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First Ball In: Practice Makes Perfect in Brisbane

With tennis fans chomping at the bit for the new season to begin, the players have been hard at work getting in their last moments of pre-season practice. Check out some of the ladies partaking at the Brisbane International.

All photos courtesy of Christopher Levy.

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Samantha Stosur smiling in Australia? The season has barely begun and I’ve already seen everything! The Aussie has historically found herself overwhelmed at tournaments close to home, but the veteran starts 2015 as under the radar as ever, and looks in fine shape to shake things up on the WTA Tour.

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Smile, the off-season is almost over! Maria Sharapova took to the main stadium for an extended practice. The Russian is kicking off her season in Brisbane for the second year in a row, having reached the semifinals in the first tournament of her comeback last year. Ranked No. 2, Sharapova is the No. 1 seed, with a potential rematch of her Cincinnati thriller with Ana Ivanovic looming in the final.

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Coach Sven Groeneveld is ringing in a second Australian summer with Sharapova, and was on hand giving extensive advice to his top-seeded charge.

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Hall of Fame Inductee and 2014 US Open women’s doubles finalist Martina Hingis was all smiles as she practiced with newly minted Australian Open Wildcard Playoff winner, Daria Gavrilova. The two once worked together at the Patrick Mouratoglou Academy, where the Swiss Miss mentored the younger players on the roster. Hingis plans to play Brisbane’s doubles event, reuniting with Sabine Lisicki, with whom she won Miami last year.

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Rising Serb Jovana Jaksic shone brightly in her new Nike attire – having worn Fila last season. Ranked No. 129, Jaksic’s goal for 2015 is to crack the Top 100, and will likely have several openings as the season gets underway. Her week starts a little earlier than the rest; she and Gavrilova will take part in singles qualifying, playing the No. 6 and No. 7 seeds, respectively.

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Jelena Jankovic was trying to blend in, wearing fatigues-colored Fila. Well, what do you know? Some things never change.

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About David Kane (138 Articles)
23-year-old tennis writer. Long Island raised me, @Twitter made me. My hindrances are deliberate; my whole life is thunder. @DKTNNS

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