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Maria Sharapova appeared today in The Today Show to talk about the reduction of her suspension.

Speaking out for the first time since her doping ban was reduced from two years to 15 months, tennis star Maria Sharapova says her initial penalty was unfair, labeling it “one of the toughest things” she’s ever had to face as a professional athlete.

“For an honest mistake, a two-year ban, I don’t think was correct,” Sharapova told Matt Lauer on TODAY Wednesday.

 

Maria gave her first interview today to Charlie Rose, in there she talked about the ban, the ITF and her return to the courts in 2017. Check out the interview below:

Maria Sharapova took over two hours to defeat Swiss teen Belinda Bencic 7-5, 7-5 under the roof of the Rod Laver Arena. Maria also established a personal record of 21 aces in a match, and that makes Maria the tournament leader with 52 aces.

In the first set, Maria had break points in the first two service games of Bencic, all of them were saved. A doble fault handed the Swiss the first break of the match to lead 3-2. However, the lead didn’t last too much as it was followed by a run of four consecutive breaks. As Bencic served to force a tiebreak, an unforced error gave Maria the first set.

The second set was full of opportunities for Maria, but the young Swiss wasn’t going to give in that easily. Once again Bencic found herself serving to stay in the match as the Russian lead 6-5.

Maria had a match point on Bencic’s serve, which she failed to capitalized after dumping a backhand into the bottom of the net. In her second match point, Sharapova responded with an amazing return which was called out, but the Russian wasn’t convinced and a challenge confirmed her pass to the quarterfinals.

In the next round Maria will face No. 1 Serena Williams.