My fitness did me in: Sharapova
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My fitness did me in: Sharapova

She lost to Clijsters in the US Open semis as she was distinctly second-best in terms of athleticism and fitness.

india Updated: Sep 12, 2005 13:19 IST

Maria Sharapova's US Open campaign came to an abrupt endand she admitted that she needs to put more hours in at the gym.

The Russian lost 6-2, 6-7 (4/7), 6-3 to Kim Clijsters in the semi-finals on Friday and while her shot-making abilities were a match for the Belgian's she was distinctly second-best in terms of pure athleticism and fitness.

Sharapova had made her big breakthrough when she won Wimbledon as a 17-year-old in 2004, but since then she has failed to reach another Grand Slam final in five attempts.

It's all asking a bit too much too soon she said as she tried to absorb the loss to Clijsters.

"Physically when the points were getting longer it was at Kim's advantage," she said.

"I still have to get a lot better physically if I am going to play the three-setters when the points go on and on."

"This is not something that is going to happen overnight. I'm only 18 and this is going to take time. My body is still growing and still adjusting."

Sharapova did prove once again, however, that she is a fighter, saving five match points in the second set and taking the tournament favourite Clijsters into a decider.

And she will again be world No.1 at the end of the championships, switching positions again with long-time top dog Lindsay Davenport.

After that she says that she is willing to buckle down and do what it takes to stay at the top.

"To be No.1 at 18 is a pretty amazing achievement so I don't know what's so bitter about that?" she said.

First Published: Sep 10, 2005 18:52 IST