WTA Western & Southern Open: Maria Sharapova loses to Sloane Stephens
Maria Sharapova's partnership with new coach Jimmy Connors got off to a losing start at the Western and Southern Open.
Last Updated: 14/08/13 6:47am
Sharapova teamed up with eight-time Grand Slam champion Connors on the back of her second-round exit at Wimbledon.
However there were few signs of improvement as Sharapova, the No 3 seed, slumped to a 2-6 7-6 (7-5) 6-3 second-round defeat against Stephens.
"Obviously I didn't lose today because I didn't implement what we were working on," Sharapova said. "The things that we're working on ... are to improve with the game I have.
"So, obviously, it's tough to lose at this stage but just got to keep working hard and keep moving forward."
Sharapova was her own worst enemy in Cincinnati as she made more than 60 unforced errors and seven double faults against the world No 17.
"I stopped being patient and I started making a lot more errors, errors that I shouldn't make," said Sharapova.
"Obviously I haven't played in a long time but I can't make that excuse for myself because I've got to be ready from the first match.
"So it's obviously disappointing, but that's the way it goes in this game."
In the first round, seeded duo Caroline Wozniacki and Jelena Jankovic both eased through.
Wozniacki, the 10th seed, was too strong for Peng Shuai as she powered to a 6-1 6-1 win, while Jankovic saw off Sabine Lisicki 7-6 (7-5) 5-7 6-2.
Mona Barthel, Andrea Petkovic, Polona Hercog, Magdalena Rybarikova, Ekaterina Makarova and Monica Niculescu were also first-round winners.