Maria Sharapova downfall: Does Australian Open defeat mark the tip?

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The previous no 1 on the earth was granted entry with wild playing cards to the Australian Open, however the Croatian Donna Vekic fell 6-Three 6-Four on the again of a 2019 devastated by accidents.

Sharapova will exit the highest 350 when the most recent world rankings are launched after the event, admitting that she is just not positive if she is going to play once more in Melbourne.

"It’s troublesome for me to say what’s going to occur in 12 months," mentioned Sharapova, who received her solely Australian Open title in 2008.

"I used to be fortunate to be right here and I’m grateful to (Tennis Australia boss) Craig (Tiley) and the workforce for permitting me to take part on this occasion."

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Maria Sharapova leaves the pitch following her defeat in the Australian Open first round.

By way of the 2020 schedule, the 32-year-old stays unsure.

"I don't have a crystal ball to inform you if I can or if I’ll (play as many tournaments as I would really like), however I'd like to, sure," he added.

"It's onerous to say I'm heading in the right direction now 45 minutes after the sport. However there isn’t any method out if you happen to don't hold believing in your self, as a result of if you happen to do all the best issues and don't consider in your self, then that is in all probability a foul components. "

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In a turbulent match, Sharapova slipped into an preliminary 5-1 deficit within the first set in opposition to Vekic. He recovered with a break from service, earlier than giving 6-3.

Sharapova maintained a 4-1 lead within the second, however misplaced the remaining 5 match video games. He ended with 31 unforced errors at 17 of Vekic.

Donna Vekic celebrates the victory over Maria Sharapova at the Australian Open.

The Russian has not received consecutive video games since final 12 months's Australian Open, the place she reached the fourth spherical.

A shoulder damage pressured her to retire from the French Open, whereas a forearm damage noticed her retire within the first spherical at Wimbledon, regardless of driving Pauline Parmentier for a set and a break.

On the US Open, she was improved by longtime rival Serena Williams within the first spherical and reached the year-end rating of 136, the bottom since 2002.

In 2016, Sharapova examined constructive for the banned substance meldonium on the Australian Open. It was initially banned for 2 years, earlier than an enchantment noticed the ban diminished to 15 months. Returning to motion in April of the next 12 months, she has not been capable of attain the heights for the reason that starting of her profession since then.
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Her finest efficiency in a grand slam up to now two years has been reaching the quarterfinals of the French Open in 2018, the place she fell in Garbine Muguruza.

Sharapova's situation as a Grand Slam champion implies that she will settle for a vast variety of entries to the jokers at tournaments, however what number of occasions we see her this 12 months is unclear.

For now, the possibilities of elevating a primary grand slam title in six years appear distant.

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