Sharapova knocked out of Qatar opener by Niculescu


(Reuters) – Maria Sharapova kept an eye out of sorts after giving up an early benefit as she was shocked 4-6 6-4 6-3 by Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu in the Qatar Open preliminary onMonday

Wildcard Sharapova, playing in Doha for the very first time considering that 2013, searched course for triumph after taking the very first set however had a hard time to continue the momentum versus an identified challenger and crashed out after 2 hours 38 minutes.

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

QualifierNiculescu, who utilized her pieces to excellent result and transformed 6 from 7 break points in the match to oust Russian Sharapova, will handle Wimbledon semi-finalist Magdalena Rybarikova or regional wild card Fatma Al Nabhani next.

Earlier, Dominika Cibulkova rallied past Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 7-6( 8) 6-4 as she advanced to a 2nd round conference with France’s seventh seed CarolineGarcia

Romania’s Mihaela Buzarnescu alleviated past Lesia Tsurenko to establish a clash with sixth-seeded French Open champ Jelena Ostapenko, while American qualifier CiCi Bellis advanced after Daria Kasatkina took out of their opener with an injury.

RussiansEkaterina Makarova and Anna Blinkova aslo reached the 2nd round.

Reportingby Shrivathsa Sridhar in Bengaluru; Editing by Ken Ferris



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