Maria Sharapova after US Open exit: It's been a great ride

Sep 05, 2017, 08:40 IST | PA Sport

Maria Sharapova described her US Open campaign as a great ride after losing in the fourth round to Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova

Russia's Maria Sharapova leaves the court after losing
Russia's Maria Sharapova leaves the court after losing

Maria Sharapova described her US Open campaign as a great ride after losing in the fourth round to Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova.

The Russian won the opening set but could not sustain the momentum and fell to a 5-7, 6-4, 6-2 loss.

This was only Sharapova's fifth tournament, and first Grand Slam, since her comeback from a 15-month doping ban in April because of injury and she exceeded most expectations by getting this far.

Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova in the US Open fourth round match on Sunday. Pic/AFP
Latvia's Anastasija Sevastova in the US Open fourth round match on Sunday. Pic/AFP

Sharapova, 30, has had to battle in all her matches and it was no surprise to see her run out of steam, hitting 51 unforced errors.

Sharapova said: "It's been a really great ride in the last week. It's great to get that major out of the way. It was an incredible opportunity. I'm very thankful for the opportunity. I did my best. I can be proud of that.

"I think there are a lot of positives. Playing four matches, playing in front of a big crowd and fans. Just competing and being in that competitive environment is what I missed.

"You can't replicate that anywhere, especially at a Grand Slam. Monday night was a special night for me. I will always remember it. I came in not playing a lot of matches. We all know that. Didn't have much practice. Obviously it's always disappointing to be on the losing end of things. But, reflecting back on the week, I can be happy."

The stand-out memory from Sharapova's run in New York will be her first-round victory over second seed Simona Halep, where she sustained a remarkable level for someone who has played so little competitive tennis.

The ranking points she will gain for reaching the last 16 also means there is a very good chance this will be the last slam she needs to enter via a wild card. The end of that particular debate will surely be a relief to everyone within tennis.

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