Sharapova crashes out in fourth round

The 10 years since a woman last completed the major clay-grass double at the French Open and Wimbledon has been extended to 11, at least, after world No.1 Maria Sharapova was yesterday eliminated 6-4, 6-3 by German 15th seed Sabine Lisicki in a dramatic fourth round at the All England Club.
Nanjing Night Net

Sharapova, who completed her career grand slam three weeks ago at Roland Garros, had been one of three former champions left in the women’s draw as the tournament awoke from its Sunday rest to embark on week two.

Serena Williams and Petra Kvitova both wobbled, but not fatally. Sharapova was jumped at the start by Lisicki and, despite a recovery of sorts from 2-5 in the first set, failed in her 84-minute game of catch-up.

The match was the third between the pair in the past five grand slams, and fourth overall – the single set won by Lisicki coming at the same stage of the Australian Open in January.

But each, time German had crept a little closer, and yesterday she surged right past, reversing the result from last year’s Wimbledon semi-final claimed 6-4, 6-3 by Sharapova, the eventual runner-up.

An emotional Lisicki fell to her knees after hitting a second serve ace on her third match point, having missed short forehands on the first two. It is her third Wimbledon quarter-final in four years, a serious ankle injury sidelining the 22-year-old in 2010.

“It’s just unbelievable; for the third time I have beaten the French Open champion here,” said Lisicki, 22. “I’m just so happy. I have lost in three previous matches against her, but I played well and beat her for the first time.

“I just went for my shots. From the first point, I felt great out there. I’m getting better with each match.”

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