26 Nov 2008

Sharapova set to return to tennis in New Year

9:12 am on 26 November 2008

Maria Sharapova's agent says the former world tennis number one is "on track" to return to grand slam tennis by defending her title at the Australian Open.

Sharapova has been sidelined since July because of an injured right shoulder.

The three-time grand slam title champion missed the Beijing Olympics and the US Open in 2008, ending her streak of 23 consecutive major tournaments.

But agent Max Eisenbud says Sharapova expects to return to action in January at the exhibition event in Hong Kong she usually plays, followed by the Australian Open, which starts on January 19th.