

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Sharapova makes return
Sharapova makes return

Maria Sharapova returns to tennis after an arm injury, taking to one of the biggest stages in the sport at the WTA Finals starting on Sunday.

It will be a case of straight back into the thick of it for the five-time grand slam winner after last completing a match in the Wimbledon semi-finals well over three months ago.

Sharapova made an attempt at a comeback in late September in Wuhan, China, but had to pull out during a match as her forearm pain returned.

"It's no surprise that injuries come up here and there," Sharapova said in the run-up to the showpiece in the Southeast Asian city-state.

"You have to take care of your body. It's not convenient but I'm healthy now.

"I've spent the last few weeks healing up, and came out here early to acclimatize. I had a consistent first half of the year.

"It's a big step for me to be here and feel that I am healthy," added Sharapova, playing in the Red group with Simona Halep, Agnieszka Radwanska and US Open winner Flavia Pennetta.

The White group comprises Spain's Garbine Muguruza, Petra Kvitova, Angelique Kerber and Lucie Safarova.

Sharapova won the year-end event 11 years ago when it was held in Los Angeles. She lost finals in 2007 against Justine Henin and five years later against Serena Williams.

Injured American Williams is skipping the year-ender after winding up her season early in disgust and tears after losing a US Open semi-final to Italy's Roberta Vinci.

Pennetta, Vinci's best friend in the game, will be playing her last event prior to hanging up her racquet and calling time on her career.

The 33-year-old only qualified for the elite field this week at the last moment by winning a match in Moscow, then promptly withdrew in order to get to Singapore.

Pennetta will first face world number two Halep while Sharapova takes on Radwanska, over whom she has an impressive 12-2 record.

© 2015 dpa GmbH

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