Sharapova dumped out of Aus Open

Sharapova dumped out of Aus Open
Maria Sharapova returns a shot to Donna Vekic during her first round match of Australian Open on Tuesday.
Melbourne, Jan 21 (IANS) | Publish Date: 1/21/2020 9:50:21 AM IST

Former champion Maria Sharapova crashed out of the Australian Open after she faced a crushing defeat against Croatian star Donna Vekic in her opening round contest on Tuesday.

Vekic beat Sharapova 6-3 6-4 at Rod Laver Arena to enter the second round of women’s singles in which she will be facing France’s Alize Cornet or Monica Niculescu.
Fresh off a quarterfinal run at the Adelaide International, Vekic raced ahead 5-1 before Sharapova began to find her rhythm, breaking the No.19 seed in her first attempt at serving for the set and earning a break point to get things back on serve.
While Vekic shrugged off the pressure and took the set, the Russian carried that momentum into the second, taking a 4-1 lead of her own. The 23-year-old turned the tide once more, winning final five games on the trot to secure her spot in the second round.
In other women’s singles matches, No.6 seed Belinda Bencic overcame a stern contest against Anna Karolina Schmiedlova in the opening round, winning in straight sets 6-3, 7-5 to advance. No.10 seed Madison Keys overpowered Daria Kasatkina in an impressive 58-minute victory to move into the second round with a 6-3, 6-1 victory.
Meanwhile, Simona Halep overcame a poor start and a fiery opponent at the Australian Open to prevail 7-6(5) 6-1 over big-hitting American Jennifer Brady in their first round encounter.
The Romanian fourth seed was broken in the very first game of the match and later took a nasty tumble during a punishing rally at 5-5 in the first set.
After a medical timeout, Halep began playing more aggressively, eventually edging out Brady in a tense tie-break to take the opening set.
A break early in the second set put Halep back in command and she clinched the match after 1 hour and 36 minutes.

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