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I need some time - Sharapova reflects on third straight defeat

Former world number one Maria Sharapova continues to search for her best form after an early exit at the Indian Wells Masters.

I need some time - Sharapova reflects on third straight defeat
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Maria Sharapova believes she can recover from her current poor run, having been left frustrated by the lack of match practice that contributed to another defeat on Wednesday.

A 6-4 6-4 loss to Naomi Osaka in the first round at the Indian Wells Masters was a third in a row for Sharapova, who pulled out of the Dubai Tennis Championships last month with injury.

Having struggled for fitness in 2017, too, following her return from suspension, the five-time grand slam champion acknowledges that she will have to work hard to regain her rhythm.

"I have been working through a few physical things and that's been frustrating because there's been a lot of starts and stops since I've come back," Sharapova said.

"That hasn't really given me the type of playing match rhythm that I really wanted. But I felt like I committed and there are a lot of good things that I can take away.

"It hasn't been an easy couple of weeks since Doha, trying to get healthy, but it's there, I need some time. I've done it before.

"It's obviously frustrating to lose these types of matches that you get ready for and you want to win, but it's part of the process, I realise that."

She added: "I knew that, since the comeback, I have to work to get myself to be in a seeding position, to get what they call 'a better draw', all those things.

"That takes work, that takes time; I'm not afraid of any of that, I've been in those positions before."