Sharapova top seed for Brisbane

January 04, 2015 16:22:01 UK

Maria Sharapova begins her 2015 season as top seed at the Brisbane International but, as number two in the WTA world rankings, she insists overtaking Serena Williams to become world number one is not her main priority this season.

The Russian has been number one before, having spent 21 weeks in total at the top, the last time being in June 2012. However, she says she has other aims this year, with attaining number one status not being that important.

She 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.”

Sharapova won four WTA titles last year, the biggest being the French Open, the fifth Grand Slam victory of her career.

I just want to focus on matches and competing well and being the best player out there.

Maria Sharapova

In Brisbane she, as top seed, has a bye into the second round where she will play either a qualifier or the German Sabine Lisicki.

Despite Sharapova distancing herself from a bid to get back to number one in the world, the player currently in that position, Williams, remains the woman to beat in 2015.

The pair met in the Brisbane semi-final last year, a match won by the American who has won the last 15 meetings between the pair.

She went on to win the Brisbane final last year, but is missing this time, opting instead to concentrate on the Hopman Cup before the Australian Open later in the month.

Sharapova is priced at 8.00 to win in Melbourne with Williams 2.87 and Simona Halep 8.00.

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