Maria Sharapova prefers matches over practice

Maria Sharapova
© PA Photos
Maria Sharapova insists that she prefers playing tournament matches to practice.

Maria Sharapova has insisted that she enjoys playing matches in a tournament rather than spending hours on the practice court.

The number two seed beat Kirsten Flipkens 6-1 6-0 yesterday to reach the quarter-finals of the Australian Open.

Sharapova has dropped just five games in her opening four matches and although she has only spent four hours on court, she feels no need for extra practice.

"The work you put in before a tournament is the most important," said Sharapova.

"What you do in the off-season, you're not going to put this work in during tournaments.

"I actually love coming to tournaments. You practise less and just go and play matches. It's the best-case scenario."

Sharapova will play Ekaterina Makarova in a repeat of last year's quarter-final clash.

Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a forehand return in her fourth round match at the Australian Open tennis championship on January 20, 2013
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