Maria Sharapova stunned at Qatar Open's first round

Last Updated: Feb 13 2018 13:26

TENNIS- Former world number one Russian Maria Sharapova suffered a surprising first round loss at Qatar Open. She lost 6-4, 4-6, 3-6 to World No 92 Romanian Monica Niculescu.

Sharapova is a five time Grand Slam winner and was considered one of the favourites to win the tournament.

She said of her defeat, "I did a good job of winning the longer rallies, even though that’s not really what I wanted to get myself into. So, physically I felt good. I just got pretty passive in the end and starting making too many errors.”

Niculescu is to play either Magdalena Rybarikova or wildcard Fatma Al-Nabhani in the next round.

Also through on Monday was world number 30 Dominika Cibulkova, who beat Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova, the world number 22, 7-6 (10/8), 6-4.

(Image Credit: Reuters)