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Sharapova splits with Dutch tennis coach

AFP  |  Indian Wells 

Five-time winner has decided to split with her coach following her first round exit from the WTA Indian Wells tournament.

After four years of working together, the decision to go their separate ways was a mutual one, Sharapova said on Friday.

"After four successful and challenging years of collaboration together, I would like to thank Sven for his incredible loyalty, work ethic and most importantly the friendship that we have formed that will go beyond this working partnership," Sharapova said in a release.

"Although we have mutually agreed to part ways during this time, I have been incredibly fortunate to have a like him in my corner."

The former world number one, and twice a winner in the desert, suffered a stunning defeat on Wednesday to Japanese No. 1 Naomi Osaka, losing in straight sets, 6-4, 6-4.

Sharapova was one of the tournament's major attractions after missing the last two.

"Maria has been one of the most hardworking and professional players I have ever worked with. Her strength and fighting spirit will continue to be a force to reckon with and I have the deepest respect for her as a and person," said Groeneveld of the

For Sharapova the loss to the 20-year-old Osaka was another painful reminder that it's back to the drawing board for the Russian as she makes her way back from a 15-month drugs ban.

It was her second first round loss in a row after she withdrew from the tournament with a

In her only appearance this year, Sharapova reached the third round of before losing to

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, March 10 2018. 10:05 IST