Sharapova makes comeback with Indian Wells doubles match


Posted at Mar 13 2009 11:55 PM | Updated as of Mar 14 2009 07:55 AM

INDIAN WELLS, California – Former world number one Maria Sharapova marked her return to tennis after seven months out through injury with a doubles match at Indian Wells Thursday.

The Russian teamed up with compatriot Elena Vesnina in a 6-1 4-6 10-7 loss to Ekaterina Makarova of Russia and Belarussian Tatiana Poutchek in the first round.

However, Sharapova said she was just glad to be back.

"It feels pretty good, it's pretty amazing," the 24-year-old told a news conference.

"I came here and just wanted to test it out. I started training a couple of months ago and I thought I'd test it out in a match situation and play in front of a crowd, and it was exciting."

Sharapova is not taking part in the singles competition at Indian Wells and though she said her shoulder felt good she warned it might be some time before she returns full time.

"I think the hump I've got to get through right now is to put two weeks of playing two, three sets every single day, for two weeks and feeling great, 100 percent," she added.

"Right now I am able to do maybe three days, four days and then I have to take it easy on the fifth.

"Obviously that's not the way to go about a tournament in singles, so that's what I am working up to right now and whenever that comes, that's when I'll be playing singles."

Sharapova missed last year's Beijing Olympics and US Open and was unable to defend her Australian Open crown in January because of the injury.

"The most frustrating part of this process is that I have a good week of practice, and then push it a bit more because you're feeling good and then you find that you're not quite ready for that yet."