Sharapova makes first-round exit at a major again - RTHK
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Sharapova makes first-round exit at a major again

2020-01-21 HKT 11:53
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  • Maria Sharapova makes a backhand return during her first-round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Sharapova lost the match to Donna Vekic. Photo: AP
    Maria Sharapova makes a backhand return during her first-round match at the Australian Open in Melbourne. Sharapova lost the match to Donna Vekic. Photo: AP
Former world number one Maria Sharapova's run of first-round exits at the majors continued with a 6-3, 6-4 loss to 19th-seeded Donna Vekic at the Australian Open.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam title winner, was given a wild card for the main draw at Melbourne Park after her year-end ranking slipped to 136 in 2019 after a season interrupted by injuries.

The 2008 Australian Open winner reached the fourth round here last year, missed the French Open and then lost in the first rounds at Wimbledon and the U.S. Open.

Former semifinalist Johanna Konta has also been knocked out. She lost her first-round match to Ons Jabeur 6-4, 6-2.

It was the 28-year-old British player's second match since last year's U.S. Open after being sidelined with a chronic tendinitis-related injury in her right knee.

The Sydney-born Konta advanced to the semifinals at Melbourne Park in 2016. The match was carried over from Monday when torrential rain suspended all play on outside courts from mid-afternoon. (AFP)