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Germany’s Kerber packs Sharapova home with straight sets win in Mallorca

Before playing in Mallorca, the last time Sharapova hit the tennis courts was in January

MOSCOW, June 20. /TASS/. Russia’s Maria Sharapova suffered a straight sets defeat on Thursday in the second round of the WTA (Women Tennis Association) tournament in Spain’s Mallorca despite her promising comeback in the first round after an almost five-month absence.

Top-seed Angelique Kerber of Germany was swift on the Santa Ponsa grass on Thursday handing a 6-2; 6-3 defeat to the famous Russian tennis player.

"It's always tough to play Maria, especially in the second round," the official WTA website quoted Kerber as saying after the match with Sharapova. "I think everybody was enjoying the match, and we gave our best today."

Sharapova has returned playing after an almost five-month break with a straight sets win on Tuesday in the opening round of the 2019 Mallorca Open tournament in Spain. The Russian tennis star was granted a wildcard for the tournament and she defeated Slovakia’s Viktoria Kuzmova 7-6 (10-8); 6-0.

Before playing in Mallorca, the last time Sharapova hit the tennis courts was in January. In the opening round of the WTA tournament in Russia’s Saint Petersburg on January 28, Sharapova defeated Daria Gavrilova of Australia and was set to face her compatriot Daria Kasatkina in the following round, but she withdrew from the tournament citing a shoulder injury.

Sharapova, who turned 32 this April, is Russia’s most decorated tennis player having won a total of five Grand Slam tournaments, namely the Australian Open in 2008, the French Open in 2012 and 2014, Wimbledon in 2004 and the US Open in 2006. She also clinched the silver in the 2012 Summer Olympics in London and was the 2008 Federations Cup champion.

In 2018, Sharapova participated in 11 tennis tournaments, including four Grand Slam competitions. Her best results last season were the semifinals of the tournaments in China’s Shenzhen and Italy’s capital city, Rome.

During last year’s Grand Slam tournaments, Sharapova reached the third round of the Australian Open, the quarterfinals of the Roland-Garros in France, was knocked out in the opening round at the Wimbledon and reached the fourth round stage of the US Open.

At the opening tournament of the Grand Slam series this year, the 2019 Australian Open, Sharapova managed to reach the 4th round, where she suffered a 6-4; 1-6; 4-6 defeat at the hands of Australia’s Ashleigh Barty.