Maria Sharapova comes out fighting and insists she will return to tennis tour
Maria Sharapova has made her first public comments since her shock announcement on Monday that she failed a drug test at the Australian Open in January.
Sharapova faces a lengthy ban from tennis after confirming she ‘made a mistake’ by taking the substance meldonium, even though it was added to the banned drugs list on January 1st 2016.
Reaction towards Sharapova in the days after the announcement has been mixed, with vocal critics suggesting her explanation for her actions is implausible and several of her fellow tennis stars offering her support.
Meanwhile, reigning world No.1 tennis stars Novak Djokovic and Serena Williams have offered Sharapova support as she aims to return to the game and now the Russian star has posted a message for her fans on her Facebook page.
“On average, I love the mornings. New day, new start,” wrote a reflective Sharapova, as she looked back on the day after her press conference that sent shock waves through the sporting world.
“It is fair to say that this day was not average. Nothing came to mind at 6am, except that I am determined to play tennis again and I hope I will have the chance to do so. I wish I didn't have to go through this, but I do - and I will.”
She went on to thank her fans for their continued support and suggested they are helping her to get through the most traumatic period of her career.
Here is Sharapova’s full statement: