WTA Tour

'Happy' Sharapova hunts more tests on doping comeback

2017-04-30 19:59
Maria Sharapova (AP)

Stuttgart - Maria Sharapova said more tough matches are her priority after losing in the semi-finals in Stuttgart on her controversial comeback from a 15-month doping ban.

Sharapova, a five-time Grand Slam winner and former world number one, lost 3-6, 7-5, 6-4 to Kristina Mladenovic in a gruelling two-hours, 38-minute showdown.

"I'm not angry, I'd have loved to have used the opportunity when I was ahead in the second set, so I had a bit of a let down which allowed her to get back in the match, gain confidence and play well," said Sharapova, who was playing her first tournament after testing positive for meldonium at the 2016 Australian Open.

"I didn't keep putting that pressure on her and if you allow that to happen to a player like her, it becomes dangerous."

Sharapova also has wild cards for the Madrid and Rome tournaments and leaves Stuttgart with a world ranking of 260 having arrived here on zero following her ban.

She will learn on May 16 whether she will be given a wild card for the main draw at the French Open where she has twice been champion.

Sharapova jets to Madrid on Sunday to prepare for the WTA tournament in the Spanish capital and will play in an exhibition match on Thursday.

"It's a fairly quick turn around, but this is a process for me," she said.

"I'll be in Europe for the next couple of months, but this is what I want to go through.

"I want the matches and to see how my body responds. I want to feel the tiredness of match play, it's different and you can't train that.

"I love that feeling. This is what I asked for, this is what I am doing."

"I am treating Madrid and Rome just as importantly as the Grand Slams at this point, because I have been out of the game for so long. They are match play and that is what I need."

Sharapova refused to blame a lack of fitness for her semi-final defeat.

"If at the start of the week I'd said I'd be in this position, I'd be pretty happy with that," she said.

"The way I played, I was really happy with that. You are never sure what level you are going to come onto the court with, but I feel this is a great base with which I started here.

"I actually felt physically really well, even when I was 5-2 down in the third set.

"I still hung in there, but she came up with a string of good points which cost me the match."

With Sharapova now out, Mladenovic will now face Germany's Laura Siegemund in Sunday's final after the wild card beat fourth seed Simona Halep of Romania 6-4, 7-5.

Read more on:    wta tour  |  stuttgart open  |  maria sharapova  |  tennis
NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

Vote

Which is your favourite Grand Slam of the year?

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

With the Absa Premiership nearing its conclusion, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Bidvest Wits hold them off? A bridge too far for new boys Cape Town City FC? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
 

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.