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Australian Open: Sharapova says good to go

Russia's Maria Sharapova answers questions during a news conference ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

Russia's Maria Sharapova answers questions during a news conference ahead of the Australian Open tennis championship in Melbourne, Australia, Saturday, Jan. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Lee Jin-man)

TVC E, SPORTS – Maria Sharapova says her Australian Open preparations have gone smoothly as competition for the first grand slam of the season begins on Monday.

The Russian is very familiar with Melbourne Park and showed little signs of rust as she practiced on court ahead of the tournament.

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Sharapova, Australian Open champion in 2008, pulled out of her title defence at the Brisbane International, two weeks ago because of a left forearm problem, one of a string of injuries to have affected the dogged 28-year-old since the middle of last year.

But the fifth seed says she is good to go in her bid to improve on her runner-up finish to Serena Williams last year.

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