Injury added to insult as Sharapova retires in Rome, denting Wimbledon hopes

"I will be focused on my match", Sharapova said, adding that she would accept a qualifying wildcard. Sharapova was leading 4-6, 6-3, 2-1 when she called it quits after Lucic-Baroni held serve.

After an abysmal start that saw her broken to love in the first game, Sharapova saw the first set slip from her grasp as her aggressive opponent racked up 15 winners.

"Winning matches will get me places, so if that's where it got me today, then I will take it".

"I feel like every match or every day I learn a little bit more and things are coming back to me about the way that I feel and the way I get ready for a match and my habits on match days and those things", Sharapova said.

Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova pulled out of the Italian Open with a thigh injury during her second-round tie against Mirjana Lucic-Baroni on Tuesday, hours after learning she would not be granted a wild card into the French Open.

Having been banned from the sport for 15 months after testing positive for meldonium at the Australian Open in 2016, she has now returned to tennis and enjoyed a rapid rise up the rankings.

The Russian has accepted wild cards to enter all three of her tournaments since her return.

She now has enough ranking points to enter qualifying for Wimbledon.

The decision on whether to give Maria Sharapova a French Open wildcard will cause controversy when announced, tournament director Guy Forget says.

Several other players have criticised the decision by tournament organisers to welcome Sharapova back so readily.

Clay has always been his worst surface (he's won the French just once - he's won all other Slams a minimum of five times), the turnaround time from the French Open to Wimbledon is nearly instantaneous and with Rafael Nadal back to his old tricks, there was nearly no chance of Federer extending his Grand Slam record in Paris.

The unpredictable Fognini led 5-1 in the second set and almost let Murray force a third set with a series of errors but finally closed it out when he served for the match for a second time.

Top-ranked players Angelique Kerber and Andy Murray spoke out against Sharapova in the media about her receiving wild cards, while Eugenie Bouchard went too far as calling her a "cheater" who should be banned for life.

Maria Sharapova's suspension is over, but the disgraced star is still paying the price. Maria won twice here, but we have a huge responsibility.

She appeared to be struggling though and stopped early in the third set.

Sam Querrey upset French 11th seed Lucas Pouille 7-6 (8/6), 7-6 (10/8).

The Croatian has been really impressive, but a cause for concern for her will be the fact that she already lost to Sharapova this year at the Madrid Open.

In men's action, ninth-seeded David Goffin rallied past qualifier Thomaz Bellucci 6-7 (5), 6-3, 6-4, and 12th-seeded Tomas Berdych required five set points to close out the opening set in a 7-6 (7), 6-4 win over Australian Open quarterfinalist Mischa Zverev.

  • Julie Sanders