Will be on the tour for a long time: Sharapova

ANI | Updated: Oct 19, 2017 11:38 IST

Will be on the tour for a long time: Sharapova .

Johannesburg [South Africa], Oct 19 (ANI): Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has insisted that she has many years ahead of her on court if she remains fit and healthy .

After suffering a number of early exits, Sharapova recently won her first title since making her return to tennis in April following a 15-month doping ban .

The Russian tennis star defeated Belarusian teenager Aryna Sabalenka 7-5, 7-6 (8) on Sunday to win the women's singles title in Tianjin .

The victory boosted her world ranking to 57 and she still has every chance at qualifying for the Australian Open in January - where former world number one Williams also plans on making her return after she gave birth last month .

"If strength and health are there, I will still be on the tour for a long time," Sport24 quoted Sharapova said on court after her first round exit at WTA Moscow this week .

"You can see my love for the sport . I am trying to improve and win . Me and Serena have many years ahead of us," she added .

The five-time Grand Slam champion admitted that she had to struggle to get full-match fitness after 15 months on the sidelines .

"I had a difficult period due to the ban," she said .

"And then physically, it's always difficult to get used to the routine of matches and practice sessions again if you didn't do it for a long time," she added . (ANI)