The National - News - Sport - - PREMIER LEAGUE -

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.

Adam Pretty / Getty Im­ages

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