Maria Sharapova has had a very tough year so far. In January, she did reasonably well by reaching the Shenzhen semi-finals and the Australian Open third round, but after that, she has yet to win a match. She has now lost four matches in a row: against Angelique Kerber at the Australian Open third round, Monica Niculescu in the first-round in Doha, Naomi Osaka in the first-round in Indian Wells and now Caroline Garcia in Stuttgart this week.
The only time that Sharapova lost four straight matches was in 2003, when, at 15 years of age, she lost to the qualifier Klara Koukalova at the Australian Open first round, then to the wild card player Shenay Perry in the ITF $75,000 event of Midland, then against Samantha Reeves in Indian Wells and Els Callens in Miami.
Sharapova, who will leave the top-50 of the WTA rankings again, admitted she has a regret: having played Stuttgart, Madrid and Rome last year after not competing for 15 months due to the doping ban. 'Looking back to almost a year ago, I played three events in a row and I don’t think my body was necessarily ready for that type of level,' she said. 'I had a pretty tough injury to get through and I missed a Grand Slam after that.
It took five or six weeks of recovery. I think it’s a combination of a few things, but definitely something I have to be a little smarter about looking into the future. I haven’t played many tournaments since I came back and that’s just the reality of it.
It’s always great when you’re playing matches and winning matches, but then maybe at a certain point you need to let your body rest.' Source: The Independent ALSO READ: Andy Murray disappointed his fans with this news