Garbine Muguruza is confident that Maria Sharapova is still a threat to be reckoned with as the Australian tennis season begins.
A host of tennis players landed in Brisbane this morning ahead of the city's showpiece tournament, which starts on Sunday, and signals the beginning of the Australian tennis season. Amongst some of the players on board the plane from Los Angeles were Sharapova and Muguruza.
After a tough 2015 that was characterised by her failure to win a major, Sharapova is primarily intent on keeping healthy and strong in the new year.
However, Garbine Muguruza is adamant that Sharapova still has what it takes to win majors.
"Maria is always a threat. She is an amazing player and always ready when she steps on court," said the 22-year-old Spaniard.
At the previous edition of the Brisbane International, Sharapova won the tournament and was then runner-up at the Australian Open to Serena Williams.
Should Sharapova win the Australian Open this time round, it will be her second dose of success in Melbourne and her sixth major title.