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Sharapova humble over Grand Slam win, says wants to improve

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Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who became the winner of the 2008 Australian Open in Melbourne, said on Saturday she was not yet at the top of her career, despite collecting three Grand Slams while still young.
MOSCOW, January 26 (RIA Novosti) - Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova, who became the winner of the 2008 Australian Open in Melbourne, said on Saturday she was not yet at the top of her career, despite collecting three Grand Slams while still young.

Sharapova, 20, the number 5 seed at the tournament, won the Saturday final against Serbia's Ana Ivanovic in two straight sets (7:5, 6:3). The game lasted for about an hour and a half.

"I know I've already won three Grand Slams...but I don't think I'm at the peak of my career yet," she said in an interview published on the Australian Open official web site.

"I've got many more things to learn, you know, in my tennis, and many things to build and improve. That takes time," she said. "It's something that I look forward to."

Sharapova, beaten by Serena Williams in the Australian Open final a year ago, now has three Grand Slam titles and is lacking only the French Open title to achieve her Career Grand Slam.

The Russian player's two previous Grand Slam titles have come at the 2004 Wimbledon and the 2006 U.S. Open.

She said the upcoming French Open tournament and the Summer Olympics in China were among her priorities in 2008.

On Wednesday evening it was announced that Sharapova had been included in the Russian women's team to face Israel in a quarterfinal Federation Cup match, her debut in the national team.

The star's long-awaited appearance in the Russian side is undoubtedly connected to the fact that players who do not actively represent their country in international tournaments will be barred from taking part in the upcoming Summer Olympics, to be held in Beijing on August 8-24.

Russia are due to face Israel in the Federation Cup on February 2-3. The match will be played in the Israeli city of Ramat HaSharon.

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