• Saturday, Feb 04, 2023
  • Last Update : 10:24 am

Sharapova crashes out in Qatar Open first round

  • Published at 01:23 pm February 13th, 2018
Sharapova crashes out in Qatar Open first round
Five-time Grand Slam winner Maria Sharapova suffered a shock defeat in the first round of the Qatar Open on Monday, dumped out in three sets by outsider Monica Niculescu. The Romanian, ranked number 92 in the world, 51 places behind the Russian, won 4-6, 6-4, 6-3. In a match lasting more than two and a half hours, Sharapova hit 52 unforced errors as opposed to just 17 from Niculescu. In blustery conditions, Sharapova also struggled to get to grips with the 30-year-old Niculescu's distinctive style, which relies heavily on a sliced forehand. The former world number one, twice a winner in Doha, had been given a wildcard into the draw and was one the tournament's major attractions. "I did a good job of winning the longer rallies, even though that's not really what I wanted to get myself into," said Sharapova afterwards. "So, physically I felt good. I just got pretty passive in the end and starting making too many errors." It was the 30-year-old's first appearance in Doha since 2013 and her first match since losing to Angelique Kerber in the third round of the Australian Open last month. Sharapova returned to tennis last April after completing a 15-month ban for failing a drug test. A jubilant Niculescu described it afterwards as "a very good win" as well as "a tough match". She added: "I love it how I play and I like to be unique and I think my slice forehand is a weapon. "And when I feel good on the court then I play relaxed, I can be good and can be dangerous." Niculescu's reward is to play either Magdalena Rybarikova or wildcard Fatma Al-Nabhani in the next round. Nine of the top ten women's players are competing in Doha this week, but arguably Sharapova was the biggest attraction. Her defeat is unlikely to please organisers after the men's tournament in Qatar last month was decimated of big name stars through injury. The competition could see a repeat of the Australian Open final as the world's new number one Carolina Wozniacki, and the woman she beat in Melbourne, Simona Halep, are seeded one and two in Doha. In another Romanian versus Russian clash, Halep will start her tournament on Tuesday, playing against Muscovite, Ekaterina Makarova, a former world number eight. Also through on Monday was world number 30 Dominika Cibulkova, who beat Russia's Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the world number 22, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4.
50
Facebook 50
blogger sharing button blogger
buffer sharing button buffer
diaspora sharing button diaspora
digg sharing button digg
douban sharing button douban
email sharing button email
evernote sharing button evernote
flipboard sharing button flipboard
pocket sharing button getpocket
github sharing button github
gmail sharing button gmail
googlebookmarks sharing button googlebookmarks
hackernews sharing button hackernews
instapaper sharing button instapaper
line sharing button line
linkedin sharing button linkedin
livejournal sharing button livejournal
mailru sharing button mailru
medium sharing button medium
meneame sharing button meneame
messenger sharing button messenger
odnoklassniki sharing button odnoklassniki
pinterest sharing button pinterest
print sharing button print
qzone sharing button qzone
reddit sharing button reddit
refind sharing button refind
renren sharing button renren
skype sharing button skype
snapchat sharing button snapchat
surfingbird sharing button surfingbird
telegram sharing button telegram
tumblr sharing button tumblr
twitter sharing button twitter
vk sharing button vk
wechat sharing button wechat
weibo sharing button weibo
whatsapp sharing button whatsapp
wordpress sharing button wordpress
xing sharing button xing
yahoomail sharing button yahoomail