Sharapova beaten in Tie Break Tens as Halep and Dimitrov triumph


Maria Sharapova suffered defeat in her only match in the Tie Break Tens on Thursday, as Simona Halep and Grigor Dimitrov triumphed in Madrid.

Sharapova made her comeback following a 15-month ban for failing a drugs test last week, reaching the semi-finals at the Stuttgart Open, a performance that saw her re-enter the WTA rankings at number 262.

But the five-time grand slam champion and former world number one could not live with Monica Puig at the exhibition event, in which a field of eight compete in matches consisting of a first to 10 tie-break.

Puig forged a 7-2 lead that she did not relinquish, claiming a 10-6 win, leaving Sharapova to rue a slow start.

"It was a lot more fun than I expected, I love the format, I love how quick it is," Sharapova said afterwards.

"You want to get off to a good start, I think that's probably of importance in a regular tie-break and a tie-break to 10, that's certainly the key.

"In a quick format like that you've got to get ready, which I wasn't."

Puig could not carry her form into the semi-finals, though, suffering defeat to Halep, who dictated matters from the baseline in her 10-6 triumph over Svetlana Kuznetsova in the final.

On the men's side Dimitrov saw off Feliciano Lopez 10-7, having earlier beaten Fernando Verdasco and Dan Evans.