First-round exit for Sharapova in Doha

Getting a qualifier was theoretically a good opener Maria Sharapova in Doha as she faced Monica Niculescu in the first round Monday.

But Sharapova lost, 4-6, 6-4, 6-3 in a two hour, 38-minute match where, ironically, she showed far more variety than usual.

Sponsored

She had to get down-and-dirty, matching Niculescu forehand slice for forehand slice as the Romanian’s funky game threw her groundstrokes for a loop.

It’s hard to pinpoint what exactly has been missing in Sharapova’s game since her return last April. The fighting spirit is there.

But she’s not dictating as she once did.

Recommended Stories

Find a court anywhere in the world with Playven

Contest winners enjoy the NY experience

Crystal Cruises CEO Rodriguez loves Venus Williams

Fed's head "already a little bit in New York"

"Gabriela Dabrowski Courts" named

Svitolina addresses major weight loss

Coria back on court after suspension

Comments