Maria Sharapova’s return to the Sony Ericsson WTA Tour ended abruptly Thursday afternoon as she lost to Alona Bondarenko 6-2, 6-2 in the quarterfinals of the Warsaw Open.
Sharapova was playing her first singles event this week after nine months of injury lay-off since Canada last summer.
“I have to give Alona all of the credit she deserves. When she was up, she played really solid and rode it out until the end,” Sharapova said. “I felt my shots were too short and I wasn’t patient enough. On clay you have to be patient and wait for your opportunities.
“I’m happy with the way I played here though. Obviously no one likes to lose, but I’ve spent about three or four hours competing on the court this week and that’s what I needed. I’m very thankful for the wildcard I got from the tournament.”
“Maria played with the same speed and power she had before the injury, the only difference is she made more errors,” Bondarenko said of the former World No. 1. “I’m happy with the way I played and the result today. If I continue to play like this I think I can win some matches at the French Open next week. We will see.”
Bondarenko will meet unseeded Anne Keothavong, who beat qualifier Ioana Raluca Olaru 6-0, 6-1 in one semifinal, while No. 6 seed Daniela Hantuchova faces qualifier Alexandra Dulgheru in the other.
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