Tennis: Early US Open exit steels Sharapova`s resolve
Maria Sharapova`s bid for her first two-Slam season ended Sunday in a fourth-round US Open loss to Caroline Wozniacki.
New York: Maria Sharapova`s bid for her first two-Slam season ended Sunday in a fourth-round US Open loss to Caroline Wozniacki.
But the former world number one said the defeat, while disappointing, was far from demoralizing.
"I always find more motivations after matches like this," Sharapova said.
"If you`re not disappointed or if you don`t feel that you could improve on something, coming off of a loss then you`re never going to get better."
After a shoulder injury sidelined her late in 2013, Sharapova has endured an up and down 2014.
She won her fifth career Grand Slam title at the French Open in June, capping a claycourt season that included victories in Stuttgart and Madrid.
Her three titles in the season are tied for second behind Serena Williams` five, and Sharapova was proud of her performance under pressure.
"In that run I had, there was a lot of things behind me," she said. "I was close to getting out of the top 10 in every single match I played, starting in Stuttgart.
"There was a lot on the line for me and I performed really well and I brought it.
"The other Grand Slams I just wasn`t able to do that in the later parts of the matches," added Sharapova, who also lost in the fourth round of the Australian Open in January and Wimbledon in July.
It was more of the same on Sunday, when she was unable to carry the momentum of a sparkling second-set effort through the third.
"I think I just stopped doing what helped me get advantage of the points in the second set," said Sharapova, who went into the match with an impressive 17-6 record in three-set matches this year.
"I hit a good shot and I allowed her to get back in the point instead of looking to come in.
"She`s very good at getting a lot of balls back and making you hit another one. In the end, I went for a little too much."
She was already looking ahead to the Wuhan Open and the China Open in Beijing in September and a chance to end her season on a winning note.
"It`s a very quick turnaround," Sharapova said. "I`ve just got to get ready for that."