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Maria Sharapova in Thailand



World number two tennis sensation Maria Sharapova has just finished limbering up for the upcoming BNP Paribas WTA Finals 2014 in Singapore from Oct 17-26 with a seven day training camp at Thanyapura Phuket - while also sharing a few secrets of her success with fellow athletes at the complex.

Looking for a safe, high quality venue to train with no distractions, she acted on a recommendation by the Billie Jean King founded Women's Tennis Association (WTA) to go to Thanyapura, arriving straight from her recent victory at the China Open in Beijing.

"It's my second time coming to Phuket," Ms Sharapova said. "I actually came here on holiday a few years ago. I had a great holiday with my friends, but it's a little different this time round with training and getting ready for one of the biggest tournaments of the year, but I don't think there's a better place to be other than here. "It's always nice when you train in an environment where it's really a sports facility and you're surrounded by staff that are professionals, and other athletes. I think just walking through the grounds and seeing people doing their thing really brings the best out of you and brings a level of commitment and hard work rather than perhaps when you're in the gym and you're surrounded by people who are just on the stair master doing a 30-minute workout a day.

"It's a little different from when you see an athlete training for a sprint or a marathon or their special sport. The work ethic is very different and that's why it's been so good to stay here."

The championship tennis player took time out to share some of the secrets of her success at Thanyapura. "I've really been into green juices this year so I've been making them with kiwi, cucumber, kale, mint and pineapple or apple to give it a bit of sweetness. That's been pretty much my go-to juice," she said. The 'Sharapova Smoothie' is now available at Thanyapura.

Ms Sharapova also took an hour out of her training regime to play tennis and give a motivational talk to Thanyapura's Elite Junior Sports Academy students.

Thanyapura President and Chief Executive Officer, Mr Philipp Graf von Hardenberg, added: "It has been a pleasure to have Maria around. She has been an inspiration to all of us - and in particular to our younger athletes as they strive to optimize their potential and be the best that they can be. We wish her well in Singapore and hope she will return in the future. She would be most welcome."