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Wild card Maria Shaparova knocked out of Australian Open

MELBOURNE, Australia — Her Grand Slam losing streak up to four matches, Maria Sharapova surely was aware questions about her future would be coming.

She wasn’t able to provide answers.

Might this have been her last trip to the Australian Open, a tournament she won in 2008 as part of a career Grand Slam?

“I don’t know,” Sharapova said, her head shaking and eyes looking down. “I don’t know. … It’s tough for me to tell what’s going to happen in 12 months’ time.”

Might she enter low-level tournaments to try to raise a WTA ranking that once was No. 1, all those years ago, already was only 145th entering play at Melbourne Park and now will tumble outside of the top 350 following a 6-3, 6-4 loss to Donna Vekic today?

After a rainy Day 1 filled up today’s schedule so much that at least eight matches needed to be postponed until Wednesday, the sun was out and there was plenty of action around the grounds. Joining Sharapova on the way out were three-time major semifinalist Johanna Konta, 2019 French Open semifinalist Amanda Anisimova and the 20th-seeded man, Felix Auger-Aliassime.

Seeded winners included two-time major champion Simona Halep and No. 1 Rafael Nadal, who began his bid to equal Roger Federer’s record of 20 Grand Slam singles titles with a 6-2, 6-3, 6-0 victory over Hugo Dellien.