Sharapova Stunned At Indian Wells, Bouchard Exits

MariaSharapova- Cropped

MariaSharapova- Cropped

Maria Sharapova continued to struggle to find form this season.

Maria Sharapova was sent crashing out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Wednesday after suffering a first-round defeat to Japan's Naomi Osaka.

Sixteen-year-old Amanda Anisimova beat 94th-ranked Pauline Parmentier 6-2, 6-2 to set up a second-round clash against Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

Sharapova said she still feels grateful just to be able to play, after being forced to spend more than a year on the sidelines for taking a banned substance.

She said: "I've been working through a few physical things and that's been frustrating because there's been a lot of starts and stops since and that hasn't given me the match rhythm that I really wanted".

Meanwhile, Sam Stosur recovered after losing the first set to American Lauren Davis to win the game 3-6, 6-3, 6-3 and advance to the second round where she will face Kristina Mladenovic.

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The 16-year-old's poised and polished performance came in stark contact to the dismal display of Canadian Eugenie Bouchard, who was humbled 6-3 6-4 by American qualifier Sachia Vickery.

"I'm really proud of myself".

"It's obviously frustrating to lose these types of matches that you get ready for and you want to win, but it's part of the process, I realise that". She also reached the Shenzhen semi-finals, was routed by Angelique Kerber in the Australian Open third round and withdrew from the Dubai Open injured.

Osaka raced to a 4-1 lead in the first set before Sharapova, a two-time Indian Wells champion, fought her way back to level the score at 4-4.

But Osaka held to go up 5-4 and broke Sharapova on a double fault to close out the set. Serena Williams returns to the tour for the first time in 14 months Thursday when she plays a first-round match.

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