WIMBLEDON, England — Tennis is Maria Sharapova's priority now, but the former Wimbledon champion says she'll be ready for a new career when the time is right.
The 16th-seeded Sharapova has struggled to get back in shape and now appears healthy and resurgent. She advanced to the third round at the All England Club on Thursday with a 6-1, 6-4 win over Romania's Ioana Raluca Olaru.
Off the court, she pursues an interest in fashion, promotes her own perfume brand and has a multitude of endorsements that make her one of the most highly paid athletes.
"I've set up myself pretty well for things that I can do after my tennis career," said Sharapova, who had a 10-month layoff after right shoulder surgery in 2008. "But that never really crossed my mind because I was always gearing up to get back. You know, I've been fortunate to work with different people in different industries that have really made my life interesting and fun and creative."
Against 114th-ranked Olaru, the 2004 champion won 20 of 23 points at the net, breezing through the first set but meeting more resistance in the second. Olaru broke back in the eighth game to even the set but handed the advantage back to the Russian in the following game with a double-fault.
"I kind of backed up, let her back in the match," said Sharapova, the only champion in the women's draw other than the Williams sisters. "Fortunately, I was able to get that break back."
Sharapova said she felt "really good" about her condition.
"We're professional athletes. We don't wake up in the morning and say, 'Everything feels perfect,'" Sharapova said. "Maybe when we're very young."
Sharapova, who has won two tournaments this year, will play 24th-seeded Daniela Hantuchova or Barbora Zahlavova Strycova in the next round. Last year, she lost in the second round to Gisela Dulko of Argentina, a defeat that was on her mind Thursday.
"I knew that coming into this match that last year, I was on the plane the next day after I lost," she said. "So, I really thought about it, especially towards the end of the match. I was really excited to get through."
(This version CORRECTS Recasts. Updates with Sharapova quotes. Corrects 1st name in headline.)