Sharapova knocked out, Safina struggles to win at Australian Open

20:03, January 18, 2010      

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Maria Sharapova of Russia reacts during the first round match of women's singles against her compatriot Maria Kirilenko in 2010 Australian Open at Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne Park, Australia, Jan. 18, 2010. Sharapova lost 1-2. (Xinhua/Wang Lili)

Maria Sharapova crashed out of the Australian Open at the first hurdle after losing 7-6 (7-4), 3-6, 6-4 to fellow Russian Maria Kirilenko on Monday.

The 2008 champion, who missed last year's tournament through injury, made 76 unforced errors and struggled on serve as the world No. 58 Kirilenko won in three hours and 20 minutes at Rod Laver Arena.

World No. 2 Dinara Safina looked shaky in her first round clash against Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia as she had 21 unforced errors and five double faults in the opening set alone.

Magdalena Rybarikova of Slovakia hits a return during the first round match of women's singles against Dinara Safina of Russia in 2010 Australian Open at Hisense Arena in Melbourne, Australia, Jan. 18, 2010. Rybarikova lost 0-2.(Xinhua/Wang Lili)

But the last year's runner-up was still able to prevail with a score line of 6-4, 6-4.

Safina will play either qualifier Regina Kulikova or Barbora Zahlavova Strycova of the Czech Republic in her next match.

Source: Xinhua
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