Published: Sat, March 10, 2018
Sports | By Spencer Underwood

Sharapova crashes out of Indian Wells

Sharapova crashes out of Indian Wells

Former world number one Maria Sharapova lost her second consecutive first round match with a 6-4 6-4 defeat to Japan's Naomi Osaka at the BNP Paribas Open in California on Wednesday.

She trailed 4-1 in the first set before holding serve at 4-all.

The win offers the former world No.4 Stosur the chance to re-enter the top 40, where she has only spent one week since August.

She suffered early breaks in both sets, fought back but came up short on the key points in a performance that saw her commit six double faults and lose five service games to world No. 44 Osaka. A daring backhand passing victor at 4-4 30-30 saw Osaka claim the vital hold for 5-4, which meant that Sharapova once again had to serve at a critical moment.

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Amanda Anisimova defeated 94th-ranked Pauline Parmentier 6-2 6-2 for her first WTA Tour victory. This was Sharapova's first opening-round loss in Indian Wells and the first time since 2003 when Sharapova had a three-match losing streak. The 16-year-old Anisimova, who earned a wild card into the main draw, is the U.S. Open junior champion.

Qualifier Sachia Vickery of Hollywood, Fla., beat wild card Eugenie Bouchard of Canada 6-3, 6-4.... She returned to tennis only last April.

Yuki, seeded ninth in the qualifiers, prevailed 6-4, 6-2 in the second and final qualifying round to make it to the season's first Master series event. Sharapova's mentality went haywire at the sight of pressure once more, while Osaka's game, despite producing some flashes of inconsistency at times, was easily overpowering over the five-time Grand Slam champion in their first meeting.

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