18 Jan 2010

Sharapova knocked out of Australian Open

6:01 pm on 18 January 2010

Former world tennis number one Maria Sharapova has been knocked out of the Australian Open with a 7-6 3-6 6-4 first-round loss to fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko.

Sharapova was seeded 14th at the tournament, but 58th-ranked Kirilenko proved to be a tough opponent and broke the former champion as she served to stay in the match at 5-4 down in the final set.

Sharapova last played at the Australian Open in the 2008 final when she beat Serbia's Ana Ivanovic for the title, missing out on the 2009 tournament because of a shoulder injury.

Kirilenko next plays Yvonne Meusburger of Austria, who beat Switzerland's Timea Bacsinszky of Switzerland 6-4 4-6 6-2.