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US Open 2018: Maria Sharapova beaten by Carla Suarez Navarro in fourth round

Maria Sharapova’s last Grand Slam title was at the French Open in 2014
2018 US Open
Venue: Flushing Meadows, New York Dates: 27 August-9 September Coverage: Live radio coverage on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra; live text commentaries on the BBC Sport website

Maria Sharapova is out of the US Open after she was beaten 6-4 6-3 by Carla Suarez Navarro in the fourth round.

The five-time Grand Slam champion was broken three times in the first set and immediately at the start of the second.

Sharapova broke back in the third but dropped serve again before squandering two break points while trailing 4-2.

The 2006 champion was then broken in the final game of the match as 30th seed Suarez Navarro celebrated her 30th birthday with a shock victory.

The Spaniard, who also reached the Australian Open quarter-final this year, will face last year’s runner-up Madison Keys next.

Russian 22nd seed Sharapova has not gone beyond the quarter-final stage of a Grand Slam since she returned from a 15-month doping ban in April last year.

Her record of 23 successive victories in the night session at the US Open also comes to an end.

Still no way back to the top for Sharapova

Since winning the US Open title in 2006, Sharapova has gone beyond the fourth round just once (in 2012)

Sharapova has not gone beyond the quarter-finals of a Grand Slam since reaching the semi-finals at Wimbledon in 2015.

She was beaten by world number 12 Garbine Muguruza 6-2 6-1 in the last eight at the French Open this year in a one-sided match.

The 31-year-old Russian is also yet to reach a WTA final in 2018 and has defeated only two top-10 seeds at tournaments this year.

Her last major title was in Paris in 2014 and it has been 12 years since she won her second Grand Slam title at the US Open as a 19-year-old in 2006.

With only two top-10 players left in the women’s draw – Czech eighth seed Karolina Pliskova and defending champion Sloane Stephens – another opportunity has passed the Russian.

Defeats by seeded players, including world number one Simon Halep in Italy, have ended her hopes of returning to the top this year and it could still yet be a long way back for Sharapova.

Birthday celebration in ‘amazing night session’

Carla Suarez Navarro has reached two Grand Slam quarter-finals this year

Progression to the quarter-finals at a second Grand Slam means Suarez Navarro makes 2018 her most successful year.

She was beaten by world number two Caroline Wozniacki in Australia in January before losing to Aryna Sabalenka in the final of the Connecticut Open last month.

The Spaniard also reached the quarter-finals of the Madrid Open and the prestigious Indian Wells Masters.

But when the New York crowd wished her a happy birthday following her victory over Sharapova on Monday, Suarez Navarro said she hoped to show more of her ‘character’ in the quarter-finals.

“I’m happy as I played a really good match, I really enjoyed this crowd,” she said.

“I need to be aggressive, I am working on that, I need to try to be solid, run and fight. This is the way that I can play really good tennis. I have the character inside, sometimes I have to show more, I’m working on that.

“It will be a really tough match [against American Keys]. The crowd will be with her. She has a really good forehand and she has played a final here so she has a lot of experience. I will try to enjoy the match like today.”

BBC Sport

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