Fiji Time: 6:22 PM on Friday 23 February

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Sharapova knocked out

Reuters
Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Maria Sharapova looked out of sorts after surrendering an early advantage as she was stunned 4-6 6-4 6-3 by Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu in the Qatar Open first round yesterday.

Wild card Sharapova, playing in Doha for the first time since 2013, looked on course for victory after taking the first set but struggled to carry forward the momentum against a determined opponent and crashed out after two hours 38 minutes.

Five-times grand slam winner Sharapova was not helped by 11 double faults and 52 unforced errors while her opponent, who fired 12 winners, grew in confidence as the contest went on.

Qualifier Niculescu, who used her slices to good effect and converted six out of seven break points in the match to oust Russian Sharapova, will take on Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova or local wild card Fatma Al Nabhani next.








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