Millennium Post

More tough matches Maria Sharapova's priority

More tough matches Maria Sharapovas priority
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 to prepare for the WTA tournament in the Spanish capital and will play in an exhibition match on Thursday.
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