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Qatar Open: Maria Sharapova falls in first round to Monica Niculescu

Maria Sharapova was crushed in the third round of the Australian Open by Angelique Kerber in January

Romanian qualifier Monica Niculescu fought her method to a formidable win over Maria Sharapova in the first round of the Qatar Open.

Russia’s Sharapova, 30, was crushed Four-6 6-Four 6-Three in two hours and 38 minutes by the world quantity 92 in Doha.

Sharapova, a former world primary, struggled for consistency, with 52 unforced errors all through the match.

Niculescu will play both Magdalena Rybarikova or wildcard Fatma Al Nabhani in the subsequent round.

Sharapova, ranked 41st in the world, was making her first look in Qatar since 2013 after being handed a wildcard.

After clinching the first set on the fourth alternative, Sharapova was pissed off by Niculescu’s slices, and misplaced her rhythm because the Romanian went on to serve out the match.

Britain’s Johanna Konta performs her first round match in opposition to American qualifier Bernarda Pera – who beat her in the Australian Open in January – on Tuesday.

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