Wimbledon Sharapova crashes out
Maria Sharapova, making her first appearance at The Championships since returning from a ban for using a performance enhancing drug, was knocked out in the first round of this year’s tournament.
I’ve made a lot of progress in the last few months. I find myself in a much better position than at this time last year Maria Sharapova
On the last occasion that she ‘graced’ these courts since making the semi-finals in 2015 she was beaten 6-7(3) 7-6(3) 6-4 by her compatriot Vitalia Diatchenko, a qualifier, but believes she has made progress over the last 12 months.
“Tennis is a process. I’ve certainly made a lot of progress despite this result today,” Sharapova said following her exit.
“I’ve made a lot of progress in the last few months. I find myself in a much better position than at this time last year.”
Asked to explain she continued: “I think the fight, the motivation, obviously the health. That’s crucial, to be able to keep putting the work in.
“In a matter of a couple points, maybe the situation could have been different. I would have been here saying, ‘I didn’t play my best tennis, I’m giving myself another chance,’ but I’m not.
“I have to take away the things that didn’t work well for me and get back and work through those and look for my next opportunities.”
She did though, believe that she hadn’t been at her best. “I definitely had several chances, although I was not playing my best tennis,” she commented.
“I opened up a few doors and was a couple points away from winning this match. But, you know, sometimes you put yourself in winning position and you don’t finish through. That was the case today.”
She still shrieks forcing spectators to look for ear defenders if not actually leave the court!
But she did acknowledge that her 27-year-old opponent proved to be more determined. “She played all-or-nothing. She swung away. She played extremely aggressive. I was playing a little bit too defensively for what I should have been doing. She was there to win it, and she did.”