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Winning Wimbledon priority for 2013, Sharapova says

Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return to Serena Williams of the U.S. during their final WTA tennis championships match in Istanbul, October
Russia's Maria Sharapova hits a return to Serena Williams of the U.S. during their final WTA tennis championships match in Istanbul, October

By Gennady Fyodorov

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russian Maria Sharapova will focus on trying to win Wimbledon next year rather than attempting to regain the world number one ranking.

"Wimbledon will be my priority next season," Sharapova, who finished the year as world number two behind Belarussian Victoria Azarenka, told Reuters on Tuesday after signing a sponsorship deal with electronics manufacturer Samsung in Moscow.

"This year it was different because of the Olympics but if you ask me about my main goal for 2013, it definitely will be Wimbledon."

Sharapova made her breakthrough to the tennis elite by winning the 2004 Wimbledon title as a 17-year-old newcomer.

This year she won the French Open to complete a career grand slam and claimed the Olympic silver medal in London.

The 25-year-old also said she was hoping to finally end her winless streak against Serena Williams in 2013 after losing to the American in all three of their matches this year, including two finals, in the Olympics and at the WTA Championships on Sunday.

"She plays a very physical tennis and when she is in top form it's very difficult to beat her but I will try to take my revenge next year," said the Florida-based Russian.

(Editing by John Mehaffey)

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