Melbourne, Jan 21 (IANS) Following her first round defeat at the Australian Open 2020, former champion Maria Sharapova has admitted that she doesn’t know if she will be back at the Rod Laver Arena next year.
Sharapova crashed out of the year’s first grand slam 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 to enter the second round of women’s singles.
“I don’t know, I don’t know,” Sharapova was quoted as saying by the tournament when pressed on whether this was her final appearance there.
“It’s tough for me to tell what’s going to happen in 12 months’ time…I haven’t thought of my schedule moving forward from here yet…I can speak about my struggles and the things that I’ve gone through with my shoulder, but it’s not really in my character to.
“So, you know, I was there. I put myself out there. You know, as tough as it was I finished the match and, yeah, it wasn’t the way that I wanted,” she added.
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 the final five games on the trot to secure her spot in the second round.
“I’m really happy to win today,” Vekic said after her match. “I always enjoy playing the big stages, and this one is pretty big! I enjoyed my time on this court from the first point, and I’m happy to leave with a win this time.”
Sharapova, the 2008 champion, had entered the tournament as a wild card entry. In addition to raising the 2008 trophy, the Russian is also a three-time runner-up at the tournament, reaching the final in 2007, 2012 and 2015.