Sharapova beaten by Bertens in Madrid

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Madrid (AFP)

Maria Sharapova's French Open preparations were dealt a blow on Thursday as she was beaten in three sets by Kiki Bertens at the Madrid Open.

Sharapova, the Madrid champion in 2014, led by a set on Arantxa Sanchez court and threatened a comeback from 5-1 down in the decider but her Dutch opponent held on for a 4-6, 6-2, 6-3 victory.

Bertens, who reached the semi-finals at Roland Garros in 2016, will now face France's Caroline Garcia for a place in Saturday's final.