|(Tennis) Shocking exit for Sharapova at Indian Wells
Italian qualifier Camila Giorgi stunned defending champion and fourth seed Maria Sharapova 6-3, 4-6, 7-5 on Monday to reach the fourth round of the BNP Paribas Open.
The 79th-ranked Giorgi needed two hours and 36 minutes to notch her third career win against a top-10 player, aided by an error-strewn performance from Sharapova, AFP reports.
The Russian superstar hit only 16 winners and 58 unforced errors. Giorgi's stats weren't impressive either, and they combined for 15 breaks of serve.
"I did not play a good match at all,'' Sharapova said.
"I started very poorly. Never played against her, but she's someone that doesn't give you much rhythm.
"She's quite aggressive, but some shots she hit incredible for a long period of time.
"Sometimes they go off a bit.
"But, you know, if I'm speaking about my level, it was nowhere near where it should have been.''
Sharapova, who endured an injury-plagued 2013, has had a mixed start to the new season, reaching two semi-finals but crashing out in the fourth round of the Australian Open.
She said she expected to head quickly to Miami to begin preparing for the hardcourt tournament there that follows on the heels of Indian Wells.
"Losses motivate me a lot, because as a competitor you don't want to lose these types of matches,'' she said. "It's individual matches that really fire you up, and I hope that these last few losses will do that for me.''
Giorgi shocked Caroline Wozniacki at the US Open last year for her second win against a top-10 player. She had beaten compatriot Sara Errani -- then ranked seventh -- in Beijing in 2012.
Sharapova said that if Giorgi could find more consistency she has the game to raise her ranking.
"I think if she played at this level for a consistent period of time I don't think she'd be a qualifier here,'' Sharapova said. "I think that's pretty obvious.''
Giorgi's upset of Wozniacki at Flushing Meadows last year came after a lengthy injury break because of a right shoulder injury.
The diminutive Italian is hoping with her injury trouble behind her she can gain the consistency Sharapova spoke of.
"I think it's more important to play many matches and get to be in these kind of matches -- that will help my game a lot,'' she said.