Maria Sharapova Feels 'Refreshed' as She Competes in Western & Southern Open

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By Rachelle Corpuz | August 13, 2014 7:16 PM EST

Russian tennis darling Maria Sharapova is reportedly feeling optimistic as she competes in the 2014 Western and Southern Open or also known as the Cincinnati Masters/Open, which is an annual outdoor hard court tennis tournament held in Mason, Ohio. The Cincinnati Open is one of the five premier events on the Women's Tennis Association (WTA) tour.

REUTERS
Maria Sharapova of Russia takes a drink as she practices at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London June 29, 2014.

At the Cincinnati Open press conference on Aug. 11 as reported by Tennisworld.org, Sharapova said that she feels "refreshed" in the current tournament than she did a year ago. Instead of thinking about the "what ifs" and the "worst case scenarios" or worrying about bad things that might happen at the current tournament that she is taking part in, she is trying to banish her anxiety by just looking forward to the tournament and being able to play in top shape. In the middle of 2013, Sharapova had a rough season due to her recurring shoulder injury but she was able to bounce back in 2014 and so far, had won three titles including the 2014 French Open.

"I feel much more mentally excited to be playing healthy rather than on a court worrying if I'd be worse," said Sharapova.

Sharapova added that she is happy to be back in Cincinnati after an "interesting last 12 months."

"Obviously, it wasn't great having to miss so many tournaments at the end of last year, but turning that around and winning a Grand Slam this year."

Sharapova has already started her campaign for the Cincinnati Open and faced the highest-ranked teenager in the WTA world rankings Madison Keys in the second round. Sharapova beat Keys in three sets, 6-1, 3-6, 6-3. It was the first time that Sharapova and Keys had played each other. Prior the match, Keys has said after her victory over Alize Cornet that she was very excited to play against Sharapova, who is currently the sixth-ranked female athlete in the world.

Sharapova has won the Cincinnati title in 2012. She will face either fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova or Italian Karin Knapp next.

Watch the highlights of Sharapova vs. Keys below.

Video courtesy: YouTube/True Life TV

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(Photo: REUTERS / Toby Melville)
Maria Sharapova of Russia takes a drink as she practices at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London June 29, 2014.
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