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Tennis: Sharapova suffers first loss of clay season

Ana Ivanovic handed Maria Sharapova her first loss of the spring clay season as she beat the Russian eighth seed 6-1, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals of the ATP-WTA Rome Masters.

ROME: Ana Ivanovic handed Maria Sharapova her first loss of the spring clay season as she beat the Russian eighth seed 6-1, 6-4 on Thursday to reach the quarter-fials of the ATP-WTA Rome Masters.

Sharapova had won back-to-back titles in Stuttgart and Madrid, compiling a dozen straight victories.

Ivanovic, the 2008 Roland Garros winner and world number one, had won just two of ten previous meetings with the four-time grand slam champion, the last seven years ago at a Roland Garros semi-final.

The Serb next plays Spain's Carla Suarez Navarro.

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