Sharapova's London calling drove her on through the darkest of days

MARIA SHARAPOVA says the thought of competing in another Wimbledon final lifted her spirits when she hit rock bottom and dreaded the prospect of never playing again.

Tomorrow will see the 24-year-old Russian contest her second final at the All England Club, seven years after she beat Serena Williams to land her maiden grand slam title.

She has overcome serious shoulder issues to reach this stage again, losing a year of her career in the process, and aside from a double-fault habit, all is now well.

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Sharapova reached the final by beating Germany's Sabine Lisicki 6-4, 6-3 despite serving 13 double faults, and was joined by Czech player Petra Kvitova who overcame Victoria Azarenka 6-1, 3-6, 6-2. For 21-year-old Kvitova, it will be her first grand slam final.

For Sharapova it is a fifth and she said: "When you know how good it feels to lift the big trophies, the ones you really want in your career, and when you know how well you can play .?.?. that's why I never had interest in stopping. I always felt like I had a lot better things in me. I'm not really the type of person that ever gives up."

Kvitova reached Wimbledon's semi-finals last year so has pedigree on grass. "I expect her to be a really tough opponent," Sharapova added.