Having featured in eight events in 2019 Maria Sharapova is set for a busy start to 2020 if all is well.
The former world number one is due to play at least three events before the Australian Open with a big rumour of a fourth as well.
Mubadala World Tennis Championships – 19th-21st December – vs Amanda Anisimova
Hawaii Tennis Open – 26th-28th December – Bianca Andreescu, Angie Kerber & Misaki Doi in the event as well
Kooyong Classic – 14th-16th January – Maria Sharapova and Caroline Wozniacki announced so far
Quite a busy start to the season for Sharapova.
There is quite a gap between Hawaii and Kooyong. It is expected Sharapova will not defend her 60 points in Shenzhen.
There are unconfirmed reports that Sharapova could play the Brisbane International where she was champion back in 2015. Kerber, Kvitova, Osaka, Barty and Pliskova have all confirmed their participation at the event.
Sharapova is down at 136 in the world right now and without defending Shenzhen points, doubts over whether she will play in Brisbane and Australian Open points (240) will drop off prior to the event she could drop outside the top 300.
Sharapova was recently in Brisbane but make of that what you will…
A new coach is also heavily rumoured in Italy. Gazetto dello sport are running with the story that Ricardo Piatti will join her full time.
Piatti of course has his own academy which Sharapova spent some time at in the summer and it is understood she is keen to have him on board.
Piatti however is also the coach of Jannik Sinner who just won the NextGen Finals in Milan so could manage both. He was until earlier this year coach to Borna Coric but it looked like the Croat wasn’t happy with interest elsewhere.
Sinner did speak about spending time with Sharapova earlier this year and picked her brains quite a bit. The 18 year old asked her whether when she was 18 if she waited for opponents to hit the error or if she went after shots, she advised him best to go after them.
It is possible for this to happen with many major events being mixed but I imagine Piatti would want to spend more time with Sinner.