SHARAPOVA LOSES TO MLADENOVIC
Maria Sharapova crashed out of the Stuttgart Grand Prix semi-final in her first event back after a 15-month doping suspension, losing to France’s Kristina Mladenovic 3-6, 7-5, 6-4. Wild card entrant Sharapova, a five-time grand slam winner, squandered a 6-3, 2-0 lead as Mladenovic clawed her way back into the match. Her defeat means she will finish outside the top 200 when the rankings are released tomorrow, ruling out a qualifier spot for the French Open that begins on May 28. That means Sharapova will need to be granted a wild card by organisers if she is to compete in the second grand slam of the year.