Related News

Home » Sports » Tennis

Sharapova fails on her return from injury

MARIA Sharapova made her first competitive appearance for seven months on Thursday, losing a doubles match on Thursday at the BNP Paribas Open in Indian Wells, California.

The former world's No. 1 teamed with Russian compatriot Elena Vesnina and they were beaten 6-2, 4-6, 10-7 by Ekaterina Makarova and Tatiana Poutchek.

Sharapova was forced off the WTA Tour last August by a torn rotator cuff and underwent surgery on her right shoulder two months later.

"It feels very good to be back," the 24-year-old said. "I just wanted to test (the shoulder) out. I started training a couple of months ago. I just wanted to ... test it out in a match situation and get a little different scenery than the practice court and play in front of the crowd, so that was exciting. The main goal for here was just to get out there and be in that atmosphere again.

"The hump I've got to get through right now is to put together two weeks of coming out to the court and playing two or three sets every day, and doing that for seven or eight days in a row. ... Right now I'm able to do maybe three days or four days and then I have to take it easy on the fifth."

Sharapova was unsure where or when she would play next.

"I'm done with setting a timetable for myself. Those days are over," she said.

Also, two-time tournament champion Lleyton Hewitt continued his comeback from hip surgery by beating Jan Hernych 7-6(3), 6-3 in the men's draw.

In the biggest tournament since the Australian Open, other winners on Thursday included Jarkko Nieminen and Ivan Ljubicic while Feliciano Lopez and Jose Acasuso were among the first-round casualties.

Hewitt, once the top-ranked player in the world, was among the first-round attractions in an event in which all seeded players receive byes through to the second round.

The Australian won this event in 2002 and 2003 and lost to Roger Federer in the 2005 final. This year, however, the 28-year-old is ranked No. 77 and still trying to regain full fitness after surgery on his left hip last August.

"The ranking doesn't bother me at all," said Hewitt, who last year saw his streak of title-winning seasons end at 10 and finished out of the top 25 for the first time since his rookie season of 1998.

"There's been a lot of travel the last few months and it hasn't been easy on the body," he said. Hewitt will next meet 17th-seeded Fernando Gonzalez, with the Chilean having won their clash at the Australian Open in January.

Finland's Nieminen beat France's Nicolas Devilder 7-6 (6), 6-1 to set up a second-round meeting with 13th seeded James Blake. Ljubicic downed Japan's Kei Nishikori 6-3, 6-3 and his next opponent will be Croatian compatriot Mario Ancic.

Spain's Lopez was beaten 6-4, 6-3 by Michael Llodra, with the Frenchman progressing to an encounter with compatriot Richard Gasquet.

Argentina's Acasuso, switching from campaigning on clay, was defeated 6-2, 4-6, 6-3 by Russian Teimuraz Gabashvili. Gabashvili will next take on Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.


Copyright © 1999- Shanghai Daily. All rights reserved.Preferably viewed with Internet Explorer 8 or newer browsers.

沪公网安备 31010602000204号

Email this to your friend