Maria Sharapova out of Brisbane but into the Australian Open!

Maria Sharapova went into Brisbane ranked just outside the top 140 in the world.

A round one exit to Jennifer Brady who came through qualifying despite being a set up on the American was not the ideal start for the Russian.

Sharapova lost 6-3 1-6 6-7 to the 24 year old and really struggled behind her second serve as she looked for a way past the American who grew into the match stronger.

With or without a good run in Brisbane the Russian would still need a wildcard for the Australian Open where she was seeded 30th last year. The former finalist today has been given a wildcard for the event by tournament director Craig Tiley.

When the points from last years open drop off the Russian will find herself outside the top 300 in the world with a chance to build up her ranking having been plagued by shoulder injuries last year.

The good news is for Maria is that she has virtually no points to defend this season so it is a free hit for her.

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