Tuesday, 11 December, 2018


Sharapova crashes out at 1st round of Kremlin Cup in Moscow

WTA rankings Maria Sharapova jumps up 29 spots to 57th after Tianjin Open win Twitter ChinaOpen
Noah Ferguson | 18 October, 2017, 06:19

Maria Sharapova was beaten by Magdalena Rybarikova 7-6 (3), 6-4 in the first round of the Kremlin Cup on Tuesday, ending her bid for a second title in two weeks. The five-time Grand Slam champion had not won a tournament since beating Carla Suarez Navarro in the 2015 Italian Open in Rome, several months prior to her 15-month suspension for using the banned drug meldonium.

The pair traded breaks late in the opening set, which Bratislava resident Rybarikova took in a tiebreak after one hour, seven minutes on court.

The former world No 1 arrived in Moscow on the back of winning the Tianjin Open last week for her first title in two years but looked far from her best as she fell to a 7-6 (3) 6-4 defeat to her Slovakian opponent.

"If the tournament were held in a different city than Moscow, I wouldn't have played after five matches in China". Many tennis players were upset with the decision, including Caroline Wozniacki who said, "I think that's a questionable thing to do".

In Russia, Sharapova has been portrayed as a victim of what officials have said is the unfair targeting of the country by worldwide sports bodies that regulate anti-doping. In their first encounter at the WTA tournament in Mexico's Acapulco in 2015, Sharapova outlasted Rybarikova 6-1; 4-6; 6-1.

The second set was nearly a carbon copy of the first, with Rybarikova breaking in the 10th game to take the set and the match.

Russian Natalia Vikhlyantseva and Belarus' Vera Lapko breezed to straight-set wins Tuesday while Romanian Irina-Camelia Begu posted a 6-1, 3-6, 6-3 victory over Russian Elena Rybakina.

Broady overcame German sixth seed Tatjana Maria 6-2 6-2 to make the most of a lucky loser spot after initially falling in the final round of qualifying to France's Pauline Parmentier.

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