Over and out? Depressing Sharapova slump hits new low
Maria Sharapova's depressing grand slam slump has continued with a third consecutive first-round loss at the majors.
The former world No.1 blew a 4-1 second-set lead to tumble to a 6-3 6-4 defeat to Croat 19th seed Donna Vekic.
The 2008 Melbourne Park champion had departed the opening round in a major only six times in 57 majors since 2003.
But her now trademark serving woes continued as Vekic plundered the Russian's second delivery to break four times in the 81-minute contest on Rod Laver Arena.
Now ranked 145th in the world, Sharapova fell in the first round at Wimbledon and the US Open last season and needed a wildcard to compete at Melbourne Park.
Winner of five majors, Sharapova has been routinely bothered by shoulder soreness.
Her last grand slam title came at the 2014 French Open.
Since then, she has missed eight majors through injury and a ban over the use of a banned medication.