Maria Sharapova is loving the enthusiasm Australian fans have for tennis and looking forward to getting back on the match court at the Australian Open.
It's been a tough fortnight for Sharapova who hasn't been able to play any competitive matches due to a collarbone problem and only managed to get a couple of practise sets in, in the past couple of days. And she says she can't wait to get back on the match court.
"I'm not sure if it's because you're training for a month and a half and you're officially board of training and life in that period of time that you really want to get going again," she laughed. "You're just over the fitness, you're over your coach for a little bit. You really want to go out into a match atmosphere. Part of it is because you're coming here. It's summertime. Everyone is in a great mood, chatty, probably half drunk it's so hot, you just want cold Mojitos! But, yeah, I love it. They're so passionate about the sport itself."
Everyone will be intrigued to see how rusty the Russian is in her first match back against Olga Puchkova and Sharapova says there are plenty of dangers with coming in so unprepared.
"I think it's just experience, maybe giving yourself that extra slack in case you do make a few more errors, you don't concentrate maybe as well as you would if you were in that match groove.
But, yeah, just giving yourself a little bit more room for error I guess as well, going out there. Just because you're rusty doesn't mean you're not going to play well. You might maybe go for a little bit more in certain situations. (But) I'm too experienced to feel that way. I shouldn't be feeling that way."