Warrnambool's tennis ride with Sharapova comes to a premature halt

WARRNAMBOOL’S fleeting connection with Russian tennis star Maria Sharapova has ended, with the third seed bundled out of the Australian Open yesterday in a surprise upset.

Sharapova was Warrnambool’s representative in the Australian Open Blitz, a new promotion that paired Aussie tennis clubs with players in the Open.

Warrnambool tennis fans earned points by completing enough challenges in the online competition, scoring the world number three.

But Sharapova went down in three sets yesterday to 20th seed, Slovakian Dominika Cibulkova, losing 3-6 6-4 6-1 in a match lasting two hours and 12 minutes.

The loss means Warrnambool misses out on a tennis party, while local girl Danielle Higgins — the city’s top points-getter — is out of the running for a $10,000 prize.

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