Sharapova beaten by qualifier at Indian Wells
(Reuters) - Russia's Maria Sharapova was knocked out of the BNP Paribas Open at Indian Wells on Monday after a shock loss to Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi.
Sharapova, who won the prestigious tournament in 2006 and again last year, was sent packing after a 6-3 4-6 7-5 defeat to Giorgi, a 22-year-old ranked 79th in the world.
Giorgi has been making steady progress in the past year, reaching the fourth round at the U.S. Open in September, but her win over the fifth-ranked Sharapova was the biggest of her career.
Sharapova's loss came two days after Victoria Azarenka was also bundled out of the Californian event and just hours after Britain's Andy Murray was forced to dig deep to avoid a similar fate in his third round match with promising Czech Jiri Vesely.
The Wimbledon champion won 6-7 (7-2) 6-4 6-4 but only after clawing back from the brink of defeat against the 20-year-old Vesely.
Murray lost the opening set despite going up an early break but then struggled on serve against the left-handed Vesely, ranked 77th in the world.
The Scotsman was broken six times in the match and trailed in both the second and third sets but fought back each time, reeling off four consecutive games to seal victory.
"It was just one of those matches where there wasn't one period where I thought that the level of tennis from both of us was high at the same time," said Murray.
"That can create a lot of breaks and a lot of sort of back and forth swings in the match. It wasn't just the start of the match that was frustrating. The whole match was." Continued...