Sharapova will not be competing at the next week’s Cincinnati open, after her straight sets loss to Caroline Garcia in Toronto. The Russian has withdrawn her name from Cincinatti, and has not revealed any particular reasons yet.
Sharapova was looking in good touch having brushed away Daria Kasatkina in the earlier round. However, she had no answers to Garcia’s empowering strokes and immaculate depth. ‘Yeah, the few amount of chances I did have in the second, I just didn’t do the right things’, said Sharapova. ‘I thought she played extremely well today, did the right things consistently: played deep, hard, served well. That’s something that I didn’t do well today’.
Sharapova has been patchy since her return to professional tennis after a doping ban, and has also parted ways with her long time coach. ‘If course, when you don’t play matches for a while, it’s a little bit frustrating to start and stop the amount of times that I have’, she said. ‘But sometimes those are the things that you have to do for your body. Yeah, those are kind of the decisions, and smart decisions, you have to make as you get a little bit older.’
Sharapova also said that the competition has escalated tremendously in the past few years, given the number of upsets that the recent tournaments have seen. ‘Yeah, I’ve spoken about the level of the game rising quite a lot. Maybe a few years ago you looked at a draw, you could get by a few rounds, use it as a warm-up, preparation. As you’ve seen by the results and upsets over the last few years in the beginning of events, that isn’t so any more’, she said.
‘You have to come prepared and ready, other things. Maybe that’s the biggest difference that I see.’ The reasons to Sharapova’s withdrawal are still unclear, however they might most obviously be due to fatigue related issues.