Sharapova plays through pain

Maria Sharapova was nearly upset in the first round. Whit Sheppard explains the Russian might not be 100 percent, but don't question her mental toughness.

Updated: May 29, 2006, 2:24 PM ET
By Whit Sheppard | Special to ESPN.com

PARIS -- Fourth-seeded Maria Sharapova came into the French Open with lingering questions about the status of a right ankle injury she sustained in practice in Monterey, Mexico in late April and, consequently, also about her match readiness. An MRI exam Friday, in Sharapova's words, showed a "bad" bone bruise with "a lot of fluid." She had not played a tour match since falling in the Nasdaq-100 Open final in Miami to Svetlana Kuznetsova on April 1.

What she won't exit her first-round ...

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